30 Tips for Managing Remote Teams and Workers
30 Tips for Managing Remote Teams and Workers
- Trust your staff
- Set expectations
- Minimise disconnectedness
- Foster collaboration
- Use technology to fill the social gap
- Optimise your onboarding
- Keep an open line of communication
- Encourage breaks
- Use metrics to track progress
- Give team members the chance to input ideas
- Create well-documented procedures
- Check-in often
- Encourage social interaction
- Celebrate your team’s successes
- Include physical meetings sometimes
- Initiate remote team-building activities
- Provide emotional support
- Recognise excellence
- Provide continuous feedback
- Offer flexible working hours
- Help team members understand company values
- Invest in training and development
- Invest In Technology
- Find a project management tool
- Be ready to deal with technical problems
- Be culturally sensitive
- Create a virtual water cooler
- Promote team bonding
- Instill independence
- Practice patience and empathy
Did you know that 30% of company leaders worry about maintaining company culture when employees work from home? But as businesses move from traditional office operations to teams of remote employees, it’s becoming ever more essential for managers to master the art of effectively leading and managing a largely dispersed workforce. Whether you’re responsible for full-time telecommuters or just the occasional work-from-home staff member, there are plenty of challenges that come with this unique employment structure.
Without an in-house team spirit to rely on, motivating and keeping some (or all) people focused might seem like an impossible feat. Fortunately, some strategies can help make your experience navigating through this completely new method as headache free as possible. Keep reading below to discover our top 20 tips for managing remote employees.
The challenges of managing remote teams
As technology continues to bridge physical and geographical barriers, businesses are increasingly relying on modern digital tools to help them stay ahead of the competition. However, managing a workforce that is anywhere but in a dedicated office space brings some unique challenges for employers – it takes strong leadership skills and creative solutions to ensure everyone remains productive and connected. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some key considerations for successfully managing distributed teams.
Failing to differentiate between remote work and traditional work
It’s easy to assume that the same systems and processes used for managing in-house teams can be used for managing remote ones, but this is a mistake. There are many differences between these two types of workforces, from how collaboration and communication happen to how goals and performance are monitored. It is essential to know the difference between traditional work and remote work and adjust the management approach accordingly.
Lack of clear expectations and boundaries
When managing remote teams, it might be more difficult to establish expectations and boundaries. Having clear expectations and boundaries means making sure everyone knows what is expected from them in terms of job performance, communication, and collaboration. Without clarity on these aspects, it can be difficult for remote workers to know exactly what is required of them.
One of the biggest challenges of managing remote teams is communication. Without a physical office space, it can be difficult to find ways to keep everyone connected and up-to-date on projects. It’s essential to have clear policies and procedures in place for how team members should communicate with each other, from emails and chat messages to video conferences or teleconferences.
Isolation and loneliness
One of the drawbacks of remote work is that it can be isolating and lonely. According to a recent survey from ServiceNow and ThoughtLab, many remote and hybrid employees are struggling with profound stress and isolation. To help team members stay connected, managers should strive to create a sense of community among remote workers. This could include organising virtual team-building activities or having regular check-ins with each member of the team.
Lack of trust
It can be hard to trust remote employees when you can’t physically see what they are doing. To overcome this, managers should focus on building relationships by showing appreciation for workers’ efforts and offering support and guidance as needed.
Finally, another challenge of managing remote teams is managing burnout. With no physical office space and the potential for around-the-clock work days, remote workers can be more easily burnt out. It’s important to have measures in place to help prevent burnout, such as encouraging employees to take breaks and setting specific work hours.
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Best practices for managing remote teams and workers
Managing remote teams has rapidly become the new norm in our always-connected world. As technology continues to bridge physical and geographical barriers, businesses are increasingly relying on modern digital tools to help them stay ahead of the competition. However, managing a workforce that is anywhere but in an office brings some unique challenges for employers – it takes strong leadership skills and creative solutions to ensure everyone remains productive and connected. Here are some of our best tips:
1. Trust your staff
Developing trust is key when managing a remote team. It’s important to take the time to get to know each individual, have regular check-ins, and recognise their efforts and successes.
