Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has allowed many organizations to remain operational, guaranteeing the continuity of their services to clients, and at the same time, protecting the well-being of their workers. However, this new model of work requires planning so that work efficiency remains constant. There are many strategies to get remote work done successfully. In this article, we share the best tips for managing remote teams.
How do you effectively manage a remote team?
To effectively manage a remote team, project management software are good collaboration tools to orchestrate and delegate work in a remote environment. Employees must maintain a healthy work-life balance, therefore it is good to spice things up from time to time.
Set Goals and Priorities
One of the most fundamental aspects of managing a team is the clarity of priorities and objectives, both personal and collective. It’s necessary to dedicate time to all team members so that their responsibilities are clear and that they are given the opportunity to express their doubts or concerns.
When working remotely, it is very important to maintain frequent virtual communication, (e.g., daily check-ins). This will help remote team members, while you verify the progress of all the activities in progress. Video conferencing platforms are the communication tools that keep remote team members connected during their workday.
There are countless communication tools available, and they are becoming more and more complete. It is essential to take advantage of this technology to ensure the correct remote management of workers. However, not all tools perform the same function, there are many options to answer different needs.
It is not recommended to discuss job performance through a Microsoft Teams chat, for example. Since this requires a more personal and serious approach, you can do this through a Zoom video chat, in case the remote employee is unable to attend the office for an in-person meeting.
Tools like Slack, Discord, and Teams are the best tools for a fast, fluid, and informal conversation. On the other hand, tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts are ideal for team meetings, since all remote workers will feel that they are in the same room. Most virtual meeting software has a screen sharing feature to allow all team members to see the same material, regardless of where they are.
Manage the Onboarding Process
Most people view starting a new job as a concern, especially when they are not physically in the same space as their coworkers, or sharing the same working hours. If the onboarding process in a company is done correctly, it can positively influence employees, making them feel enthusiastic and motivated. To achieve this, it is recommended to organize one-on-one meetings during the onboarding process.
This will make the new employee feel confident and comfortable. If this is not possible for some reason, make sure you have accurate training documents. Another good idea is to ask the new employees regularly if they have any questions or concerns. This practice is good for team building and to ensure the smooth running of operations.
Allow Flexible Work Hours
When people work from home, they always have to do household chores like taking care of their children, cooking, doing laundry, or taking the pets for a walk. Consider these facts of life and manage your team with empathy. Letting them work at a convenient time is a good idea for the quality of the work they will produce. Instead of concentrating on when they are working or if they meet their schedules, try to shift your focus on their productivity.
Use the Most Suitable Work Tools
Collaboration tools are exceptionally important for any remote job as they help you better organize your team and keep everyone up-to-date and aligned on relevant projects. For a remote work team to be truly effective, you need a file-sharing tool, an instant messaging platform, time-tracking software, video conferencing tools, and project management software, among other specific tools.
Virtual Team Building
The best way to build a stronger team is through teamwork activities and challenges. Virtual team building is an activity that uses technology to virtually bring together employees who work remotely. These activities are meant to forge stronger links between them and increase collaboration.
For Kronos Experience, this technological solution does not mean that your staff will have to remain – again – behind the computer screen. With workers spending countless hours motionless in a series of daily virtual meetings, you don’t want your virtual team building event to be just “another ZOOM meeting”. Our virtual team building activities are designed to get your teams to cooperate while being physically active.
If some members of your team work remotely but others are in the office, having them work in pairs can ensure that remote workers feel supported and attached to the company and that they do not miss information. This strategy for managing remote workers allows you to create more productive teams and reduce communication gaps.
Allow Non-Work-Related Moments
Informal conversations about non-work-related topics can build rapport and bond between all team members. After all, you have to be aware that remote workers do not have the opportunity to cultivate team spirit by meeting to chat about the weekend in front of the coffee machine or sharing snacks in the office.
Remote work should not be a pretext to dehumanize the workplace by cracking down on non-work communication. Business leaders have to conscientiously walk the fine line between productivity and remote workers’ morale.
Hire the Right People
The truth is, not all workers are cut out for remote work, and that’s understandable. Remote workers are generally independent people, who like to take initiative on their own. When hiring an employee who will work remotely, make sure to ask questions that show whether the person has remote experience or can effectively work on their own.
For example, you can ask: Do you have a quiet place where you can answer phone calls? Do you have access to a stable WiFi network? Do you have the right equipment to support certain programs and applications? Since you will not be able to sit next to them during training, make sure they have the skills necessary to perform successfully.
Organize Face-to-Face Meetings
If you have the chance to do so, organize face-to-face meetings with your remote employees. This will foster a positive atmosphere and help all employees feel connected to the business culture. If you are in the same area as your remote employees, scheduling a meeting every fifteen days will be very beneficial. If workers are spread all over the world, an annual conference where everyone gathers together will help build a strong relationship.