While more and more employees work remotely, employers are struggling with successful team management. Even though remote work has been us with for more than two years, common obstacles are still a challenge for a lot of managers. Therefore, to successfully manage a remote team, you first need to detect those challenges.
One of the main ones is understanding the difference between traditional and remote work. To help you overcome those obstacles and manage your team successfully, keep in mind that remote work requires a different set of skills. Here are the main ways that can help you structure a remote team.
1. Set expectations and goals
People behave differently in the office and at home. Therefore, expecting that they know how and what to do when working remotely can lead you to a dead end! Prevent that from happening by setting clear expectations and goals for the team and individually. Doesn’t that seem a bit excessive?
Absolutely not! Let your team know what their tasks are and how you expect them done. Encourage them to participate in goal setting to make them more realistic. Are boundaries in remote work controlling? No, setting such boundaries can help you and your team be more efficient and productive, as well as achieve goals.
2. Focus on the results
Many employers log their employee’s time when they are working remotely. Even though employees are expected to work for a certain time of the day, tracking their every move only creates the opposite effect. It makes employees feel like they aren’t trusted by their employers, which minimizes productivity and overall success. Avoid such practice by focusing on the results instead of the time spent on the computer!
When assigning tasks to employees, ensure they understand what their goals are. Each assignment should come with an expected end result. Therefore, you can measure whether the employee has reached the goal and fulfilled the expectations or not. This is how your team will be more productive and effective on remote projects.
3. Check in often
Working remotely often results in isolation. Since colleagues aren’t sitting in the same office, they tend to drift apart from each other, which sometimes weakens teamwork! On top of that, they may be struggling with some issues, whether they are private or work-related. While you can’t see them in person, checking in often truly helps them feel like a part of the team.
Organize regular team meetings where you’ll discuss tasks, news, and any unclear information. Make it a video conferencing call so that teammates can see one another, chat, and relax a bit. Besides that, organizing one-on-ones is crucial for a team’s success. Individual approach and feedback help employees improve their performance and lead them in the right direction.
4. Keep them informed
Working from home feels like a dream come true for many people. However, being away from the headquarters and the center of events may seem like you’re being kept in the dark. While the main focus is achieving the target and great results, managers often cease to keep employees informed of the latest news. How can we fix that issue?
We can agree that mailing your team about every single update can be bothersome. An ideal solution would be an app or platform that can be used on both computers and mobile phones which will keep employees engaged and informed- an intranet. Implement intranet solutions and help your team access all the files, data, and info they need. On top of that, they can stay in touch with one another and support each other even though they are physically far away.
5. Encourage work-life balance
For traditional workplaces, work, work, and only work is the key to success. Even though this is partly correct, you can’t have productive and efficient work at all times. Humans aren’t machines that can run 24/7, so to be successful, they need work-life balance to rest after a strenuous day. Is there a way you can encourage it?
Lead by example and show how important wellbeing is. Don’t make your employees answer emails, phone calls, and other work-related duties in their free time. Encourage them to spend time with their friends and families, take up new hobbies and completely forget about work even though it’s located in their living room. That is the best way to optimize your remote work life.
As you can see, managing a remote team isn’t about strictness and control over people. Successful remote teams are created by compassionate leaders who know how to set boundaries and encourage their employees to do their best. So, are you ready to become such a leader?