These days, working remotely is no longer just a trend — in fact, it has become a necessity for companies worldwide! This results in thousands of team leaders and managers who are having to find the best ways to effectively manage a solely remote team. This can be quite a daunting challenge, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing!
If you find yourself in the above situation, hopefully the seven tips below will help you to set your team (and yourself) up for success!
If at all possible, this should take the form of a one-on-one, face-to-face video call. Phone calls and emails only go so far. The members of your team actually need to see you, and you need to see them, too! In the beginning, this should be every day. The purpose of this is quite straightforward: Set the goals and tasks for the day, and then provide any feedback and resources that your team members may need thereafter.
It’s crucial to be in regular communication with the people in your team. If you’re used to an office working environment, something to get used to is the feeling of loneliness and isolation that can sometimes creep up on you.
As the leader of the team, it’s up to you to keep your team connected with one another. Communication tools are a simple way to make sure that everyone stays engaged. Tools such as Slack, for example, are really well suited for ease of collaboration and communication.
Assist your team in figuring out what they should do, and set realistic work expectations for them. You also need to manage your own expectations. If you want to set both yourself and your team up for success, get clear with them on all tasks and the reasons behind them. Get your team on the same page as you, to help them understand exactly how you plan to measure success.
This involves defining the scope, deadlines, and deliverables for every task or project your team is working on. If you don’t keep systems like this in place, it’s likely that a few weeks from now you’ll find yourself having no idea what everyone was doing or working on.
It’s virtually impossible to manage every single aspect of work done by a remote team. Besides, you should not be trying to manage every aspect of your team’s work; especially not when they’re distributed across multiple different locations. Rather than focusing on the activity or the hours worked, focus on the outcomes. From here, you can then measure your team accordingly.
Your team has to have the correct technology it needs in order to get the job done. If you, quite suddenly, find yourself with a team of remote workers, there’s a high chance they’ll need tools such as laptops, mobile phones, or a high-speed Internet connection. You can’t just assume that everyone has all of those things (unless of course they were initially hired as a remote worker); so it’s up to you, as a manager, to ensure they do.
In remote environments, your team probably has a lot of stuff going on between all of them. This is a good point at which to reconsider what productivity truly means. Forget about simply setting up a clock for eight hours. “Normal” working hours are also probably not an option for many people. Rather, trust your team and allow them the freedom and flexibility to get work done on whatever schedule helps them to be the most productive they can be.
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