The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, and work-related tasks have become challenging for those who struggle with managing remote teams. At The Remote Company, we believe managing remote teams is less about strict procedures and all about setting up each individual for success. Employees will stay longer in your organization if they see balance in the workplace.

effectively managing a remote team

Provided their work is up to your standards and goals are met in a timely fashion, there’s no reason to get in the weeds on exactly how work must be completed. When choosing a communication channel, it is important to consider the needs of the team and the type of information that needs to be communicated. For example, if there will be regular updates or announcements, email may be the best option. If the team needs to collaborate on projects or tasks frequently, instant messaging or video conferencing may be more appropriate. Understanding effective remote management is the key to empowering teams to do their best in a virtual office. Your employees need to be encouraged to communicate openly and honestly with each other frequently, beyond a once-a-week “check-in” message.

Mistake #3: Not Giving Clear Directions And Setting Clear Expectations

In addition to the productivity and communication challenges of remote work, working remotely also introduces unique cybersecurity challenges. With Wooboard you can reward your staff with gift cards, recognize achievements with “Woos”, and provide employees with mindfulness exercises and follow ups to help improve their mental wellbeing. Google Workspace makes it easy to share links to files for internal and external collaborators, allowing you to work with freelancers with ease.

This, combined with the growth of the gig economy, means that today, many managers rarely if ever meet with their team members in person. The transition was a difficult one for some businesses, and it’s normal for leaders to feel like they’re still learning about and adapting to managing remote team members. “The transition to remote communication removes the personal context that helps us interact with each other.”

  • Employees can leave comments on the cards, assign start/due dates, add users to individual cards, create checklists, and add attachments.
  • This makes it easier to allow remote employees to use their own personal devices for work as they can connect directly to a managed device or server.
  • Managing remote teams demands a fundamental shift in your team’s approach to work reports and general strategy, which project management solutions may help you with.
  • For example, from watching people’s Pecha Kucha presentations, we discovered that the majority of our team is obsessed with cats, dogs, sports, traveling, psychology and food.
  • These insights can be shared via PDFs, short videos or informal question-and-answer video calls.
  • At a minimum, the remote employee will likely need a laptop and Wi-Fi.

More so, it gives your team the satisfaction that their efforts get desired results. While some workers might find it easy to adapt to remote working, project guidelines, and company regulations, some may need more time to get accustomed to how you handle working from home. With several businesses online, equipping your employees with these resources will set them up for success and increase productivity.

Schedule Weekly Team Meetings

If not, you’ll want to adopt a video conference platform as well as an easy-to-use messaging tool. Be sure to clearly communicate which platforms you expect your team to use to ensure everyone is on the same page. It’s also important for you as a manager to provide a way for employees to discuss any issues they aren’t comfortable discussing in group settings. Actualize Consulting in Reston, Va., is recognizing its employees with videos that celebrate workers’ Managing a Remote Team contributions, said Kerry Wekelo, the organization’s chief operating officer. The videos, which will appear on the company website, replace the recognition that would have taken place at the company’s annual retreat, which was canceled because of the pandemic. ​Stay-at-home orders prompted by COVID-19 are creating a challenge for managers—including those in HR—at a time when many companies are implementing telework policies for the first time.

effectively managing a remote team

It allows you to create custom workspaces where tour team members will always know what to do and be prepared when a new project is launched. Email is often considered ideal for corporate communication but doesn’t allow for fast exchanges. Working from home can be problematic if your internet connection is slow or your network is down.

Most people choose to visit a museum, which unintentionally turned our #creative_day channel into a virtual tour of art exhibitions worldwide. For starters, our team created fun Slack channels about food, music, books and what to watch on Netflix next. These channels arose from one person having an interest and flourished into a crowd of people discussing TV series and more. By teaming people with varying experiences, they can learn from each other. See it as cross-mentorship, except both team members offer different skills instead of one person having more knowledge in a particular area.

Lead Your Remote Team To New Heights

A calendar would allow remote workers to see which blocks have been taken. However, managing remote and hybrid teams can get complicated fast. An SHRM study found that it was challenging for 70% of employees to adapt to remote work after the lockdown. Part of the problem is learning how to manage people they barely, if ever, get to see in person. Remember that remote employees can be as effective as those you have on-site, but only if they have a manager who always has the team’s back.

Otherwise high-performing employees may experience declines in job performance and engagement when they begin working remotely, especially in the absence of preparation and training. Employee engagement can also decrease as a result of remote team mismanagement. Remote workers don’t have access to the inherent energy levels that come from being in the office and seeing their coworkers. They also don’t have the accessibility to their managers that they rely on to stay focused and motivated. Managers need to understand that their employees will have major distractions when they are working from home. Hence, you should accept such distractions of your remote teams from time to time since it is critical to enhancing their productivity.

effectively managing a remote team

Find task management tools that everyone enjoys using and that make intuitive sense. Community building apps and software like Slack can help improve remote work culture. Because they’re not actually in the room, virtual team members might not feel comfortable “interrupting” the speaker to give their input.

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You can do so by creating a shared purpose, asking for team members’ perspectives, showing empathy, and creating opportunities for levity and team bonding. Then watch your team’s collective confidence, creativity, and productivity rise. Do you want to limit video calls for your sake and the sake of your team? If so, establish messaging and email as the preferred channels for most everyday communication needs.

