Many businesses have taken the plan to continue with remote work for the foreseeable future and this is for good reason. Remote work can bring a wide range of benefits to both the business and your staff and a hybrid work model can provide the best of both worlds. Despite there being myriad benefits, you will likely have found that there are also a few unique challenges and issues when it comes to managing a remote team. These can all be overcome when you know how, though, and this post will look at a few of the best ways to manage your remote team so that everyone can reap the benefits of working remotely.
First, it is a good idea to establish your expectations with remote work. You need to have rules and systems in place in terms of schedules, breaks, and taking time off. When there is a clear system in place, staff will know what is expected of them and not have to worry about leaving their desk while working remotely. It should also prevent communication breakdowns and issues with staff not being available when you need them.
Following this, you also need to encourage flexibility and allow staff to enjoy the perks of remote work. Many employees have ended up working longer hours and feeling chained to their desks during the pandemic, which you want to avoid. Instead, you should encourage staff to have a healthy work-life balance and be understanding if they need to spend time away from their desk or leave the house while working remotely.
Establish Communication Preferences
One of the trickiest parts of being a manager of a remote team is staying in touch throughout the working day. Some people you will find want regular contact and video calls while others will prefer a more hands-off approach. It is a good idea to learn the preferences of each team member and adapt your approach for each person. Of course, there will be situations where you need to have video meetings and contact, but this will not always be necessary.
Trust Your Staff
Another difficult part of being a remote manager is trusting your staff. When you do not see your staff on a day-to-day basis, it is easy to imagine them slacking off and you may worry about their output. You need to trust your staff to do their job and try to avoid micromanaging. You also need to establish what your expectations are and emphasize any deadlines that they have. When you are able to trust your team, it gives you more time and energy to focus on your own work and will help to take the business forward.
You want to avoid micromanaging and allow your team to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working from home, but you also need to check in individually from time to time. Although there are many perks to remote work, it can also have its drawbacks and many people struggle particularly when it comes to feelings of isolation and the lack of social contact. Checking in to see how people are doing and if there is anything that you can do to help is thoughtful and will help to create a stronger connection.
Arrange Social Contact
Leading on from this, it is also helpful to arrange regular social contact for your remote workers. This could be organizing a real-life meet-up from time to time or even just an informal video call. This will be helpful for preventing isolation, encouraging team bonding, and improving morale. Even small things like creating a weekly newsletter can help staff to feel more engaged and less isolated.
Utilize Digital Asset Management Software
When you manage a remote team, it is important that you are providing software that can overcome the key challenges of remote work and make it easy for everyone to access everything that they need. Digital asset management software can be useful for storing your assets in the cloud and is ideal for businesses that work with multiple teams. You can find the best Google Drive alternatives online and these can make it quick and easy for your remote teams to access the digital assets that they need to complete their work to a high standard each day.
Use Screen Recording & Sharing Software
You also want to make sure that you have screen recording and sharing software. One of the hardest parts of remote work is communicating and showing people your work, but this is not an issue when you have software that enables you to share your screen and record your screen. This can make a big difference by keeping everyone on the same page and simplifying the daily operation.
You should also provide any resources that your team needs to work to a high standard. Not everyone has the perfect work-from-home setup, so it is worth providing people with desks, office chairs, laptops, and anything else that they might need to work to a high standard each day. This will come at a cost, but it can make a big difference in terms of remote work performance and also help your staff members to feel valued and looked after.
Give Positive Feedback
An often-overlooked part of managing remote employees is giving positive feedback. When you do not see your staff regularly, it can make it hard for them to feel valued and know how their performance is. A simple “thanks for all your hard work” or “good job “ can make world of difference and help staff to feel valued.
Hopefully, the advice in this post will help you to manage your remote team and get the most out of them while allowing them to enjoy the wide-ranging perks of WFH. WFH can benefit both the business and employees, but you must know how to manage your team and overcome the key challenges in order to enjoy the benefits.