2. Set expectations
Having clear expectations and boundaries set from the start is essential for remote teams. Establishing how collaboration and communication should happen, as well as what is expected of individual team members can help to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them and keeps them accountable.
3. Minimise disconnectedness
It’s crucial to find ways to keep everyone in your remote team connected, even when they are not in the same physical space. Make sure to be available to answer questions, offer clarity on projects, and provide support when needed.
4. Foster collaboration
Encourage teamwork among remote employees through shared platforms and communication channels, such as chat or video conferencing. This can help to build relationships and make collaboration easier. Having them team up to work on projects or brainstorm ideas can also help foster creativity and teamwork.
5. Use technology to fill the social gap
The right digital tools can be really helpful in managing remote teams. Communication tools like Slack and Zoom are great for helping to keep everyone connected, while project management software such as Asana or Trello can make collaboration easier by allowing team members to work together on projects remotely.
6. Optimise your onboarding
Onboarding is a critical element for remote teams. Make sure new hires understand your team’s objectives and goals, their specific duties, and the tools they need to be successful in their role. Setting the tone and pace early can prevent any confusion or misunderstandings that may arise later.
7. Keep an open line of communication
When managing remote teams it’s essential to stay in touch with everyone.. Make sure everyone is heard and valued, and make time for feedback from all team members.
8. Encourage breaks
It can be easy to become overwhelmed when working remotely – especially if there’s no physical office space or a clear line between work and home life. Encourage work-life balance by encouraging remote employees to take regular breaks throughout the day and set boundaries to ensure everyone has time for themselves.
9. Use metrics to track progress
Finally, use metrics to measure the performance of your entire team. This will help you identify areas where they are succeeding or struggling, as well as how each individual is performing on specific tasks. Tracking performance can be a great way to stay connected with your team and it shows that you are committed to their growth and progress as professionals.
10. Give team members the chance to input ideas
It’s important to remember that your remote workers are not just cogging in a machine. They bring valuable ideas and perspectives to the table, so make sure you create an environment where everyone can contribute their thoughts. By listening to their ideas in regular team meetings, you can benefit from different opinions and creative solutions that could help improve overall performance.
11. Create well-documented procedures
It’s essential to create well-documented procedures and processes for virtual employees. Having clear instructions about what tasks need to be accomplished, as well as when and how can help ensure everyone is on the same page and that things are getting done efficiently.
12. Check-in often
Make sure to check in with your remote workers often. Ask how they’re doing and if there is anything you can do to help them be more successful in their roles. This will help foster a strong relationship and ensure everyone feels supported.
13. Encourage social interaction
Remote teams can miss out on some of the social benefits that come with working in an office. Encourage team members to interact outside of work, such as setting up virtual happy hours or group chats. This will help them stay connected and form stronger relationships with one another.
14. Celebrate your team’s successes
It’s vital to recognise and celebrate successes, no matter how small. This will help remote employees stay motivated and give them a sense of accomplishment. So, make sure to take time to celebrate every win as a team whether you’ve successfully handed off a project, won a new client, or achieved an important milestone.
15. Include physical meetings sometimes
Even if your team is mostly remote, it can be helpful to have a physical meeting every once in a while if possible. This will give everyone the opportunity to connect face-to-face and build relationships with one another. It’s also a great way to discuss big projects or goals as a team, and brainstorm solutions together in person. You can book a meeting room at Mobo Co for your next meeting and enjoy a number of benefits including access to the latest technology and meeting room equipment, a friendly and experienced team to assist with your meeting arrangements, and flexible meeting room hire packages to suit your needs.
16. Initiate remote team-building activities
Remote team-building activities can help bridge the gap between remote workers and build a stronger sense of community. Have fun with it by organising virtual trivia nights, movie sessions, or online escape rooms – it’s a great way to bond, have some laughs, and foster unity among your team members.
