Working from home successfully doesn’t happen overnight

| April 7, 2020

Has your business moved from a functioning office environment to a fragmented arrangement of desks in your employees homes? With COVID-19 shifting everyone’s ways of working dramatically in a matter of days, ways of working have been interrupted and productive working from home is probably not in full swing. 

Did you know it takes up to four months to successfully implement a productive remote work culture? And this is without the added stress of homeschooling, childcare or working next to your partner or housemate. 

Working from home works. It ultimately has huge commercial benefits to business through establishing a productive workforce. In a study by Stanford University, researchers found that employees who worked from home were 13% more productive than their office-based counterparts. In a separate study from last year by Harvard Business School, working from anywhere was even more productive than working from home – by 4.4%. 

What we are dealing with now though is different – remote working that is unexpected, stressful and mostly not by choice. Check out our previous blog post for key insights so your team survives this time. 

Don’t use this as your trial to work from home for your business. It’s a time to survive and implement basic practices to help you work from home successfully. 

Leaders who want to thrive at this time will focus on: 

  • Reconnecting your team with their purpose

There is no better time than in a crisis to remind teams of the bigger purpose of your business. What is the reason they are all here? A clear view on purpose will drive your team to help your business thrive, even with the challenges of working remotely. 

  • Empowering team members

Inspirational leaders recognise the value and strengths in someone and support them to achieve their best. Far from being an unnecessary luxury, empowering your team is an important way to help them feel calm at this time – giving them something they can control will reduce their stress. 

  • Developing trust

Healthy communication is built on trust. Spend time educating your team about trust: how it’s built and how it’s lost. As a leader you will see a dividend from actively learning about trust, because trust is integrated in everything you do – the currency that makes work happen. 

  • Becoming outcomes-oriented

Focus on measuring team results, not time spent on tasks. This makes your workplace more adaptable and more flexible. Successful remote team leaders have experienced the difficulty of monitoring and micromanaging the exact ‘how’ of getting work done. Instead they free up their teams to deliver results in the best way possible by measuring what matters – outcomes achieved.

  • Fostering learning and a growth mindset

You can help your team at this time by pointing out the opportunities for growth and development; setting up opportunities to learn and actively encouraging experimentation. Fostering a growth mindset within your team will help ensure they see this current challenge as an opportunity. You’ll be helping them bond, as they adapt together to these new circumstances. 

Lastly, recognise that a successful remote working culture takes time to develop. In my next post I will talk you through the steps to deliver that culture.  

Find out more about how to lead your team to survive COVID-19. Join the Transformed Teams webinar on 24 April at 9:30am Australian Eastern Time on How to Navigate the Future of Work with an effective remote team.

For more information about Nina Fountain and Transformed Teams, visit or call +61 2 8091 6997.