Employees have always wanted more freedom in their work, and employers who provided them with it became more popular. Due to that, more and more companies all over the world started adopting a remote type of work even before coronavirus started. However, managers struggled to maintain a sense of control over their employees.
How can that be fixed?
Some people indeed find remote work more appealing than others. But, it’s the manager’s responsibility to ensure all employees still have a healthy and pleasant work environment. So, how can you manage your remote team?
01. Ensure everyone is well-equipped
One of the biggest benefits of a remote work environment is no office spaces. A business owner doesn’t have to pay for rent, transportation fees, or utility bills when employees are working remotely. In addition to that, employees don’t have to waste time and money on the commute and similar expenses.
However, for successful and smooth remote workflow, an employer needs to provide everyone with adequate equipment. The best solution would be to provide workstations for everyone, which includes laptops, mouses, headphones, and similar. If that isn’t possible, offer instructions such as how to prepare your mac for remote work. From time to time, check if everyone’s equipment is functional and serviced for work.
02. Set common goals and rules
To keep your team moving forward even if they are located in different places you need to set some common rules and goals. Without rules and boundaries, the flexibility a remote work is offering can turn into anarchy. So, even though you may offer flexible hours, set team meetings and other necessary dos and don’ts in advance, to help your team manage uncertainty and unfamiliar situations.
Besides setting the rules, ensure you’ve set some goals as well. Each team should have a common goal they are working towards. Ensure that goal is specific, time-bound, relevant, measurable, and achievable for your team according to their strengths and weaknesses.
03. Help individuals achieve their goals
Even though the team has a common, work-related goal for a certain period, each member of that team also has individual goals and desires. Help each individual discover their strengths and weaknesses and use them to create and improve a career path for them. Working remotely can be difficult, so reminding one of their strengths is necessary in difficult times.
How can you help your employees develop their careers when working remotely? While some people are more proactive than others, everyone has a certain goal they want to achieve. Some may want to obtain new skills, create new connections, or get higher pay. Help them on that way of improvement by setting individual goals to keep them motivated.
04. Focus on results, rather than activity
One of the traps remote work managers frequently fall into is tracking activity and ignoring the results. Employees are required to log their online time on various apps and keep up with the working schedule at all times. The truth is, that can be demotivating and tiring. So, if you want to manage your remote team properly, focus on the results instead of a sole activity.
Even though you shouldn’t completely disregard the activity, always place results first. In some cases, employees could invest a lot of effort but the results aren’t simply there. Try to see where the issue is, and solve it together with the employee or the whole team. That will bring everyone together and generate fantastic ideas that can help everyone.
05. Reach out often
Having a manager that truly cares about employees is a valuable asset and pleasant work culture most people dream of. While remote work allows employees additional flexibility and autonomy in their work, it can feel isolating and lonely from time to time. So, try to reach out often to your team and check in on them as frequently as you could.
Reaching out should be part of your company’s culture and communication strategy. A lot of famous companies follow this principle and therefore succeed in retention and overall, on the market. Check out internal communication examples by some of the biggest organizations and implement this principle in your team. They will appreciate it and be more willing to open up and share about their lives.
Whether you work remotely or from the office, feedback should be an integral part of every business strategy. A lot of traditional companies that utilize top-down communication have toxic and unhealthy environments. However, sharing and receiving feedback can help you create a pleasant environment and a better space for everyone!
Organize one-on-one meetings to share and ask for feedback from your employees. Did you know that employees consider feedback to be one of the most important aspects of work? Learn how to provide constructive feedback. If your team isn’t willing to openly share their thoughts, use surveys to check their opinion on different subjects and gain insight into the way they think.
07. Encourage virtual activities
To successfully manage a remote team, you shouldn’t be all work and no play. You need to cut your staff some slack and indulge in virtual activities and games that will bring you together! If you work from different parts of the world, find a suitable time slot that works for everyone, and suggest some activities and games you can play to strengthen the bond of your team.
Online team bonding activities create more productive and healthier teams that indulge in teamwork. They will be more motivated and productive, as well as willing to cover for one another. Team spirit is hard to achieve in a remote work environment, but once it’s there, you’ll run your team with ease.
Managing a remote team isn’t as simple as it seems. Since they aren’t physically near the headquarters, managers might struggle to maintain a sense of control over their work. However, with these tips, anyone can manage a team working remotely and be successful in it!