This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Traditional “rules” of work don’t always apply to every business and job anymore. Here are four traditional rules that you might want to reconsider for your own company.
For many industries, the introduction of remote work created a major shake-up that, if we’re honest, not everyone was completely prepared for. However, as working from home continues to change how we do business, it’s important for us employers to realize that we can’t change the entire work format and enforce the same rules. “This is how we’ve always done it” is irrelevant. Circumstances have changed, and it might be time for your business to adopt a new work schedule.
As a business owner, you need to take a critical look at whether or not the eight-hour workday actually works for your business. Resist the urge to make decisions based on what you’re comfortable with. You might love the eight-hour workday because it makes it easier for you to keep tabs on your employees — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best for your business. Instead, maybe you need to focus on hiring employees you trust so you don’t need to keep tabs on them every single day.
Studies show that employees work better in concentrated periods — and when they’re in control of their own schedules — and boosting your employees’ well-being pays off. Businesses that introduce more flexibility into their work week can see increases in productivity, employee health and wellness, and profitability. Clinging to a rigid work schedule might be hurting your bottom line more than it’s helping your peace of mind.
Unfortunately, if you don’t know what your employees are up to on a daily basis, that’s not always a “them” problem. If your employees don’t have clear expectations of what they should be doing (and how they should be doing it), it’s harder for them to give you the reassurance you need that things are getting done.
Instead of being disconnected from your team — or, on the opposite end, becoming a dreaded micromanager — try to be a touch point, not a bottleneck. Want to keep your team on track? Establish a few key metrics, and then introduce weekly check-ins where employees can tell you the top three items they’re working on that week. You can do a quick check-in throughout the week via Slack or email, but, for the most part, it’s about learning to trust the people you’ve hired to do great work.
When it comes to being a business owner, one of the most important things you can learn is the difference between a manager and a leader. Anyone can manage a team (with varying degrees of success), but it involves a lot of time, energy, and effort that you probably don’t have at your disposal right now.
Instead of viewing your role as if you’re managing a team of employees, focus on learning how to be a fantastic leader as well. Be creative and flexible. Instead of pointing fingers at your employees (or the pandemic), learn how to be proactive instead of reactive. What can you do better as a leader? Where can your team improve? Learn how to empower your team to function autonomously and at a high level.
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