Press release:

CMI #BetterManagers Briefing: Working From Home and Working with Children At Home

Friday 20 March 2020

CMI’s CEO and Head of Policy & Public Affairs discuss working from home and balancing work and parenting in exceptional circumstances


CMI CEO Ann Francke OBE, shares her top tips for remote management:

  • Be virtually visible;
  • Manage mental health;
  • Practice agile management;
  • Manage with a human face.

Ann Francke on ...being virtually visible:

“Make sure that you don’t just use emails. People you work with will need to see you and hear your voice. Wherever you can, use tools such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, or other remote-working software that will let you be visible -- or pick up the phone!

You will also need to over-communicate. We advise that once every morning and once every afternoon, check in with team members. Many teams are simply not used to being in a virtual environment. They may find it quite isolating, and can feel a little bit lost. Keeping the human connection through virtual contact and over-communicating with them is very important in these times.”

...managing mental health:

“Managing mental health is incredibly important at this time. Check in - ask the basics “how are you feeling” and acknowledge that this is an anxious time for many.

It’s also important to advise people not to just focus on the doom and gloom. It’s very easy to over-index on seeking out information from all sorts or sources; this will only make us worry.  Advise your team to get their information from respected sources that you can trust - this is vital.”

...on practicing ‘agile management’:

“Your priorities are going to change daily - maybe the situation yesterday is no longer the situation today. You also need to refocus your projects and move away from the face-to-face. This can be a positive opportunity to develop your delivery of remote and virtual projects, or focus on detailed projects that need more thinking time.

Make sure that you are setting the right priorities, and be aware that these will probably need to change, and change frequently.”

...the ‘human face’ of management:

“Through all of this, it is so important that we maintain a human face - that we be kind, that we encourage others to be kind. We need to be there for each other.”


Ann Francke then invited Daisy Hooper, CMI’s Head of Policy & Public Affairs, and mother of two, to discuss her experiences with and suggestions for adjusting to working from home long-term with children in the house.

Daisy Hooper, Head of Policy & Public Affairs at CMI:

...on how to help colleagues who have childcare duties:

“Understand that things might not always run to schedule or as planned, and try to avoid arranging meetings or making requests at short notice. These are ways to show sensitivity to colleagues with children, and understanding that they are adjusting as well as you are.”

Ann Francke on managing the productivity of staff with childcare responsibilities: 

“Focus on outcomes. It doesn’t matter when somebody does something; what matters is that they do it and do it well, to high standards and to an agreed deadline. It’s the outcomes - not the hours that matter.”

- Ends -

Media contact:

John Kaponi Head of Media Relations, CMI

Notes to Editiors:

CMI #BetterManagers Briefing

To help the business community during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is producing the #BetterManagers Briefing: a weekly webinar sharing knowledge of the best practices that will help managers and leaders address the unique challenges of our current situation.

Led by CMI’s CEO, Ann Francke OBE, with guests from CMI and the wider world of business, each episode will address a different topic relating to management and leadership in times of uncertainty, with the opportunity for viewers to ask questions.

The Chartered Management Institute 

The Chartered Management Institute is the chartered professional body for management and leadership, counting more than 132,000 managers and leaders in its membership community. There are 7,697 Chartered Managers.

Backed by a unique Royal Charter, CMI is the only organisation able to award Chartered Manager status - the ultimate management accolade, which is proven to boost individuals’ career prospects, management capability and impact in the workplace.