Successfully managing a team that is remote requires a different management style than managing employees who are physically present in your office. Here are some tips on how to effectively manage a team remotely, achieve results, and maintain employee engagement, collaboration, and satisfaction.
What is a remote team?
A remote team is made up of professionals with different time zones and cultures, who work together on one project.
Each team member works remotely, from different locations, in different time zones and places. Working remotely is not the same as managing a team.
Remote work is becoming more and more common. When teams work outside an office, there is a big difference.
You will be familiar with the challenges of managing remote employees. These include managing projects, managing teams and keeping them on schedule.
Trust your staff
Trusting your employees is the first step. It is essential to any successful experience of working from home, but managers often struggle with the uncertainty that the work will not be completed at the same level as if they were working in an office. Some managers worry about employee theft. You may be in this situation. Do not increase the level of supervision over your employee's workload. Micromanagement will lead to low morale and employee engagement. While there are many employee monitoring tools that can track an employee's activities throughout the day, using such software is a sign of a possible lack of trust between the employer and employee.
Take a step back instead and trust that your remote employee will deliver on what you expect. This leads us to our next point.
What is expected of employees who work from home? Set clear expectations for remote staff in terms of their duties, deadlines, and priorities, just as you would with staff who work at your office. As long as you're realistic and focused on the outcomes, setting these expectations will ensure that your employees understand what success is when working at home and how to achieve it. You can then be sure that all the tasks will be completed on time.
Establish a regular, one-on-one telephone call or videoconference to discuss and decide on tasks and priorities. It also gives your employees the opportunity to ask any questions. This call is usually made daily or every week, depending on their job. Any more often and it could be considered interference.
To minimise the feeling of disconnect among remote staff, such regular one-on ones should be complemented by a recurring meeting. You can still use videoconferencing to create a sense of unity and team spirit, even if your remote employees cannot attend the meeting in person.
Email can be a useful tool for communicating a message in some cases, like when you want to share documents, videos, and images with a large workforce. However, when working on a project remotely, email can cause problems. You can have a never-ending thread of emails, where people forget to copy others, or conversations that get sidetracked, and lose sight of the main objective. Videoconferences can help you combat this by allowing a live conversation to be conducted with a unified goal. You can encourage a more inclusive discussion by allowing everyone to share their thoughts and give updates.
Videoconferences are essential to fill this communication gap, as remote employees do not have the opportunity to exchange information informally across desks and at the water-cooler.
You can read body language and facial gestures to determine the mood of participants in person. This will help you identify any potential conflicts, tensions, or issues among team members. In a teleconference or telephone call, this non-verbal language is not present. It's best to use videoconferencing for team meetings whenever possible.
It is important to pay extra attention. Even though video calling can mitigate this problem, it is still difficult to read facial expressions and body language when you consider factors like camera quality or angle. Pay attention to the voices of people, especially any changes in pitch, tone or pace. This can help you spot and eliminate any potential issues.
Protect remote workers
Cyberattacks and data breaches are on the rise when employees work from home.
There are three major insurance concerns for employees who work from home: injury to the employee, injury of a client, and safety equipment and property.
It's important that you understand the differences between "working remotely" and "working from home" before we discuss the various types of insurance available for small businesses with remote workers.
- Work at home:Many people associate "work from home policy" with flexible hours. It involves a part-time office where employees can work, but can also work at home on other days.
- Telecommuting This is a hybrid of work from home or remote work. It refers to the majority of work being performed outside the office, in any place with some in-office work.
- *Remote Work: Technically, a "remote employee" is one who works permanently from home.
A business owner's life is consumed with the need to keep employees productive, healthy and employed. What's the best method to achieve this?
BizCover offers unique protection against data breaches and business property damages.
Consistency is key
Make sure that remote employees adhere to the same rules and regulations as their colleagues in the office. This includes treating confidential information and equipment as safe.
All employees, whether in the office or working remotely, should use the same communication tools. If you use instant messaging, mobile apps, videoconferencing, or phone calls for communication, or a combination, make sure that all members of your team are aware of the best tools to use.
Work hours should be clearly defined
Encourage your employees to adhere to their normal finish time. Employees who are diligent may work late into the night, blurring the line between home and work. Ask your employees to unwind and log off at the end each day in order to prevent burnout.
Offer time management tips, if required
Some people are better at managing their time than others. Some employees may blur the line between personal and professional life when they work at home. Offer your advice to help them schedule their day in a way that minimizes distractions while maintaining productivity. These time blocking tips may be helpful.
Fill the social gap with technology
Team members in an office setting have many opportunities to develop a professional relationship with each other. These impromptu conversations can bring a group together.
Many people who work from home miss out on these social interactions and may even feel isolated. Explore other ways to provide your staff with the social interactions they require. Set up a group message to share your successes or status updates.
Online tools can be used to ensure that remote workers participate in brainstorming and collaborative work. There are many digital products available.
Keep your team's culture
The biggest concern of managers is to maintain the culture of a team, or an organisation when some or all employees are working remotely. There are some simple ways that you can keep your team cohesive.
The culture of a team is largely determined by the way its members work. This includes how they interact with one another, with their customers, and with stakeholders. We've already mentioned that there are many tools available to help keep your team connected. Make sure you use them on a regular basis, whether they work in the office or remotely. These tools will be the lifeblood of your team.
To ensure that your remote employees are aligned with your values, you should also make sure they understand them and act accordingly. This shouldn't be a problem, as you probably hired your employees because they fit in with the way your team works. If you feel that an employee's style of working is not aligned with the culture of your organization, you should address this immediately.
Invite remote workers to join the group chat for both casual and business conversations. This will help to keep your team in touch.
Consider taking it a step further and hosting a virtual coffee chat on Monday mornings, for example. This could be a videoconference where people can share their weekend activities as well as their top priorities for the week ahead. This allows you to maintain and build rapport with your team, while the second allows them to understand what everyone is doing and stay engaged in the team's focus.
You can use videoconferences to wish a birthday team member well. You can even have a local florist deliver flowers to the employee's house beforehand.
Some bosses have even arranged for a food service to deliver a weekly meal to their remote employees at a predetermined time. Then, the people connect via videoconference to hold a virtual working lunch.
These actions may seem unconventional, but will help maintain the camaraderie and culture of your team.
In summary, if you want to unite a remote team, it's important to trust your staff and communicate regularly to set expectations and priorities, as well as to maintain your company culture. You'll create a productive, unified and successful remote workforce by doing this.