Working remotely or working from home has become a necessity for businesses right now. As a business owner, manager, or team leader, you’ll suddenly find yourself managing an entirely remote team, which is quite challenging, especially if unprepared for this type of management.
How can you establish a personal connection? How do you make sure that your team is truly working on their tasks? How can you motivate them to be engaged and to communicate with each other?
There are going to be a lot of questions, and here are some tips to guide you on how you can manage your remote team effectively:
1. Communication and Transparency
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the sense of isolation and loneliness, primarily if your team is used to an office environment. As a leader, you need to lead by example. Share your visions and objectives, get them involved, get them to share ideas, opinions, and discuss projects with you and others.
Check-in with your team regularly and help them settle in. You may not be able to do it daily, but developing a rhythm will help you in establishing that personal connection with everyone and can make them feel included. Small gestures have the most significant impact reminding them that you’re all in this together.
2. Set Expectations
Be clear about your expectations. You can’t expect your employees to be successful if you don’t set clear deadlines on a project, working hours, or response times. You’ll want these expectations to align with others to avoid confusion and overlap.
Team members must know the short and long-term objectives, in particular:
- Weekly tasks and specific projects they need to work on and to prioritize
- Level of availability you expect them to have
- Ways to reach you if there are some matters to be discussed
3. Utilize Technology
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to keep your team connected and engaged. Choose a communication tool that is best suited to your company’s needs. Investing in reliable tools is the first step to make collaboration possible.
Tools like Microsoft Teams have features that allow your team to chat, call, schedule meetings, do video conferences, collaborate, and share files from anywhere. Make sure that they all have access to the internet because there’s no point in working remotely if they can’t even connect online.
You can also utilize these tools to celebrate special occasions virtually, post company milestones, and give shout outs of recognition. It will inspire connection among your team and develop a more engaged remote team.
4. Build Trust and Accountability
It’s so easy just to call, check-in, and get back to work within minutes, but if this is all you’re doing, then you lack in leadership and management skills. To have a strong working relationship with your team and build rapport, establishing trust will improve their level of confidence.
We all know that without trust, problems will go unaddressed, which leads to a decrease in productivity and, in the end, negatively impacts the business. Get to know your employees as a person to help you build a more committed workforce.
5. Be Flexible
With the ongoing situation right about COVID-19, social distancing, and home quarantines, it’s important to understand everyone’s situation. It’s not an excuse not to get work things done but to be more considerate.
Regular working hours are probably out. Give them freedom and flexibility to work on the tasks at a schedule that works for them and helps them be more productive.
There are real benefits of working remotely, but managing a full team of remote workers can be tough, not only for you as the leader, but also to your employees. Being organized in your process and following simple rules can help you reach your business goals sooner.
Reach out to us today and find out how we can help set up your business for remote work and manage your team effectively.