Never Worked Remotely Before? Here Are 5 Five Ways To Be An Effective Manager

In light of COVID-19, the global workforce is shifting to remote work. 

  • Nearly half (46%) of organizations across the world are asking employees to work remotely due to the outbreak, a recent study shows

This is a new reality for many employees which will change every aspect of work. At Butterfly, we are experts in helping organizations ensure that remote employees are both heard and informed. 

Our focus is on supporting managers as they communicate and connect with their employees, no matter where their teams work. On our own team, we have employees living across the globe, working together seamlessly. (Suggest deleting this prior sentence) 

Bookmark this high-level guide to help you optimize how to work from anywhere.

  1. Facilitate Remote Access
    For a lot of big companies, business can only be conducted over in-office networks using company hardware. If that sounds like you, here are the first things to think about and get ahead of.
    1. Desktop workers. Make sure that all employees have a remote solution, whether that’s granting remote network access for their personal computers or loaning them company laptops for at-home use.
    2. Home office challenges. Not everyone is prepared to turn their kitchen table into a workstation. Help your employees optimize the space they have and ensure that they have the tools they need, like keyboards, computer stands and a mouse.

  2. Check-In Regularly with Remote Employees Using Butterfly ( We’re offering our tools and support free for 30 days)
    Face time with co-workers and managers is critical in the workplace. Without it, conversation, collaboration and one-on-one time with colleagues take extra work.

    1. Automate check-ins. Butterfly helps managers quickly assess how remote employees are doing and what their concerns are. They can anonymously answer questions about how they’re doing and rate their happiness day-to-day or week-to-week (if interested email us at remote@butterfly.ai). 
  1. Overcommunicate. Check in daily to start and always invite your team to talk to you. Use easy communication tools like Slack, Teams or Google Hangouts for quick questions. Avoid text or phone-based apps, as they can make work/life balance harder.
  1. Organize a New Meeting Structure
    Start by finding a good video conferencing software that works for everyone, and doesn’t take a ton of onboarding time. (Wirecutter from the New York Times recommends Zoom.)
    1. Set expectations. Are pets and kids allowed? Is video required, or can meetings be audio-only for slower connections or crowded at-home workplaces? Slack shared some helpful guidelines to facilitate great remote meetings.
    2. Be clear about roles. Decide in advance who is taking notes and how the notes will be shared. Set deadlines for action items in the meeting. Clear up any lingering questions at the end of the call.
  1. Discuss Work Flexibility
    With the current situation, multiple people could be working from the same home at the same time. For families, kids could be home from school or daycare, changing the structure of the day. Be transparent about what you expect, and encourage employees to vocalize what will work best for them.
    1. Adjust your email signature. A line like this is a good way to validate work flexibility from the top down. Here’s what we’ve seen most often (feel free to copy and paste): “I work flexibly to fit my schedule. If you received this email outside of your normal working hours, I don’t expect an immediate response.”
    2. Use a working-hours feature on calendar. Both Google and Outlook calendars have “working hours” features, which let employees note when they are usually online and working. Ask your team to set these up in their first week of working remotely. That way, meetings, calls and deadlines can work around flex schedules.
  1. Repeat and Iterate
    Sometimes, the most well-thought-out plans don’t work as intended. For example, the video conferencing software is glitchy making meetings even more frustrating or remote access is slow. A lot of imperfect stuff can happen with a transition like this!
    1. Make changes. Continuously check in with employees, managers and teams to see what’s working and what isn’t. Use feedback to make improvements. Provide people with the tools they need no matter when they ask. Take an understanding approach to the transition and learn from it!

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Creating a successful remote work environment takes a lot of work from a lot of people and organizations need to be responsive as employees try out new tools and approaches. Butterfly is dedicated to helping organizations refine and improve their remote work practices given how important it is for companies to understand, iterate and make changes quickly.

We’re also invested in the success of remote teams across the employment spectrum. During this unprecedented situation, use Butterfly totally free for 30 days.

Questions? Thoughts? Ideas? Leave us a comment!