Managing A Remote Team: Your Best Piece Of Advice

Managing a remote team is very difficult task. The concept of remote teams and working from home is growing immensely and be it the pandemic or not, even businesses that have physical offices are now preferring distributed workforce. Establishing clear remote-work policies and training in advance is always preferable. Then there are specific research based steps that managers can take to improve the engagement and productivity of remote employees. Hybrid teams that consist of both remote workers and those physically present in the workplace make a business more productive and also cut down the costs. WorldNoor is best for remote team collaboration.


Challenges faced while managing remote teams


With a new system comes a series of challenges for managers to mobilize workers who have been accustomed to the traditional proceedings of a physical workplace. According to one report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 70% of employers found it difficult after the lockdown to adapt to remote work as a way of doing business. Part of the challenge was learning to manage their remote workforce. If these issues are not addressed high-performing employees may experience decline in their working capacity. 


  • No in-person supervision

Employees may be concerned that their team does not work as efficiently at home than at the office. On the other hand, employees may also struggle in gaining access and communication to the managerial staff. This may create a breach in their relationship as well as interest in getting their work done. 


  • Lack of clear expectations 

Just because the employees were clear of their responsibilities at the office it cannot be assumed that they are still up-to-date on their duties once they work from home. They need to be elaborately directed about when they need to fulfill their objectives or attend virtual meetings and seminars. 


  • Unequal responsibilities and paybacks

When employers find themselves managing groups on on-site and distributed teams, they may face unequal cohesiveness in this hybrid environment. This is because some members might be receiving more benefits than the others. 


  • Social isolation

Socializing and lunch break conversations may be take for grant until work is shift to home and there is little to no physical interaction between colleagues. Thus, remote workers feel withdrawn, lonely and have this sense of belonging to their business. This may even impact their mental and physical well being in worst case scenarios and oblige them to leave the company due to massive levels of unproductivity. 


  • Disruption to work routine

Not all employees function well at home which is why not all of them effectively produce outcomes or complete their tasks unless they have in-person supervision. Such workers need to have a well-curated schedule and additional support to track time so that they can stay motivated without any unnecessary distractions. 


Methods to manage remote teams


Even though regulating distributed teams is fraught with difficulties, capable managers can ease this transition quickly and in an inexpensive manner through the following steps:


  1. Regular daily check-ins

Even if this seems like a tedious and hefty task, the successful managers and teams today try to incorporate frequent video conferencing so face-to-face interaction is maintaine long-distance. This is now substituting the use of emails, texts and voice calls. Hence to advance the team camaraderie and spirit one-to-one talks with employees must not be neglect. Team members can individually talk about issues they are not comfortable discussing in front of the whole panel in group meetings or feel they might be misunderstood if convey in an email. This helps in employee retention and satisfaction to double check if their duties align with their career goals. 


  1. Make sure the right tools are accessible

This means you need to make use of the appropriate technology because your remote team workers may not have access to the same tool kits that they have in a normal office environment. You may use tools such as Dropbox, Asana, or Microsoft Teams—but one general thing most remote teams will need is a good unified communications and collaboration platform like Dialpad. Being suddenly force down a path of digital transformation may take organizations quite some time to adopt. Tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts are some of the platforms that are use on a daily basis for engagement strategies. 


  1. Be empathetic

When dealing with an abrupt shift in the work regime, employees must be fully compassionate to their workers. Suffering from stress, anxieties or overburdening from work. Hence the research on emotional intelligence and emotional contagion shows that employees. Look for cues in their managers about how to react to sudden changes or crisis situations. As a manager do not assign too much work or strict deadlines without discussing with your remote team beforehand. Set time limits on how long you should work before taking a break. Be careful not to blur the boundaries of your work and home life. 


  1. Set up virtual happy hours

Encouraging remote social interactions like online pizza parties, coffee dates, recognition sessions or virtual water coolers. Is a good way for colleagues to get along with each other and for your team to work cohesively. Although this may seem forced and repetitive, the experience of many remote team leaders says otherwise. It is actually worth it. Do not set up extra meetings to pressurize worker schedules even more. Instead just carve out the time during the already appointed meetings. Such as half an hour for non-work-related conversations and activities. People need to know each other spontaneously and independently – not merely as co-workers. Using video conferencing for these ideas is that leads to natural impromptu. And unplanned conversations that can lead to best work plans for your team members.


  1. Be a mentor more than a manager

You need to be a good mentor and coach and understand the differences between leadership and management. As a leader you need to make precise standards for remote work productivity. Set timeframes – daily, monthly or weekly regardless of the time zones in which your workers are operating. Set milestones for tasks or overall projects. Bigger tasks can benefit as it makes work easier and also helps collect data for future planning

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