There is a lot of talk about managing remote teams amidst the COVID-19 crisis. With so many people going into social isolation, the workforce has been depleted and changed. Project managers are trying to find alternative ways to finish up their work, with various degrees of success.
However, not everything has to be so bleak! A good project manager can learn quite a bit from this situation – and help change their team for the better! With a good collaboration platform, ppm portfolio and some patience, you too will be able to manage your remote team well in no time!
Find alternative ways to communicate
One of the first thing you need to figure out is how you will stay in touch with your team. Being in self-quarantine means you do not have the opportunity for office meetings anymore or chatting to each other in the office hallways. So, moving everything to the digital world makes sense. Luckily, there is a whole world of opportunity here! Finding the right platform is what can seem difficult.
With so much on offer, you can be hard-pressed to make your decision. Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts finally had their time to shine – but they can only go so far. When it comes to meeting, they are the perfect tools – but you will also need something for instant communication and collaboration – so make sure you search for it!
And as far as the meeting go, you should try to hold them regularly. For example, once per week seems to be an optimal number with majority of remote teams. You will want to discuss the upcoming week with all of its tasks for the team and the expectations you might have. Also, you should be open for questions and suggestions, and talk about the week prior. It is your job to help your team get used to working remotely, so try to discover what might be difficult for them and how to fix these problems. You can never know what a brainstorming session can do – so involve your team in the conversation.
Finally, it’s also imperative that you do not forget about casual talk, as well. Isolation can be quite stressful for some people and getting no chance to chit-chat can be horrible. So, create windows of opportunity for your team to have a relaxed conversation. They will enjoy the social interaction, and it will also boost the collaboration in the team – so it’s a win-win situation.
Flexibility is one of the most important factors in managing your remote team well
One of the biggest issues you will meet when working remotely is managing time. It’s simple, really – working from home means having to deal with so many distractions. From binging your favorite TV shows and hanging on social media to spending time with your family or your pets, it might seem like your day is full – with no time for work. This is why it is of utmost importance to create a good schedule and workflow plan for your team.
However, you should also remember not to be too strict about this schedule. You need to trust your team and let them handle their own work. It’s all about switching your focus – do not monitor the time they spend on a task, but whether or not they accomplished it. This will in turn empower them and build trust between them and you – which is extremely important when you want to manage your remote team well.
Find the perfect collaboration platform
Finally, all of this work cannot stay in the “office meetings” or the communication app you have. Instead, you need a place where your team can share their resources and ideas and collaborate on tasks. Making this access to resources easy for your team is your priority.
Again, we are in luck that the technology has advanced to offer easy solutions for this as well. There are many amazing project management tools which will allow perfect ways to collaborate and share. What’s more, they offer various ways to do this, through various platforms as well as offline. By using them, not only will you be able to work remotely with easy, but you will have strong systems in place when the crisis is over – and a much better team as well.
About the author: Content writer at Nifty, the leader in project management tools. Petar Djordjevic balances between his Mathematics studies and his love of writing. At the moment, he also learning about content optimization and ways to boost website users’ experience while finishing his studies.