As a leader, it is important to be transparent and explicit in communication. Remote work has exacerbated the need for clarity in communication. Employees are trying to interpret the messages they are getting from their leaders. Here are two examples to illustrate this point:

  • If a leader sends an email at 3 am, what is their expectation for a timely response? In the absence of information, the employee may believe that if they are not responding immediately then they may be perceived as not committed to their role. In actuality, the leader may be sending this email at 3 am because the thought has just occurred to them, or because that is the time of day when they have the greatest ability to do deep work.

  • Many organizations have witnessed an explosion in the number of internal meetings since having had to shift to remote work due to the pandemic. As a result, employees are seeing the preponderance of their working hours being usurped by video calls. And, they are struggling to discern which meetings are necessary and which can be declined in order to get their work done.

This lack of clarity can lead to burnout, resentment, and lack of engagement/productivity. By opening the lines of communication with your employees and making clear your expectations, you can help your employees to create healthy boundaries between work and life, and to feel more empowered and engaged.