It takes different managerial skills and approaches to handle teams working from the office vs teams working from home and bring out the best in them. Handling a remote team and ensuring that the team’s productivity is at its best can be very challenging for a leader.
In this article, we have curated some do’s and don'ts on how you can manage your remote teams in a way that yields that best possible results.
Do’s that you should consider as a leader
01. Effective communication:
Clear communication is the key to a prompt response. As a leader, you should lay out clear communication guidelines and practices early on so that everyone in your team is on the same page. If the feedback is disseminated clearly then the team can work effectively. Remember that you influence the core communication of the project and operations to a great extent.
02. Clear expectations and goals:
Not sharing the goals and objectives of the company with the remote team is a misdeed. Your teammates must know what they have to achieve and how they have to work to reach the company’s expectations. Ensuring this will help and motivate employees to see the bigger picture and they will understand their roles and responsibilities more effectively.
03. Empowerment and acknowledgement of team members:
Remote work makes it hard for managers to recognize and empower their teammates’ efforts. The key terms used here are empowerment and recognition. Let’s discuss how these two terms affect the work of remote teams.
Being a nosy manager can sometimes be destructive and irritating for remote employees. The manager who demands every minute detail of what the teammate is doing can affect the focus and quality of work. It’s essential you allow your remote team to be independent and take decisions on their own. This will help the teammates to take responsibility and will empower them to make decisions and yield better results.
With empowerment, recognizing your remote teammates’ efforts from time to time is also important to keep them motivated.
04. Use of the right technologies:
As a manager, offer your employees the right tools for communication, project management, and task management. This would help them to prepare their to-do list and to use their time effectively. You can also suggest using a time tracking software like KonarkPro for better time management.
05. Out-of-work interactions:
Working from the office helped cut some slack for employees as they took coffee breaks and had watercooler moments with their colleagues, but remote work has restricted such interactions and moments.
Keeping these things in mind, remote managers should schedule virtual hangouts like fun activities, team lunches, or one-on-one virtual interaction with their respective remote teams to give them some breathing space that can create a healthy environment.
Don'ts that you should avoid as a leader
01. Demand Overtime:
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that remote employees spend more time completing their work than office employees. Demanding remote teams to do overtime can make them feel exhausted, which will eventually impact on their quality or work.
Remote employees also need time to refresh themselves and rejuvenate energy to give the same amount of effort the next day. So it;s a good idea to give them ample space and encourage them to work efficiently within the working hours.
02. Expect your team to be available 24x7:
Communicating with employees outside of the working hours and expecting them to reply instantly can create a communication barrier that would create stress in their minds. So, do not expect your remote team to be available 24x7. Respect their personal space and time.
Encourage your employees to take digital breaks to spend more time with their friends and family. This will not only build a healthy relationship between the manager and employee but it will also encourage a good work-life balance.
03. Schedule unnecessary meetings:
Meeting with undefined agendas can take up a lot of time for employees which they can use to focus on their important tasks. Do not schedule several meetings in a day to communicate every small thing.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to take timely updates from the team but nagging and watching over their shoulders throughout the day can be frustrating. Asking every small detail from the teammate and taking frequent follow-ups could be annoying.
05. Neglect your team:
The most important task of the manager is to look after their team and guide them if they face any difficulties. They need your support to stay on track and focused on the desired results.
With the changing work environment, leaders also need to evolve and overcome challenges that come in the way. Creating a work ethic in the office and while working from home is challenging as it requires patience, understanding, and sometimes flexibility due to remote work .
Q. Which tools are best for communicating with remote workers?
- Microsoft Teams
Q. What can managers do to build a good remote culture?
- Develop a foundation of trust
- Clearly communicate your goals
- Prioritize tasks
- Collect regular feedback and progress
- Find ways to keep your team engaged