It is becoming more and more likely that you will lead a remote team. Technology has made it a lot easier for people to work from home and still do the same quality of work as before, and this offers great benefits to many workers. Still, as a manager, you need to be able to get the most out of these teams and your leadership style may need to adapt a little.
Here are some tips to help you manage your remote team.
1. Define expectations.
When someone starts working in a physical office, they go through a full onboarding process that clearly sets out expectations. However, when people start working remotely, they don’t always get this crucial step. It is sometimes assumed that working remotely should be just like working in the office, except that you are doing it at home. However, this is not the case and clear expectations must be set as if someone were new to the office.
2. Clear communication.
It is not easy to manage a group of people all over the world. To ensure that you are keeping everyone on the same page, you need to make your communications extremely efficient. This works both individually and as a team. People need to know what they are doing as a team and as an individual, and this means you need to be adaptable in your communication. Fortunately, technology can be of great help in this, and Gantt chart software can make a world of difference.
3. Results about activity.
When people work remotely, you won’t know what they’re doing every minute of the day. Instead, you need to trust that they are taking the right action and getting the results you want (and if they can’t, they will seek help). Getting too involved in micromanaging people’s time will make the complication a lot more complicated. Instead, instead of actually monitoring the results, you should focus on the results and help your team figure out the ways to get the most of their time.
4. Make resources available.
You want your remote workers to have access to as many resources as possible. They may not work from a head office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer them similar support. If your company is heavily invested in remote workers, it should create resources that make their lives easier. The more you can do this, the more your business will benefit from higher performance. Working remotely is not always easy for people, but when you can provide good resources it becomes a lot easier.
5. Build a community.
People’s work is an important part of their life whether they work from an office or from home. When everyone works in one headquarters, it’s much easier to build a sense of community. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do the same for your remote teams. A sense of community is important, and if you can successfully create one, it will result in happier, more productive employees. It might be a small detail, but everyone wants to feel part of something bigger, and you can still achieve this by managing a remote team.