Managing a remote workforce may not be something you planned, but times have changed and companies all over the world are transitioning to new, virtual work environments.
There are pros and cons of having a digital office, and the ability to adapt will be one of the keys to success. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of managing a remote team, implementing a few strategies can help to streamline day-to-day tasks.
In the following article, we share our top tips for remote team management.
Technology will be your best friend when you are leading a remote team. Optimize your workforce by implementing intelligent, cloud-based solutions.
For example, project management software will help you delegate tasks, track progress, coach your team, and compile reports. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is for managing communication and closing sales. Any technology you use should be user friendly and available on a range of devices.
Stick to a Routine
Your staff may find it hard to stay motivated while working from home. You can boost morale by creating a virtual routine. Find a suitable platform that can be used for project discussions and general chit chat.
Your team can meet via video for a morning check-in, or a coffee break towards the end of the day. Weekly meetings can be a good opportunity to get feedback and provide updates, but keep them short and sweet.
Traditional team-building exercises will have to be put on hold, but you can invite them to optional virtual activities such as a group movie night.
Your team is probably used to face-to-face communication, and they may feel alone when working from a remote location. If this is a new setup, there may be a learning curve, so you should be prepared to answer any questions until your team has gained confidence.
Be available via different mediums including phone, e-mail, and chat. Depending on your workplace structure, you may like to break your team into groups so they have others to connect with.
You should be approachable, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time for yourself. Let your team know your work hours, and dedicate time each day to deal with their correspondence.
Now is the time to have trust in your team. Find a project management solution with scheduling flexibility to give your staff more options. For example, you may like to invest in software to help you manage every part of your business from projects to staff rosters.
They may have other commitments to juggle, and if possible, you should offer flexibility. This could mean creating adaptable work hours such as 7 to 3 instead of 9 to 5. Or, basing their performance on task completion, rather than hours worked.
Managing a Remote Team
More teams are transitioning to a virtual workplace. While this is a convenient and safe way to keep your business running, it does require organization and good management.
The right tools and technology will support your team and ensure everyone knows what is expected of them. Stick to a routine with regular meetings to stay connected, and be available to answer any questions. If possible, be flexible with timelines and expectations, because your team members may need to work at unusual hours.