Remote working or work from home is now more than a trend. It has now become the first choice of companies around the globe to save themselves from going bankrupt. Not showing to slow down anytime soon, Coronavirus has made many companies nonfunctional. On the other hand, some companies have found a backdoor to tackle COVID-19 and that is - remote working.
Those who have never worked remotely are also working from home now. But, managing a remote team is never an easy task. Those who have experience in managing the remote teams also might find it hard to manage a remote team in stressful situations. So, how can one manage a remote team that is new to this custom?
So, this article might help you who are not accustomed to managing a remote team. We have listed some effective ways to manage your remote team.
Bring Everyone on the Same Table
Since commuting to the office isn’t possible right now, there is only one option left, i.e. to work from home. Project management tools can be very handy when it comes to bringing every remote worker/employee on the same table.
Thus, with the help of the project management tools, you can communicate with your employees and can make them understand the company’s goals and objectives. Once your employees understand the company's goals and objectives, they will come together to achieve those goals.
As a founder/manager, you need to constantly encourage them to align their personal goals with the company goals, so that they are close to achieving their personal goals every single day, even during this hard phase. Bringing them together on the same table is not a hard thing to do if handled skillfully.
Define Roles and Expectations
You need to make sure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities clearly. Employees tend to do better once they understand their roles and understand what the company is expecting from them.
For that, a quick online standup can be done every day before starting the work. Else, everyone can post their to-do for that particular day in the group.
Roles and expectations help to keep employees focused on achieving the company’s goals and objectives.
Establish Dedicated Communication Guidelines
When working with a remote team, communication is the key factor to focus on. Without proper communication, there will be confusion and it will eventually hamper in the accomplishment of the company’s goals and objectives. Collaboration is possible only because of good communication. And when there is poor communication or no communication, collaboration fails, and teamwork just remains a fairytale.
So, it is necessary to establish dedicated communication guidelines. You must stick to a schedule and establish a communication channel. When employees know the communication process, when to connect to everyone, when to schedule a meeting, and many more, they will be prepared with their ideas, information, and problems to share with everyone.
Now, you need to define the right tools so that communication and collaboration become easier. There are many communication, collaboration and project management tools like Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, Trello, Asana, and many more. These tools are absolutely free to use which will help you to manage your remote team.
Proper utilization of the right tools helps to achieve goals and objectives more easily and quickly. This is applicable during the regular office scenario too.
Get in Touch with Everyone
One of the effective ways to manage your remote team is to communicate with everyone regularly. You need to communicate regularly with them so that they don’t feel lonely and isolated, understand their roles and responsibilities, expectations, and priorities clearly.
Getting touch with them also helps to keep them encouraged and motivated. Make them feel that you care about them, that you have high expectations from them. You need to make them feel that everyone must and is working together to achieve the company’s goals and objectives and everyone must collaborate together to avoid the worst case in this situation.
Use Video Conference
Instead of voice calls, use video conferences as much as possible. Seeing the face of your team members helps to get the information more clearly. And it also helps to feel relieved because it is more reassuring than a voice call.
One of the advantages is that all of your team members can connect virtually with each other at the same time. You also need to know how your team is doing, whether they have any problems, or not, and many more. Use tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet, and so on to video call your team members. Conducting virtual meeting time-to-time using such tools is very effective as well.
Tackle Time Zone Differences
The biggest challenge of working with a remote team is the time zone difference. It is not always possible for your team members to be available every time when working remotely. So, you need to schedule a time so that everyone can join and are comfortable with it. You need to schedule a time that overlaps the working hour of every team member.
It is not good to contact when your team member is busy or when you contact them at odd hours.
You need to be available when your team members need you. It’s impossible to predict when a problem will arise so it is your duty to tackle any problem that your team faces. It is not only about problems, but they might need some suggestions too or sometimes they might fail to understand their roles, their priorities or they may fail to use the tools effectively. So when they need you, you need to be on the other end to them to help.
More importantly, they are more engaged, focused, and motivated when they know that someone is behind them supporting and motivating.
Nothing is more frustrating than the heavy workload because of multitasking. You need to figure out how to avoid multitasking. Never give your team members the pressure because it demotivates them. You need to remember that your team needs to rest because nothing is more important than your team’s wellness.
Another factor to consider is that it distracts the team member’s workflow. They may feel irritated and frustrated.
What will happen if you are working and someone disturbs you in the middle? You won’t feel good and you may get mad. The same thing can happen to your team too. So, scheduling a meeting time and just sticking to the daily tasks will solve the problem.
Productivity is the most important when working remotely. When your team members are producing expected results, then you should be proud of your team and you need to appreciate their work.
But when things are happening exactly the opposite of your expectations, then it is time to rethink. You might be failing to manage your remote team. You need to carefully plan to manage your remote team and keep them focused and motivated.
You can do wonders if you manage your remote team well and you will create more success stories eventually.
If you have any suggestions regarding the article or if you have any tips to manage a remote team, then please comment below. Hope this article helped you.