Tips to Help You Manage Remote Teams
Working remotely has, until recently, been little more than a pipe dream, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, many professionals around the world have been forced to resume day to day operations from their own home rather than a corporate office building. This has come with new challenges that most of us have never before experienced, especially so for managers and team leaders. To help somewhat with this new transition to remote work, below are a few tips to help you manage remote teams.
Structure is important
While having to get up early and commute to a boring office can often be one of the worst aspects of professional life, it provides a structure that is essential for consistent output and quality of work. This structure, however, is no longer there when we work from home, so many people find that they have trouble getting into an effective routine. This leads to less productive workers who deliver an overall lower standard of work but fortunately, it can be easily avoided.
To prevent these issues, you will need to create some ground rules for your team to remind them that they still have to deliver a certain standard of work. It is essential to find a middle ground so that your team can work comfortably without sacrificing the overall quality. To see this middle ground, you will need to communicate.
Communication is essential
In an office setting, employees and co-workers can quickly drop by one another’s desk to ask questions or quickly clarify something. You cannot do this when working remotely, but there are other ways to stay connected. Make use of video conferencing applications like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams as these programs are the next best thing after face to face interaction. A great way to ensure a consistent level of communication is to schedule a daily or weekly meeting where you can keep up to date with your team as a whole.
Besides, remember to communicate with each member of your team individually to see how they are doing on a personal level as the pandemic may cause some to feel isolated, both socially and professionally. Having a quick check-up with each member of your team may sound time-consuming but will make a difference that your employees will appreciate.
Share information and resources
Like we just mentioned, communication is essential, and sharing information is the key to coming out of the pandemic just as successful as you were when it started. Sharing tips that can make overall work life easier is also important because a team is only as strong as its weakest member, so keep everyone healthy together. For example, when attending video conference calls, help your section to maintain a professional appearance by using Hello Backgrounds online backgrounds for Zoom meetings.
Whether they have untidy homes or even if they want to keep their personal life away from prying eyes, virtual experiences are the perfect tool to allow both you and your team to separate work and home life when on camera.
The most successful managers are those who trust their teams, and while this can be a challenge when you are facing a pandemic, you must maintain this high level of trust. If you devolve into a habit of micromanaging, you will inevitably create a low work environment that leads to team members feeling overly pressured and stressed.
Not only will this have a detrimental effect on their work output, but it can also cause problems for their mental health, something which may already be suffering thanks to the added stress of a potentially deadly virus. Keep on top of things, but be sure to give them enough space to work freely.
Be there for your team
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to be there for your team. As we have mentioned above, communication is essential, and quick check-ups on individual team members will help them to feel less isolated as well as showing them that you are there for them if needed.
Also, not everyone is fortunate enough to have all the tools they need to do their job at home, so speak to your team and make sure they have things like work computers, software licenses, or even just a space to do their work from.
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