4 Ways to Successfully Manage Your New Remote Team
Working from home used to be a pipe dream for many people with 9-to-5 jobs.
Now, it is very firmly the reality of modern business for companies and individuals across the world.
For those who are used to working remotely, whether they do so part-time or full-time, this change has been manageable. But for those with no prior experience, it has been a different story altogether.
The wholesale shift to working from home—of which the current pandemic/climate crisis has caused— has left supervisors, team leaders, and small business owners struggling with the need to manage a remote workforce at short notice.
If you're one of these people, there are some things that you can start doing to make a real difference—quickly! Here are 4 tips to help you manage your remote workforce well.
4 Ways to Successfully Manage a Remote Team
1. Check-In Regularly
Communication is key when it comes to managing a remote workforce; morning meetings with your full team are great for planning the workday ahead, but you should also catch up with team members on a one-to-one basis. A phone call, Facetime meeting, or even a meeting on an instant messenger (IM) app with individual team members can make the difference between them knowing exactly what they need to do—and stagnating as a result of confusion or miscommunication.
2. Manage Expectations
Yours, your teams, and (most importantly) your customers' expectations should be adjusted in light of the current situation(s). Your main focus should be helping your team understand how their roles work in this new mode of operation.
So, if you need to take the first week or so slowly, don't be afraid to notify your clients that they should expect delays.
In fact, it's better to notify them to expect delays and deliver quickly than it is to pretend there will be no change and find yourself running behind the clock. Likewise, you should adjust your own expectations; your team may need more from you to begin with, so expect your inbox to be full and your phone to be ringing off the hook for at least the first few days.
3. Focus on Goals—Not Schedules
If you try to regulate every aspect of your teams workday when they're at home, you'll quickly become overwhelmed and you really won't get much else done. Unless their duties require them to be available between set hours, for example, to answer the phone, you should switch your focus to setting reasonable and manageable workload-based goals. This is a much more manageable way to do things on a remote basis; so long as your team gets their work done by the appropriate deadline, you can focus on bigger things than tracking their check-in times and lunch hours.
4. Be Tech-Savvy
There are many different technological tools designed to help with remote team and project management on the market right now; all you have to do is take your pick. Programs like Monday.com, Trello, and Google Docs are relatively simple, low-cost ways to make long-distance teamwork a breeze. Do some research and choose programs which are most compatible with your goals, workload, and team. Many are low-cost or FREE to use.
Make Remote Management a Breeze
It's never easy to adjust to new methods of management. However, you will notice a big difference in productivity levels quite quickly if you:
Communicate clearly and regularly
Use the technology available to you
Manage your expectations
Remain flexible with your team
Focus on helping your team transition to remote work successfully, keep your clients' expectations in check, and the rest of the details will organically fall into place!
If you need additional resources or extended tips, Kuah invites you to visit our Blog Page for more insight and business tools—totally FREE!