17. Provide emotional support
This can range from simply asking how someone is doing to providing mental health resources or stress management training. Showing that you care will go a long way and help your workers feel valued and supported.
18. Recognise excellence
This will help keep remote workers motivated and remind them that their hard work is appreciated. Send out recognition emails or certificates, post team member success stories on your website or give rewards and bonuses where applicable. Doing so will help foster a culture of positivity and appreciation that can go a long way in keeping your remote team motivated. This can also encourage employee retention which is beneficial for your company in the long run.
19. Provide continuous feedback
It’s important to provide your remote team with consistent feedback, both positive and constructive. This will help them stay on track, understand how their performance is being evaluated, and where they can improve.
20. Offer flexible working hours
One of the key benefits of having a remote team is that you don’t have to stick to rigid working hours. You can offer your team more flexibility and the ability to work when it suits them best. This will help ensure everyone is productive and engaged.
21. Help team members understand company values
Make sure your remote team understands the values and culture of your company. This will help them feel connected to the organisation and can make it easier to align their goals with those of the business.
22. Invest in training and development
Provide opportunities for learning and development for your remote workers – this could include webinars, workshops or online courses. This will help them stay competitive and be more effective in their roles.
23. Invest In Technology
Investment in the right technology is essential for ensuring remote teams can communicate effectively and collaborate seamlessly. Priority should be given to tools that are secure, intuitive, and reliable; this will help your team stay connected and productive.
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24. Find a project management tool
Project management tools like Asana, Trello, and Basecamp can help remote teams stay organised and on top of tasks. This will make it easier to track progress, assign tasks, and set deadlines so that everyone is productive and working together efficiently.
25. Be ready to deal with technical problems
Technical problems like network disruptions or server outages can disrupt workflow and cause delays. Have a plan in place to deal with these issues quickly, such as creating backups of important documents, or setting up a backup team to fill in for any lost work.
26. Be culturally sensitive
With remote teams, you may have people from different backgrounds and cultures. It’s important to be aware of this and make sure everyone feels respected and included. Make sure any language used is appropriate for all team members and that everyone is given equal opportunities and treatment.
27. Create a virtual water cooler
Create a virtual space for team members to come together and chat about non-work-related topics. This will help build relationships and foster a sense of community, even if everyone is working from home. You can use online tools like Discord, Slack or Zoom to do this.
28. Promote team bonding
Encourage your remote team to bond by having regular video calls, setting up group activities, or sending care packages. These will help create stronger relationships and a sense of unity among your team members.
29. Instill independence
Micromanaging does not work with remote teams. In a recent study done by Capterra, around a third of the respondents said they believe they could be “left more to their own devices”. Encourage your team to take ownership of their tasks, trust them to do the job, and be ready to help when needed. This will instil a sense of independence and responsibility in each team member.
30. Practice patience and empathy
Be patient and understanding with your remote team. Remember that there may be delays or communication issues due to the nature of working remotely. Showing patience and empathy will help build trust and strengthen relationships with your team members.
Managing your remote team well is key to your company’s success
Working with a remote team can be challenging, but it also has many advantages like increased productivity, cost savings, and the ability to work with a diverse group of people. With the right strategies and tools in place, you can ensure your team is productive, engaged, and working together towards your company’s goals alongside their personal aspirations as professionals. Use these tips to create a positive experience for everyone involved and get the best out of your remote team.
Have your Next Meeting at Mobo Co
Whether you need a meeting room for a virtual meeting or a large boardroom for a corporate event, Mobo Co has the perfect space for you. We have a range of meeting room hire options to suit your needs, from small meeting rooms to large boardrooms. Our conference facilities can accommodate up to 40 guests, and our team is hands-on to help make your meeting a success.
Available to physical and virtual members alike, our meeting rooms can be hired for workshops, conference calls, client meet-ups, and any occasion that you might need more capacity or privacy than your office.
Learn more about our available meeting rooms.