Manage Your Remote Team Like a Boss
In the modern world, there are countless good reasons to have a remote working team. Whether it be for the flexibility for your employees, or space restrictions in the office, remote working has become much more common for a good reason. However, this surge in the popularity of remote working doesn’t mean the transition will be easy.
Learning to manage remote workers is an entirely different skillset from a team, all sharing the same office/building space. Then, if your remote workers are from around the world, there comes the issue of cultural differences and timezones that make the switch much harder than most people expect.
Not to mention people working from home for reasons like the coronavirus or anything else akin. Some remote workers may not be experienced in managing themselves in their new work environment, and remote working may become detrimental to their productivity.
How do you ensure that everyone can work as effectively as possible remotely?
There are many things you can do to help support remote working and ensure that productivity stays at a suitable level.
Clear and Understandable Directions
There is a lot of room for miscommunication when there is a distance between two people. Whether it be directions given via email, message or even phone call, communication is much less effective when you can’t speak face to face. As such, it’s essential that when you ask something of someone or try to point a colleague at a task, you are clear in your directions. Outline everything you expect, with as much detail as required in simple and easy to follow directions.
Keep Tasks Small
There are already countless distractions and ways to get overwhelmed when working remotely. The best use of everyone’s time is to break tasks into smaller, easier to manage parts that can be delegated. Keeping jobs small can help leave room for error and avoid further miscommunications.
When you’re not looking at someone coming into the office every day, it’s easy to forget to talk to them. Remote workers can be easily overlooked for weeks at a time without communication. This problem can lead to serious repercussions like late projects or tasks done incorrectly for extended periods. This trap can be easy to avoid if you start setting reminders and get into the habit of checking in on your remote workers daily. If you make it apart of your morning or end-of-day routine to get in contact with all of your remote workers, you’d be in good shape.
Remote workers can be easily left out of the loop if you’re not careful. An excellent way to avoid this is to try and treat them like any other employee, with one on one meetings and even casual banter. A casual conversation at the workplace isn’t a waste of time and can help create an environment of better teamwork and general communication. Before starting meetings with remote workers, it isn’t a waste to ask them questions about their weekend, vacation, family, or anything else you might talk about with an on-site colleague.
Using the Right Tools
Not all conferencing tools are made equal in the business world. Having a unified system that allows remote workers to use the same system as on-site employees can be an incredibly essential tool for delegation of work and communication. Consider a business telephone system that can handle phone calls, video calls, emails and everything else, from any location.
Helping Remote Workers
Individuals who are new to remote working or struggling to settle in will start to fall into very similar traps. There are so many more distractions at home, and it can be incredibly challenging to focus and be productive while in your own space. Furthermore, with the introduction of new tools and technologies, more issues may arise throughout the early stages of working remotely.
To help avoid this problem, ensure that everyone understands the system they are expected to work on. Create an environment where asking questions is okay and offer support when problems do arise.
Additionally, having one on one conversations with remote workers to understand their situation or how their work has been going can help catch struggling employees early. New remote workers may need time to settle into their new spaces, so delegating them lesser amounts of work while adjusting can help avoid mistakes and late projects. It’s best to check in on your remote workers frequently to understand what they can handle in terms of workload and what methods work best in terms of how the work is assigned to them.