It’s becoming more and more likely that you will find yourself managing a remote team. Technology has made it much easier for people to work from home and still do the same quality of work as before, and this offers great benefits for many workers. As a manager, you still need to be able to get the most out of those teams though, and your management style might have to adapt a little.
Here are some tips to help you manage your remote team.
1. Define Expectations.
When someone starts work in a physical office, they’ll go through a whole onboarding process that clearly sets out expectations. When people start working remotely, they don’t always get this vital step though. It’s sometimes assumed that working remotely should be just like working from the office apart from you do it at home. However, this is not the case, and clear expectations need to be set out, just as if someone were new to the office.
2. Clear Communication.
Managing a group of people who are spread out over the world isn’t easy. To make sure you keep everyone on the same page, you’ve got to be extremely efficient with your communication. This works both on an individual basis and as a team. People need to know what they’re doing as both a team and an individual, and this means you need to be adaptable in your communication. Luckily, technology can be a big help with this, and Gantt Chart Software can make a huge difference.
3. Outcomes Over Activity.
When people are working remotely, you’re not going to know what they’re doing every minute of the day. Instead, you’ve got to trust they’re taking the right actions and will achieve the desired outcomes (and if they can’t they will seek help). If you become too involved in micromanaging people’s time, then it’s going to make complicated much more complicated. Instead, you should focus on outcomes, and help your team find the ways that allow them to get the most of their time rather than actually policing them.
4. Make Resources Available.
You want your remote workers to have access to as many resources as possible. They may not be working in a central office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer them a similar level of support. If your business is heavily invested in remote workers, then it should be creating resources that make these employee’s life easier. The more you can do this, the more your business benefits from increased output. Working remotely isn’t always easy for people, but if you can make good resources available, it becomes much simpler.
5. Build a Community.
People’s work is a massive part of their lives whether they work from an office or home. When everyone works in a central office it’s much easier to build a sense of community, but this doesn’t mean you can’t do the same thing for your remote teams. Having a sense of community is important, and if you can successfully create one, it will lead to 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 when managing a remote team.