Managing your business when you’re out of the office

in Managing by Dr Timothy Sharp
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Managing while away

Staying in control and keeping your team motivated can be a hard task when you’re a business owner playing several roles.

As the owner of a growing business, you’ll often be faced with long periods of time outside of the office, which can have huge knock-on effects – especially on your ability to lead and motivate staff.

Dr Timothy Sharp set up Sydney’s largest clinical psychology practice and is a renowned motivational coach. He knows all too well the challenges that face a small business owner.

“I’m just about to start a pretty large project which will take me out of the office for the next five months or so. I think one of the first and main things is clarity - about what I’m doing and where I’m going to be. And for everyone else to be clear about their roles and what is expected from them.”

Other important factors

  • Clear direction

  • Clear communication

  • Checking in at regular intervals

  • Providing support

“Obviously I can’t do everything but what I can do is make sure that the people who need to do their jobs have my support or the appropriate resources depending on what needs to be done.

On top of this, we have a really effective team and everyone knows what to do. This means that they are able to support each other.”

A good leader doesn’t need to be there

“In many ways, one of my goals was to almost make myself redundant. A good leader in a sense shouldn’t need to be there – they do in some ways (obviously, if I disappeared things wouldn’t work in the long term) but I’ve built up structures and systems and have good people who know what to do. They help each other whether I’m there or not.”

A good leader knows how to motivate individuals

“What I have learnt over the years is that different things motivate different people and when I talk to leaders and managers, this is what I tell them.

The best managers understand this, responding and interacting differently with different people. I think where managers and leaders go wrong is when they try to apply the same rules to everyone.

In larger organisations it gets a bit harder, I’ve worked with hundreds of leaders from various businesses and this is what the best ones do – they individualise their approach. They will take as much as they can to get to know that persona and what makes that person tick.”

It’s about more than just money

A lot of businesses assume that it’s just about money but there are many other motivators:

  • Flexibility

  • Professional/personal development

  • Training courses

  • Acknowledgment of a good job

  • Office space and amenities/p>

  • Holiday days

So to ensure your business runs smoothly when you’re out of the office, prepare your staff for your absence. Know which of your employees can make decisions wen you’re not there and trust that you hired the right staff in the first place.

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The Happiness Institute is a positive psychology practice with the simple aim of making as many people happy as possible. Going into organisations and running workshops and providing executive coaching, Dr Timothy Sharp enhances the morale, engagement and the retention of staff.

Poll Results

How many hours do you work on your business each week?

  • 20-30
  • 30-40
  • 40-50
  • 50-60

Poll Results

How many hours do you work on your business each week?

20-30: 18%
30-40: 18%
40-50: 23%
50-60: 41%