Have you been at home the entire length of the year 2020?
I bet it wasn’t to take a break.
Thanks to the pandemic, we have been home for the longest stretch in like forever! The unprecedented, deadly virus made the world take drastic measures to save the collapsing economies and businesses worldwide. New strategies were devised and put in effect to keep a steady flow of work.
New parameters were set for social interactions. As for the workplaces, many lost their job or were not paid. Since the teams couldn’t reach offices, new measures had to be taken to bring offices to homes.
What are Remote Teams?
Remote teams are usually small in size, reporting to a single manager. Members of these teams are assigned a unified task or objective that requires a specific set of skills or a combination of varying skills.
Remote team members, even though being part of the same organization and team, are not co-located geographically. These teams rely on technology for collaboration.
Many have had to set up home offices at their places to create an undisturbed work environment. Although daunting, it is fairly easy to set up a desk that functions well and is comfortable. If you are still struggling to set up a working station for yourself, you might want to visit Office Depot for products that come with offers you would not want to turn down.
10 Tips To Leading A Remote Team
Managing people for optimized results and meeting deadlines is a strenuous task. Couple that up with people who are only available online simply adds to the complexity of the situation. We have compiled a list of the most valuable tips from various team leaders and managers who have successfully built remote teams. We hope you find this useful for your organization.
- Daily Check-Ins
Schedule regular check-ins with your team members. This is essentially beneficial in building trust and communication among the team.
Communication tools like messaging and calls are not sufficient anymore. Face-to-face interaction using video calls is the best way to get your message across and stay on the same page as your sub-ordinate.
- Frequent Communication
No matter how often you communicate, it is always going to be less.
With teams working remotely, issues like miscommunication, lack of communication, misinterpretation, and so on are pretty common. To eliminate such nuances, it is better to communicate as often as possible using direct, straightforward, and clear instructions.
Moreover, use a variety of different communication tools with advanced features to enhance effective communication.
This is as challenging as things could get!
As a manager, you need to understand that each team member will have unique social circumstances. Not all members have the luxury of owning their own home office. They might just be working from their closet!
Flexibility is essential to get work done. Let your team members know that you value the efforts they are putting in to motivate them for a better outcome.
- Providing Resources
With employees already trying to figure out which place of their home to operate from, it is an even bigger dilemma to figure out where to get the basic tools from!
Invest in equipping your teams with the required technological tools like laptops, webcams, headsets, and better Wi-Fi for a steady workflow.
- Being Tech Savvy
Many of us were not extensively accustomed to technology, just enough to get by where required.
With these new advancements, being tech-savvy is more a requirement. Encourage your teams to keep learning new skills, tools, and software that can add value to the overall project and their personal growth.
- Manage Expectations
Setting clear goals and objectives, deadlines, and prioritize tasks is crucial in managing successful teams and also ensures that work is delivered on time.
Set realistic expectations from your team and help them achieve goals by effectively communicating the nature of the task and the activities needed to be done.
- Focused Outcomes
Since managing remote teams is already a task, quit micro-managing your team for every activity carried out.
Provide room for creative solutions that increase engagement and also empowers employees to take ownership.
Focus more on the outcome rather than the activity by clearly stating the goals and then allowing employees to develop a plan of execution.
- Empathize With Your Team
Establish relation of trust and dependability with your team members. Empower them by listening to and acknowledging their work-related problems, issues they are facing, deadlines they are unable to meet, and other stressful factors that may cause anxiety.
Dealing with these barriers will establish teamwork and a supportive work environment.
- Establish Ground Rules
When working with employees who are scattered geographically, you need to set some ground rules of communication. This will ensure smooth and effective workflow processes.
Since remote teams are built around using different modes of communication, clearly define the purpose of each tool to streamline conversations.
Once they know how to reach out to one another, define common availability hours where each member of the team has to be available for a meet-up or conferencing.
- Track Employee Productivity
This is essential as many of us tend to slack when working remotely. Simple time tracking tools available online can help you to monitor the pace at which work is being done.
This enables you to analyze every employee’s productivity with detailed reports and helps improve efficiency by identifying and removing obstacles.