Due to the current circumstances, the majority of teams are now working from home and for some teams, this might be for the first time. It can be difficult for many managers to come to grips with this. You may feel like you do not have as much control over the situation or find that gaining a trust level with a remote team can be a bit of a challenge. But this is only natural. Remote working is the way of the future, and managers need to adapt to make the situation work for everyone involved, otherwise risk being left behind their competitors.
We’ve put together 7 tips to give managers some guidance on managing their remote team.
1. Have a daily check-in
Stay in touch with your team daily, whether that is in group video calls or individual. Keeping in regular contact can help keep your team to stay motivated and gives them a chance to ask any questions.
Tools and services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google’s Team Hangouts make this relatively easy.
This also allows you to set the agenda and provide feedback/resources that your team needs.
2. Stay in regular contact
It probably goes without saying that you should be in regular communication with your team.
One of the hardest things about working from home, especially if you’re used to an office environment, is not having the same atmosphere that helps you stay motivated and concentrated throughout the day.
Staying in regular contact with your team helps to keep them motivated and work hard.
3. Take advantage of technology
When managing your team remotely, your job is to keep your team connected. Nowadays there are lots of tools that you can use to help your team to stay in contact with each other.
While emails and text messages may seem like an easy solution, tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom are far more efficient. Some of these tools are even free to use.
4. Manage expectations
This means defining the deadlines for each task or project that your team is working on.
Otherwise, don’t be surprised if a few weeks from now you find yourself wondering what everyone was doing…
5. Focus on outcomes over activity
It’s not possible to manage every aspect of the work done by your remote team. Realistically, you shouldn’t be trying to manage every aspect of your teams work anyway, but especially when your team is working remotely.
Instead of focusing on activity or hours worked, focus on the outcomes.
6. Resource your team
Make sure your team has the technology they need to get their work done. If your team has been suddenly switched to remote working, they are likely going to need some tools at home that are usually provided in the office.
Don’t assume that everyone already has the tools they need at home. It is your responsibility to make sure they do.
7. Be flexible
Understand that in the current environment we are in, your team has a lot going on. That’s no excuse for not getting the work done, but it is a reason to allow for some more flexibility.
Regular working hours are not as common now, instead, trust your team and give them the freedom to get their work done on a schedule that helps them to be most productive. This is a good thing for your team in the long run anyway.
If you’re managing a remote working team and have some tips that help you, please leave them in the comments below!