Keeping productive workflows in mind and as much as schedules permit, supervisors should be adaptable to staff needs and calendars. Encourage your team members to take breaks throughout the day and make time for themselves outside of work. Ultimately, the key difference between traditional and remote office cultures is how work is structured and organized. Remote work is making huge gains in popularity because it’s at the perfect intersection of business benefit, employee need, and cultural shift. A study from Gallup found that employees who reported having a best friend at work led to 7% more engaged customers and 12% higher profit. Non-work-related or casual chats can also lead to serendipitous conversations that help drive innovation and new ideas.

Learning how to manage a remote team starts with setting boundaries and work rules your employees should adhere to as they work from home. The manager doesn’t need to waste their time with daily check-ins, frequent status meetings or crafting direct reports. The best managers mentor and coach more than “manage.” They also understand the not-so-subtle nuances and differences between the disciplines of leadership and management.

Tips For Managing A Remote Team

Entrepreneurs and virtual staff can all stay on track wherever they work by equipping remote teams with new specialized tools. Managers need a strategy and a certain skill set to manage remote workers. There are plenty of project management tools that can help, but supervising virtual teams requires a fundamental shift in your team’s vision statement, work reports, and general approach. Effectively managing remote employees begins at the very beginning of their time with the company.

Obviously, email, instant messages and phone or Zoom video calls are essential for remote interaction. Give verbal praise in virtual meetings when you see someone doing a great job. Trust them to make smart decisions around time off, sick days, and personal days.

These meetings can help employees get to know each other, build connections and feel more inclined to cooperate and communicate with each other on a regular basis. In building solid communication with remote teams, you will often find yourself using two to three different project management tools. Technology is both a blessing and a curse when managing remote teams. Yes, you have nearly the same access to employees online as you did in the office, but it’s important to use it well.

When working together, people are used to walking up to colleagues and briefing them on the progress or the situation at hand. But in case of a remote workforce, you need to rely completely on tools. Team-building exercises can be anything that you think will build your team socially and professionally.

Transitioning To New Work Modes With Microsoft Teams

Those who endeavor to manage remote teams should warn their employees to have appropriate childcare in place as well as an optimal workspace that is advantageous to their productivity. Businesses can automate tasks to make managing remote teams easier for you. Building a remote community is one of the unique challenges of managing virtual teams.

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It’s become clear that businesses must adjust to this new normal in industries that allow for it. Your motto when building a remote team should be, in the words of Zapier CEO Wade Foster, to “hire doers.” A doer is someone who will make things happen, even in the absence of direction. Health is top of mind right now; it’s the reason remote work became so common. Remote workers don’t have to get on crowded buses or trains, or interact with others in lobbies, elevators and offices. When employees are at home, they avoid the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus and other contagious illnesses. It can be expensive to replace employees who have left your business, both in terms of the costs to hire a replacement and lost productivity.

Tips On How To Successfully Manage Remote Employees

This will align the team in the direction of the project and the progress of each team member. It will give you an update on what is going right and what style of working is not aligned with the Remote culture. Heavy interdependency between teammates is a detrimental attribute and needs to be handled in the project plan. The primary question that most managers have is “How is it going to work out? While the initial struggle to manage the Infrastructure and Connectivity did take time, but the swiftness and efficiency of the IT departments seem to have done a magnificent job all over.

They then leverage that information to nurture and motivate each individual employee. That same insight and management style must be applied to how they work remotely. Before conducting your first virtual meeting, set a regular conference with your team members. If an appointment for the entire organization is required, you must consider this scenario. Note that a daily meeting is a great way to gather updates from each team. In addition, remember that duration of these daily meetings shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

With these essential tools, you can support and manage a high-performing remote team, allowing you to remain competitive in the marketplace and grow your business. Managing remote teams demands a fundamental shift in your team’s approach to work reports and general strategy, which project management solutions may help you with. But this requires establishing trust that balances the need to hold staff accountable while also being empathetic. Leaders should also become familiar with work from home best practices and expect a certain amount of trial and error, because the growing trend of remote work is here to stay. To get you started, below are seven basic tips to help business leaders when it comes to managing remote workers. Remote teams come with unique challenges, like different time zones and schedules, so effective communication is the number one key to success for remote managers.

Currently, we have nine core apps that our team uses to communicate, manage projects and collaborate. The goal is that some repetitive managing tasks can be handled by the tool, which is why it’s important to document the purpose of each remote tool and explain how people should use them. The fact is that leading remote teams looks different for each company—it all depends on the culture and remote work approach. Again, defining the WHY is always critical for emotionally connecting employees to the mission. This is always an imperative but has become increasingly more important in this current environment. Don’t simply assume the team understands where they need to focus their energy.

Remote work comes with a surge in autonomy, which is great for your team’s morale and productivity. Managing remote teams entails being the chief liaison between your employees and a well-done finished project. Daily stand-ups are one way to advocate for team-building, but they’re not the end-all-be-all for communication with remote teams. Managing remote teams will look a little different for each company depending on your specific business goals and the people you choose to employ.