It has been well documented that remote workers are working longer hours and spending more time in meetings. We all feel the burden of being a bit overscheduled, but leaders must make time for their team. You may be excellent at what you do and be highly skilled and strategic, but an essential element of being a leader is giving time to lead and work with your team.
You may think being busy signals being in demand, needed, and that you’re essential. However, you have to look at the other angle, which is that it may appear like you don’t know how to manage your time and energy effectively.
Aside from that, your team needs you. Making the time to connect with your team members will improve connection, motivation, and focus.
If you’re unsure how to start making time for your team, start by blocking off some time on your calendar during the day. Take that time to do quick check-ins. Whether that means stopping by someone’s desk or sending them an IM to ask how that little league game went, you can regularly incorporate it into your day. Setting aside time for checking in will also make sure that you don’t get too overscheduled to focus on your people.
In addition to general check-ins, you can take small moments around projects to offer valuable feedback in the moment. For example, if a team member just gave a presentation, huddle up with them quickly after to share what you thought they excelled on during their presentation and help identify some areas of improvement. Feedback in the moment is easier to digest and work on rather than waiting to discuss the topic in their next one-on-one. By the time you meet, the memory of what happened may have already become fuzzy.
Additionally, making time for your team won’t matter if you aren’t present during that time. Ensure that you’re fully in the moment and engaged in the conversation with your employee, don’t multitask. Taking the time to invest in the conversation and your employee will help them feel valued. Being disengaged or multitasking could send the message that you don’t care about them or their work. If you’re going to make time, truly set it aside to be in the conversation. Being engaged will also help you remember what is being discussed and see visual queues from your employee to better create a probing discussion about what is going on.