Remote work is becoming increasingly popular, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic forced many businesses to work from home. Remote working offers flexibility for staff and cuts down on overhead expenditure. Unfortunately, it comes with challenges for managers because they can’t monitor their team in person. Instead, leaders need to adapt and find different methods of keeping their team’s productivity up. Luckily, there are plenty of tried and tested methods that aren’t too far removed from the traditional office.
Set Clear Working Methods
Every business will have different methods of keeping in touch and assigning work. No matter how you decide on communicating with your team, it’s essential to set clear expectations. When everyone is on the same page, you won’t waste time chasing people for work, and you’ll see productivity increase.
Maintain Meeting Structure
Even though your team is working remotely, you should try and keep the working day as structured as possible. If you usually hold weekly reviews and staff meetings, make sure you keep to the same schedule. When you carry out a virtual staff meeting, make sure you create a strict content guide to keep you on track.
Build Strong Team Relationships
When a team is spread out worldwide, it can be difficult to build working relationships. You will need to make an effort to arrange virtual activities to help nurture strong employee relationships. There are plenty of options to choose from including virtual escape rooms and remote trivia from BreakoutIQ.
Hold Daily Huddles
Before you get started with the day, hold a brief check-in with your team. This will offer a platform for employees to voice concerns and ask questions. For management, you have a platform to monitor your team’s wellbeing and track project progress. You don’t need to let the huddle drag on, but it should be carried out regularly.
Listen Carefully and Ask Questions
When you talk in person you can read body language to help you derive inferences. Unfortunately, reading between the lines is much more difficult in a remote work setting. Therefore, you need to learn to listen intently and ask questions to help you gain a full picture.
Have Trust in Your Team
Managing a remote team means having more trust in your employees than in a traditional setting. You won’t be able to stand over their shoulder or carry out checks as regularly. You hired your team for a reason, so set them their tasks and let them do what they do best. Use your morning huddles and regular 1-1 meetings to track progress. If you recognize that an employee isn’t pulling their weight, set them tighter goals and have more regular meetings.
Allow Regular Breaks
When you work from home, it’s easy to put more work in than you would in a traditional setting. Unfortunately, this is less productive and can lead to burnout. Make sure you and your team have plenty of breaks to recharge the batteries.
Managing a remote team requires trust and open communication. You need to follow a clear structure and manage your time effectively. Follow the guidelines above and you’re onto a good start.