5 Tips to Manage Remote Teams Like a Pro
58% of the 25,000 respondents said that they work from home at least one day a week. 35% of them said that they have the choice to be able to work from home five days a week. And a whopping 87% said that they will take a job that allows them to work flexibly.
Do you see where this is going? People want remote working! They want flexibility. They want to spend time with their loved ones and still have a career. They want to be able to go buy groceries at 2:00 PM without seeking written permission from their manager.
The whole concept of making adults sit in a room like school kids is starting to fade away, and rightfully so. Most workers are responsible adults, and they can work with responsibility whether someone is looking over their shoulder or not.
But is it really possible to manage staff if they are not in the office? What if they are not really ‘working’? And wouldn’t there be a lack of coordination if everyone is not in the same building?
Well, in this article, we will try to answer all these questions through the 5 tips to manage remote teams. So, let’s dive into it.
1. Trust Them to Get the Job Done
If you watch movies from the 80s or 90s, you’ll notice something very peculiar about workplaces. Generally, there’s a mean boss standing behind an employee and managing every single aspect of their job. But such behavior should not be encouraged in modern times. We can do way better than that.
You see, trust is a very important aspect of remote work. You have to believe that your remote team will do the right thing sincerely even when no one is watching. As a manager of a remote team, once you establish trust, working with your staff becomes a heck of a lot easier. On the other hand, if you don’t even trust remote employees, that may put a lot of stress on them, too. As a result, they may start looking for a company that trusts them.
- Research suggests that many employers are still not willing to let staff work remotely. The main reason behind this is a lack of trust. However, not trusting employees may result in stress and job dissatisfaction.
- If you manage remote teams, you should judge them by the outcomes they produce instead of counting the hours they work.
- Many articles on the internet suggest over-communication and daily checking-in sessions. However, this may not always be the best idea. You should try to only communicate when necessary. This will save your time, and theirs, too.
- Human connections are important when you manage remote teams. Try to make remote team members feel like a part of an organization. Encourage them to interact with each other and wish them well on special occasions.
- Use more technology than just email and Slack. Choose the right software and online platforms as per your needs.
2. Measure the Results, Not the Hours Worked
When it comes to knowledge work, it's the outcome that you should focus on. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the remote team will get away with working merely 2 hours a day. It may take them 2 hours or 10 hours to complete a task—but if they’re diligent and talented, they will give their best on every task. And that’s the only thing that should matter.
3. Check-In on Them Only When Necessary
4. Don’t Let the Distance Make Them Feel Distant
If you want to manage remote teams efficiently, you must have a high emotional quotient (EQ). After all, you’re dealing with humans, not robots. So, a personal connection is key here. This can be done in several ways. First, you could organize monthly video conferences and ensure that every team member knows others on the team. Then, you could also encourage team members to add each other on social networking platforms like LinkedIn.
Finally, to add more personal touch, make sure you wish them on their birthdays and anniversaries, give them encouragement when they achieve a goal, and be available for them if they need help.
5. Use Software and Online PlatformsWhen you manage remote teams, it’s likely that you’ll use emails, Slack, and Zoom. But you could consider more software services depending on your needs. Let’s dig deeper.
(A sneak peek of Monday.com project management platform)Monday.com, for instance, is a platform that is widely popular among managers who manage remote teams. As you can see in the image, this platform allows you to give ownership of tasks to different team members, set priorities, add tags, and even upload files once the task is completed. The interface is well-designed and doesn’t have much clutter. The best part is, you could also integrate it with Gmail and Slack. How convenient!
(A sneak peek of Notion in action)Another platform that can come in handy is Notion. Notion is another very renowned platform used by remote workers. Notion is like Google Docs on steroids! Along with the usual features of Docs, Notion also has project management capabilities. This platform can also cut the need for those time-consuming meetings as it enables one to view the progress of every task with a few clicks.
Apart from the aforementioned platforms, you could also try Trello, Microsoft Projects, Wrike, and Asana, to name a few. Remember, emails and messages are obvious parts of remote work. However, you could make things far more efficient by using additional software.
Final ThoughtsRemote work is here to stay. However, it could either be completely remote or a hybrid of remote and office work. So, no matter how much companies disagree with it, the market has made its decision.
On a positive note, businesses no longer need to rent huge offices and pay enormous running costs like electricity, water, and other utilities. If you’re open-minded to remote work as a business owner, it may be the best blessing you’ve received in business. Furthermore, employees find happiness in flexibility. And happy employees are productive employees. And productive employees bring big profits to the company. So, give them what they want, and you’ll get what you want in return as well.
Now, once you’ve hired top talent, you may also want to know the tactics to retain them. A few months ago, the Great Resignation was on the rise. Many talented workers left their jobs and went on their own paths. So, if you want some tips on how to retain your best team members, check this out: 3 Antidotes to the Great Resignation