The culture of remote work became more prevalent after the pandemic and now companies have increasingly realized the value of remote work and the benefits of hiring globally. If you are running a business in this remote first world, you have all your team remote or at least a portion of your team remote. While a remote team comes with a lot of advantages it can also seem stressful how to manage a productive and successful remote team
And while the ideal thing to do is to establish clear remote policies and training in advance, sometimes in times of crisis we all need to act spontaneously where our framework goes for a toss and this level of preparation may not be feasible. Fortunately, some handy tips an employee can take do not require much effort and make managing remote employees a cakewalk. Here are some of them.
▪️ Schedule Daily Check-ins
This might seem like a lot of work but it is essential especially when starting out to schedule daily check-in and establish clear work conduct. An email or call when starting out initially sometimes doesn’t suffice. It’s clear to talk to your remote employee on a face to face supervision to make them understand the seriousness of work. Managers can eventually with the team having their targets clearly defined schedule a twice-a-week video conference but initially, it is mandatory to not just email or call but talk to their remote workers every day via video conference and know their progress.
Not just the daily check-ins, but your communication is going to be the key to having a successful remote team. A clearly defined and over communication may seem like a lot but it is imperative to over-communicate when managing a team of remote workers. Clearly define goals and processes, and ensure that your team understands them, and is potentially focussed on them.
▪️ Use Technology To Your Advantage
If you are managing a remote team, your company may need a digital transformation that tracks when your workers are working and for how long. All of this may seem daunting at first, may need not just months but years to figure out how. But there is some very easy technology which helps these transitions in days. Some of them like zoom, google docs, google hangout, and Microsoft team help with collectively figuring this out. Having a document edited in google Docs can help with each team collectively editing a document and not having to communicate on each one’s progress and connecting with each one once in a while to ensure smooth work. Technology can be your best friend when working remotely, use it to your advantage.
▪️ Establish Rules Of Engagement
Setting rules of engagement or ROE as called in the military is essential. Remote work becomes less draining when employees have these simple rules as to who their reporting manager is or who to reach out to in case of emergencies. A simple rule such as “ We video conference for daily check-in meetings, but we do a regular call in case of emergencies” can really help smoothen the process. Also establishing work timings when working remotely is crucial. You don’t want an employee reaching out to you really late at night and having work delayed. Ensure you reply on the dedicated work timing so the task is completed and all doubts are cleared when all your team is most active.
▪️ Manage Expectations
Sometimes we assume that the team knows where to focus their energy and hence don’t clearly communicate it to them. For example, a project regarding a creative launch of a campaign is to be made. We communicate and set expectations regarding what the campaign objectives are and who we want to reach out to. But what we fail to define is what the team should be focused on. We assume that the team knows that the essential part of the creative is to have a creative which is engaging. Set those expectations clearly so there’s no room for error when it comes to having a project successfully delivered.
▪️ Make Outcomes Important, Not Activity
This is crucial to empowering your employees & increasing their engagement. Don’t micromanage your employees. It leads to stress and too much energy spent on tasks we neither want ourselves nor our employees to be focussed on. Tell them what has to be done, not on the activity every day. give them the liberty to execute it and reach out to you in case of emergencies. Give them the resources they need to execute it and explicitly mention the desired outcome.
▪️ Embrace Cultural Differences And Viewpoints
Remote workers mean hiring employees from different parts of the globe with varied viewpoints. Diversity while challenging can also prove as a benefit to your company especially if your business is global.
A multicultural team gives a broader perspective of the world and how problems can be solved effectively. To manage this diverse view its essential that the entire company embrace these cultural differences and not try to make people fit into their way of working and thinking.
▪️ Create Remote Team Building Activities
In the way, you create virtual meetings for work with employees you can also do virtual team-building exercises. Involve your team in coming up with ideas.
Do various games and ensure that there is a strong bond between team members.
▪️ Provide Remote Specific Training
With time each employee needs to learn new skills in order to take on roles and be equipped with all the resources necessary to tackle the challenges.
Nurture your employees and provide them with remote training so they are in trend with the keeping times and help boost your productivity.
We all have to realize that remote working is here to stay. As ever, it’s important to be open-minded and focus on how you as a manager can remove blockers and foster great collaboration. As Richard Branson once said
“The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers”
Happy team members = happy customers. When you manage a team and its remote environment effectively there’s nothing that can beat remote employees.
They come with huge benefits and the results are noticeable when you see developers that write cleaner code, managers that are more engaged, and the support team giving an extra push to delight your customers.