Managing a remote team

Managing a remote team can be a challenge and whether you think your team may completely return to the office or not, considering remote work is a good idea.

Managing a remote team is still a concern in 2021. We thought we might return to the office full-time, but in the back of our minds, we knew things would never be the same. With 63% of employees wanting to work remotely part time, how do we continue to support our remote team? Take a look at our top tips for successfully managing your remote team. 

Communication is key

This sounds like a no-brainer, but stay in touch with your team! There are two ways we need to be staying connected: formally and informally. Formally, you will want to be sending emails to check-in on tasks or having daily zoom meetings. Informal communication is largely overlooked, but it's that old-school water cooler chat that we miss about the office! Try using a fun and efficient communication channel (we like to use Slack to stay in touch with our team!) Remember that both forms of communication are essential to the work environment.

Be flexible

No we don’t mean getting out the yoga mat, be flexible with hours! All of your workers have different home lives. Some may have daily school runs, others may have spouses sharing their home office, so we need to be able to accommodate for these situations. It’s not easy when we’re used to the daily 9-5, but encouraging flexibility doesn’t mean sacrificing work. It means encouraging your team to perform their duties around their life schedule. Happy employees = happy life.

Track your team’s progress

This is probably the area you’re most worried about when it comes to managing a remote team, and it comes hand-in-hand with the first point. ‘If I can’t see them doing the work, how do I know it’s being done?’ Have your team send in a work schedule with a given time frame. Check in on the schedule using your fantastic new ways of communication and say bye to those worries! Just because your team isn’t in the office, doesn’t mean they aren’t getting their work done.

Identify barriers (and then break them!)

Working from home has created new challenges we may not have initially thought. Workers are likely to feel isolated and distracted by their home life. So it’s time to come up with some creative solutions to these modern problems. Whether that be initiating some social activities such as virtual happy hours like Forbes suggests or even just encouraging staff to create their own home office. Discover what obstacles are standing in the way and refocus your remote team.

Utilise technology

Again, this one may seem obvious, but you need to make sure you’re utilising the best technological tools out there. What may have worked in the office, may not be best for your remote team. Take a look at programs like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Trello and G Suite. Every workplace is going to be different and therefore the technology you use has to be unique to you. Explore the technology available and find out what will best suit you and your team.

Managing a remote team: in summary

For many of us, the truth is that our team will not return to the office 5 days a week. It’s important to recognise that the world is evolving and the way we lead has to evolve too! No one said change was easy, but maybe it’s what we need. By following our top tips, managing your remote team will be easier than you thought. 

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