5 Proven Practices to Manage a Remote Team
The demand for remote working is increasing and so is the technology making us capable of working from anywhere and getting the same job done. Businesses are trying to get into this to keep up with the changing need of their workforce. Also, social distancing due to COVID-19 being the need of the hour, we have seen organizations taking steps to accommodate the changing needs of their workforce. Many organizations are now operating on work-from-home policies to keep employees safe.
Telecommuting or remote working is not a new concept, studies show remote workers are more productive and profitable than in-house employees – Gallup
Remote working is growing in trend and here’s why-
- Setting your own working schedule
- The comfort of being at home
- Chance to travel more
- Less stress
- Better work-life balance
- More satisfying
There are some challenges also while working from home –
- Social isolation
- Lack of face-to-face interaction
- Distractions at home
- Missing accountability program
- Respecting everyone’s time
- Difficult tracking employee performance
Here are 5 proven practices for managing a remote team-
Trust your team
Every employer has uncertainty about whether or not the work will get completed at the same level as if the team was in the office. But the most important thing about managing your remote team is to trust them. Communicate with your team frequently, avoid micromanaging as your employees need to feel confident that their manager trusts them with their work. Be not just a boss but also a friend. After all, employees don’t need special skills to work from home, just support and direction from their managers.
Use the right communication style
While working remotely, employees might not feel comfortable reaching out to one another or to their manager. That’s why set up open communication channels. There are countless communication channels available based on your requirements, and taking advantage of that technology is essential for managing your remote employees. Here are some of the effective tools –
- Microsoft teams
- Skype for business
Set Expectations Early and Clearly
Create remote working procedures, set rules and share them with the team. Being clear you’re your team about the expectations out of them will keep them focused on working towards the same goals.
You should set clear expectations for:
- Work hours
- Communication system
- Timely meetings
- Manager connect
- Timeline to respond to the emails
Mental Health at Remote Workplaces
Working remotely or from home may seem easy, but it’s not at all that easy. Employees miss out on things like peer interaction and office culture. Even loneliness can take a toll on people, even in the best of situations.
Thanks to technology, even working remotely can make your employees feel less isolated:
- Utilize WhatsApp or other messaging apps to create groups where all your team-mates can interact with each other and share some ideas.
- Encourage your employees to communicate socially on channels, as well as for work purposes.
- Set up weekly or monthly virtual meetings. Just seeing the faces of other teammates can make a big difference in employee morale.
Virtual team catch up –
Employees who are accustomed to working in-house may feel cut off from the information or relationships they need to do their jobs well. Plan for more video conference calls. Promote a friendly and honest work environment where everyone can talk about anything. At least once in a week consider setting a virtual talk-over-coffee or something. You can also have fun Fridays with virtual games. Have a casual team call and ask your team – “How’s it going?” and “You’re doing a great job!”, this can help ease the stress.
“Remote work is no longer a privilege,” Forbes recently reported. “It’s become the standard operating mode for at least 50% of the U.S. population.” Although managing a remote team is challenging. It involves organizing a systematic process, monitoring team members’ activities and keeping track of the work process which is much harder than at an office. Your goal should be not just to have a team that’s location-independent but to build a powerful company culture. Take this opportunity to quickly and meaningfully enable your team to continue working with little or no interruption to their schedules and productivity.
Tekfortune can help if you need to hire off-site workers. Our staffing experts will handle your hiring needs. Request assistance now.