Even when COVID-19 vaccinations are widely accessible, about 45% of workers will be permitted to work from home. Even though most companies had months to perfect the remote work experience to keep their workers motivated and productive, many still saw remote work arrangements as a passing phase.
After all, there’s no denying that learning how to manage remote teams is an essential skill in this day and age. If you’re worried about productivity levels dipping or managing assignments for remote employees, that’s alright. You’ve come to the right place.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of how to manage remote teams, and bring in regular team meetings back.
How to Manage Remote Teams 101: Always Be On the Lookout for Signs of Distress
Use both direct and indirect observation to get insight into the problems and issues faced by workers. Make it plain to your staff that you care about them at all times.
Managers and workers must have frequent discussions on complex topics. It can range from the COVID-19 epidemic, such as alternative work models. Or, the topics can span job security and prospects, the influence of staffing on staffing, and tensions in the workplace.
Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind that you need an employer of record before even hiring your new remote employees.
Aim to Equip Workers With the Right Tools
A cell phone and a laptop may not be enough technology for your staff to be adequate. Do your team, for example, have suitable cameras if you want them to join virtual meetings?
Employees may perform efficiently when working remotely. This is true even if they lack access to advanced technologies. Be cautious about assuming that everyone is familiar with the ins and outs of online communication.
Be aware that virtual communication is different and won’t be ideal, but it should still be professional and polite to others. Be aware that certain people may find virtual communication less comfortable. Or even find it less productive than face-to-face contact. You’ll want to train your staff on how to escalate poor virtual discussions.
For example, a virtual meeting may be necessary to resolve a problem that hasn’t been resolved in six emails.
Encourage the Exchange of Ideas
Managers and workers need to talk to one another for communication to be effective. Change initiatives are more likely to succeed if workers better grasp what their employers are doing and why they are doing it.
Employees can better express and process their negative feelings with frequent communication. It’s when they have regular, two-way contact with their supervisors and coworkers. As a result of the present epidemic of COVID-19, managers can have two-way discussions with their employees.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have Faith in Your Team
Understandably, managers would be worried and even angered by the loss of the continual sight they formerly had into their people, but micromanaging is not the solution.
That will only serve to demoralize and exhaust already overworked workers. During a crisis, you’ll have plenty of time to use existing performance management tools.
Define Your Goals to Communicate Your Message Effectively
During a disturbance, personnel may lose track of their roles and get disoriented. Keep an eye on what your personnel should be able to do. Employees will be more engaged if they better understand the company’s goals rather than its methods.
One of the best ways to motivate workers is to show them how their job contributes to the organization’s overall success. As a result, employees who are secure in the significance of their role in its success are less concerned about their employment.
When in doubt, always begin with talking to employees about their opinions and what they find problematic or distressing.
Focus On Outputs
Allow workers to accomplish their job in the most convenient and efficient method for them in distant areas. It’s where many individuals juggle work and family obligations from the comfort of their own homes.
Team meetings at 9 am may have to be canceled, or you may have to forego a lengthy permission procedure. Cooperation should be scheduled at a mutually convenient time. And, you should use virtual tools wherever practical.
Flexible work environments provide teams the freedom to execute their tasks as they see fit.
Boost Your Recognition
Recognizing good work helps the recipient feel appreciated. It also sends a clear message to the rest of the company about the kind of conduct that is expected of them.
Public acknowledgment, symbols of gratitude, growth opportunities, and low-cost bonuses. All these strategies may all serve as forms of recognition that don’t need monetary compensation. During a downturn, managers at companies can provide development chances to underutilized personnel.
As a result of this shift, managers are now expected to acknowledge more of their workers’ labor and contributions differently. A lack of face-to-face meetings and the opportunity to exchange tales with coworkers is one of the drawbacks of working from home.
Encourage New Ideas
Managers and staff may become more risk-averse due to enterprises remaining in place in the face of high levels of uncertainty.
Innovation and risk-taking become even more critical during these times. It’s essential for employee engagement and company success. High-potential workers (HIPOs) are especially hard-hit by the disenchantment. It comes with restrictions on their ability to innovate and take risks.
If new investments are restricted, managers can stress the need for incremental innovation.
Ensure that everyone has the opportunity to share their triumphs and to feel protected if things go wrong. When one employee takes a risk and succeeds in enhancing productivity, only a few connections may build on that achievement. It’s due to the social distance.
Employees should be encouraged to continue scaling up their operations, and whatever risks they take should be justified.
Cracking the Code of Remote Work Productivity
In uncertain times, we tend to see our routines thrown away. However, when it comes to figuring out remote work, we hope that our guide has shed some light on how to manage remote teams with grace.
And, if you’re still hungry for more management strategies, we’ve got your back. Check out our business section for all of our other explainers and guides.