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Manage Remote teams

10 Actionable Tips on How to Manage Remote Teams

Owning a business and managing a team are two entirely different responsibilities. Each business has a unique approach to culture, managing processes, and measuring progress. The pandemic era has forced each of us to reconsider our entire employment policies. This work-from-home policy If you are willing to set up a remote business or transition into being remote, the approach to leadership will be different.

Since this is the first time managers are in charge of managing remote employees, it can be scary and challenging to manage them efficiently and ensure that employees are productive, engaged, and growing personally. In this article, we have listed some of the top 10 tips to help you effectively manage remote teams in 2023.

Tips on How to Manage Remote Teams

1. Understand the challenges of remote working

Remote working is a less explored business system. Before learning about how to manage remote teams, If you want to successfully run your business with remote workers, you should understand the concept of remote working and the common challenges faced. Here are some of the challenges:

  • Face-to-face interaction is crucial to maintain better relationships with workers. The absence of in-person communication make makes your employees feel less connected to your company.
  • Using video calling all the time to foster better connections can have adverse effects. Requiring to keep the cameras on all the time can damage morale and shows that you are micromanaging. Let your employees decide if they want the camera to be turned on or off.
  • In remote working, it gets difficult to communicate with your employees for a quick conversation. Slack messages and emails can go unnoticed.
  • As remote employees work from home, employees might get exposed to many distractions like the surrounding environment, crying toddlers from a living room, internet fluctuations, etc.

2. Set realistic expectations and define goals clearly

In remote working, you cannot look at the employer’s cabin to contact them to know if they are being productive or not.  To avoid your remote workers from staying idle or being unproductive throughout their working day, it is important that you set the right expectations for day one. A remote worker should have a clear understanding of what you expect from them.

Setting expectations ensures that you and your remote employees are on the same page. While it may appear like remote employees can work all day every day, it is not possible for real. If you pressurize remote workers to do more just because they are working from home, they will burn out and feel less motivated to work. Thus, their productivity reduces.

3. Use the right tools

The important requirement of successfully managing remote employees is to make all the required tools accessible. Over the last few years, a wide range of collaboration tools has emerged to help manage remote teams’ work better. From creating tasks to project management and establishing communication within the team, these remote team management tools make it easy for managers to easily manage remote team work.

Most remote working can be carried out with a few additional tools and resources like access to communication tools and files, access to co-working space, digital video conferencing tools like zoom, etc. Some tasks might require in-person meetings due to security reasons, be prepared to accept the limits of remote work for a job or individual units within a larger division.

4. Track your employees progress

While tracking employees can help you get a view of the work done, too much oversight can reflect employees’ signs of mistrust. Trusting the process is crucial. If your remote workers are clearly communicating and meeting the deadlines, you need to trust the process and give them the freedom to work.

5. Embrace Cultural Differences

Remote working allows businesses to hire from different parts of the world. Thus the diversity of the workers is improved. However, with the increased diversity comes a responsibility for the managers to embrace the individual lives and work cultures of each employee.

If you want to hire remote workers across the globe, you should learn the habits and everyday tasks of each employee. This practice helps you build a personal connection with though it may see your employees and make them feel more motivated to work for your company. Invest some time reading about business practices in their countries and discuss with your employees their personal attitude towards the work.

6. Follow up with remote employees

If you ask about how often a manager should reach out to remote workers. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing remote team employees. Depending upon each employee and the nature of work, more or less frequent interaction may be required.

  • Measure the overall performance of each employee.
  • Work with each staff member to identify and eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Create strategies for employee professional development.

7. Focus on the outputs, not on the activity

In the traditional work system, an employee is considered to carry out full-day work as long as he is clocked in, is sitting at their desk, and leaves at the agreed time. Whereas, in the context of remote work, the home and workplace don’t have any clear boundaries. Thus, it is necessary to focus on what is delivered rather than focusing on the time spent by the employee sitting at a desk.

To measure outputs, you need to clearly define what should be accomplished over a given period of time. To make sure that tasks aren’t delayed, you need to create milestones with precise deadlines and schedule meetings to follow up on the progress. If you want to track the time taken by the employee to complete a task, there are plenty of time tracking and management tools available in the market.

8. Be ready to deal with technical problems

Now that you are looking for remote team management best practices while building a remote workflow model, you have to deal with the technical challenges that arise along the way. Most companies have a dedicated in-house technical team who can resolve the technical challenges met by the employees. As a company manager, you should ensure that your team is not delayed due to a technical issue faced by a team member that prevented him from accomplishing his task.

9. Create Feedback

Even if you are in constant touch with your remote workers, they may still find it difficult to evaluate their own work. Creating a remote team involves planning how remote employees should receive feedback. One good idea is to set up review meetings each week to chat with remote workers or have a one-on-one conversation with each employee. You can also choose to review the work of different employees at different times so that they get feedback when needed most.

10. Help your employees upskill

Because there are no visual boundaries between remote work and the traditional work setup, the whole workday of a remote employee can slip away in juggling between deadlines, tasks, and home. If there is no room for improvement, the performance of the employee reaches a stagnation stage. Offering training to your employees boosts their morale and sends a message that they are valued and important to the organization. The return is obtained in the form of productivity for your business and additional skillset in their resume.

Wrapping Up!

Learning how to manage your remote working team is challenging but not as difficult as it seems. While the main challenge comes with managing people from different countries, backgrounds, and cultures, you can manage remote teams effectively with the right tools and strategies. This article offers some practical tips for remote team management and your business productivity.

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