These days, working from home or remote working has become more than a trend. Due to the pandemic, it’s now considered necessary for many companies around the world. For this reason, many managers and team leaders have to deal with managing a remote team properly.
Unfortunately, for first-timers, handling or managing online team activities and workflow can be challenging, especially if they’re used to working face-to-face. But regardless of how big or small your remote team is, there are various tips that can help set up yourself and your whole team for success and these include the following:
1) Do A Daily Check-In
Whenever possible, do a daily check-in and ensure that it’s through a face-to-face or 1-on-1 via video. The reason behind this is that your team also needs to see you. The good news is that some tools or services can make this easy. The primary purpose of a daily check-in is simple, and that is to provide resources, updates, feedback, and set the agenda that your team members need for the day.
2) Stick To A Routine
It’s essential to keep appointments consistent. When you’re dealing with remote scheduling, you have to be prepared to manage the varying time zones and personal routines of each team member. This often results in disruptions in call schedules, which can generate chaos and delay.
Therefore, have a general consensus about the regular meeting time and ensure that each team member can commit to that timeframe each day. Once done successfully, it can result in greater productivity for everybody.
3) Be Flexible And Organized
In terms of managing a remote team, the key to maintaining productivity and consistency is to allow flexible hours. Even if a concrete workflow is necessary, you must be open to adjusting strategies if needed. Whether your remote team prefers working in the morning or during the evening, it should not matter as long as they have completed their work with quality and efficiency in mind.
4) Emphasize Communication
It’s vital that managers communicate with their remote team since it keeps employees updated about deadlines, managers’ expectations like work schedules, available resources, and some work-related challenges.
Determine which communication tool best fits the culture of the team and look for a delicate balance between pinging employees with email, texts, and radio silence. The communication’s frequency may vary among employees. While working remotely, ask your team how they prefer to be managed. In this way, you can keep a pulse on what employees require to be productive while working from home
5) Manage Expectations Effectively
Help your remote team determine what they should do and make realistic expectations for their job. Managing expectations applies to you as a manager.
Set yourself and your remote team up for success by stating both the reasons behind them and the tasks. Then, help your remote team understand how you’ll measure success. It means defining deadlines, deliverables, and scope for every project or task your team is working on. Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will also help you determine performance among team members.
6) Remember To Listen
The best managers are good listeners. They also communicate with respect and trust, inquire about progress, ensure a balanced workload, and avoid micromanaging.
One of the ways to listen to your remote team is by using surveys. A quarterly or monthly employee net promoter score can be helpful along with pulse surveys to know your employee sentiments. Basically, the net promoter score is an indicator of how employees will be promoted. Just take note that if you’re asking for feedback from your remote team, you have to do something about it.
7) Focus On Outcomes And Not On Activities
It isn’t possible to handle all aspects of the work done by a remote team. However, you must not try to manage every little thing, especially when your team members are in different locations. Rather than focusing on the hours worked or activities and tasks that are worked on, focus on the results and measure your team’s progress accordingly.
8) Practice Transparency
When you’re working with a remote team, it’s easy to keep your employees away from the big picture. Situated in a different country, they might not always know the current events at the local office. But employees typically look to their leaders and managers as an example of how to behave in any work setting. If you’re honest and open, there’s no reason why they’re not going to do the same.
So, practice transparency at each stage and implement it as part of your company culture even in a remote working setup. This won’t only help you gain the trust of your remote employees, but you can also be assured that they won’t hesitate to communicate with you in case they have concerns or questions. This may also be of great help in retaining your remote employees.
It takes commitment and dedication to manage a remote team. Even if it’s challenging at first, once you stick with your daily routine, make communication easy, and practice transparency, you can be assured that you’ll get great outcomes and enjoy improved efficiency at the same time.