5 Top Tips for Managing a Team Remotely
Managing a team remotely can be a challenge for many leaders and managers around the world. Most of us were used to working with face-to-face interaction with our colleagues or work team. Although many principles of good management may remain intact, there are other areas to pay attention to when we are dealing with managing a team remotely.
There is a skill set we need to develop to do this in the best way, here are five key points to do so:
1. Chose the correct communication methods
One of the simplest, but one of the biggest challenges of remote working is fluent communication. You can no longer just turn your head and ask a question to your colleague, so communication is an issue that needs to be adapted and worked on constantly.
We have plenty of options regarding communication in the digital era. If we need to have a meeting with more than one person a conference call may be the best course of action, if you need to ask something simple to a colleague a regular call may be the answer, but when you need to ask several things and maybe a written explanation, an email can help to solve this.
Instant messaging may be the best way to talk with your colleagues about several different things that are not necessarily important or too transcendent. Asking for simple information, or a channel to set meetings.
2. Regular team meetings
It is important to implement structure in terms of frequency of communication with your team. It doesn’t have to be every day if you don’t consider it necessary, but having regularity and set scheduled meetings every week can help everyone align with responsibilities and deadlines. Regular meetings will also create an order for your team to work with and will strengthen the sense of partnership between colleagues.
If it’s possible, make video conferences where everyone can see each other’s faces. Seeing and hearing the voices of the entire team can make things more personable and motivate people to work better.
3. Be clear about the work goals and expectations you have of the team
When you are managing a team remotely, you can’t see everyone working at the office, so it’s all about building a sense of trust. Scheduled conferences can help you to check up on your team, but also communicating and constantly reinforcing the expectations you have for the week is very important.
Setting out deadlines and deliverables can also help to keep a balance in the control you have over your team, you don’t want to become a sort of figure of a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend who’s always trying to see what is your team doing or obsessing with if they’re working on the work hours.
4. Be strict with deadlines
As we mentioned before, in a remote work setting you can’t visibly see your team working, so the level of output becomes a direct indication that they’re competing on the tasks you assigned them. If you have a team member that is constantly missing deadlines, that can be a sign that they’re not operating well. If your whole team has trouble meeting deadlines, that can be an indicator for you. It is also important to set possible deadlines, providing the correct amount of time for colleagues to finish their tasks properly.
5. Don’t forget about your colleague's mental health and wellbeing
It is very important constantly check on your team’s physical and mental well-being. Working from home can be an isolating experience for some, especially when they didn’t choose this working method. Additionally, if you notice somebody’s having any symptoms of apparent flu-like coughing, ask them how they feel and if they think they will be able to work comfortably throughout the day.
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