As the pandemic continues, many companies have been forced to work remotely. This presents a new challenge for managers. Here are a few tips on how to manage a remote team.
Without establishing accountability, even the brightest team won’t be able to work remotely. As the manager, you should be establishing performance goals for your team and check in regularly. Figuring out a new semblance of structure can look like setting up checkpoints, finding new technical solutions like remote WFM (workforce management) software and adjusting your goals depending on performance.
Communicating consistently with your team is helpful for finding out how you should be measuring performance and monitoring workers. Don’t forget to check in with individual employees to see how they’re functioning in a virtual work environment. While group meetings can be productive, one-on-one conferencing builds a more intimate relationship between colleagues.
One of the advantages of working from home is being able to adapt a more flexible work schedule. Although it’s important to provide some semblance of structure to employees, don’t force the rigidity of an office workday onto home-based employees.
Offer your workers more options, whether it’s letting them work earlier or later than they might have otherwise or just exploring new technical solutions like texting, email or some other individual messaging platform. Communication is key for finding out how to enable your employees to work both comfortably and efficiently.
Plan For Downtime
Remote interactions between colleagues shouldn’t just be limited to work-related conversations. Arranging more casual conversations can help teams build trust, imitating the personal feeling of getting to know coworkers in an office space in an online space.
This is a great opportunity for subordinates to become more comfortable communicating with their supervisors. Virtual get-togethers can help people feel less isolated, fostering closer relationships between team members.
Not being able to check in with your team’s every action might create feelings of anxiety or mistrust. During times like these, it can be tempting to start micromanaging your employees. Try not to focus too much on digging into the specifics of your workers’ daily routine, instead trusting your team to get the work done and providing them with guidance if they can’t do so on time.
While it’s normal to struggle with time management while working remotely, your employees won’t feel safe coming to you for help unless you can prove your trust in them.
Remember to keep your team engaged by including them on relevant work calls and email threads. More importantly, remind them that you’re still available for them to reach out to, even at a distance. It’s easy to feel uninvolved when working remotely, so make sure every member of your remote team can stay in the loop by notifying them of what’s going on and how they can stay up to date.
Adapting to the new normal is challenging. In times like these, staying connected to your team is the most important part of being a good manager.