Remote work has revolutionized the modern workplace by providing flexibility, inclusivity, and accessibility.
It has enabled employees to work from anywhere, which has improved work-life balance, reduced commute time, and increased job satisfaction. It has also opened up employment opportunities for those who live in remote areas, have disabilities or need to care for family members.
However, managing remote teams presents a new set of challenges for managers. Supervisors have to learn how to build trust, facilitate communication, and maintain team cohesion, despite the physical distance between team members.
This requires a shift in leadership style and the use of new tools and techniques to ensure that team members stay connected, informed, and motivated.
The lack of face-to-face interaction can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and a lack of clarity around roles and expectations.
Below are some best practices for managing remote teams and how to set them up for success.
Best Practices For Managing Remote Teams:
Foster Team Cohesion
When team members work remotely, they may feel isolated, leading to a lack of motivation, disengagement, and reduced productivity. Therefore, it’s crucial for managers to promote collaboration, communication, and a sense of belonging among team members.
Fostering team cohesion in remote teams can be challenging, but there are several strategies that managers can use. First, managers can encourage regular communication among team members through regular check-ins, virtual coffee breaks, and team-building activities. This helps to create a sense of camaraderie and fosters a feeling of connection among team members.
Managers can promote partnership among team members by providing access to collaboration tools and creating a culture of teamwork. This encourages team members to work together, share ideas, and support each other. Proper team cohesion helps to promote collaboration, communication, and a sense of belonging among team members. This can lead to improved productivity, higher job satisfaction, and increased employee retention KPI.
Use The Right Communication Tools
It’s tough to ensure that everyone is completely harmonious and that all projects get completed on time. Therefore, managers need to select the communication tools to ensure that their remote teams can communicate effectively.
Some of the best communication tools for remote teams include instant messaging, video conferencing, and email. Instant messaging tools allow team members to communicate in real-time, making collaborating and sharing ideas easier. Video conferencing tools enable team members to connect virtually, promoting a sense of face-to-face interaction and making it easier to conduct team meetings or one-on-one check-ins.
Email is also a crucial communication tool, particularly for asynchronous communication. It allows team members to communicate important information, share documents, and provide feedback on their own schedules. Managers can also check out Vevox, allowing them to create and send polls to their team members. This feature can gather team feedback and better understand their opinions on a specific topic. By using various communication tools available online, managers can ensure that their remote teams can communicate effectively and efficiently. This leads to improved productivity, increased collaboration, and a better overall work experience.
Trust is one of the most critical components of managing remote teams. When employees work remotely, managers have to rely on them to get their work done, and they cannot supervise them in the same way they would in an office. As a result, trust becomes a critical component of managing remote teams effectively.
When employees trust their managers, they are more likely to feel comfortable asking for help, sharing feedback, and collaborating effectively. Trust also fosters a sense of security and psychological safety, allowing employees to feel more comfortable taking risks and being creative.
Building trust in remote teams can be challenging, but there are several strategies that managers can use to establish it. These include being transparent in communication, showing empathy and understanding, giving team members autonomy and control over their work, and being available to answer questions and offer guidance when needed. Building trust helps foster a productive work environment, promotes accountability, and ensures that employees feel valued and supported.
Set Clear Expectations
Employees working remotely may not have the same level of guidance and oversight as they would in a traditional office setting. Therefore, it is essential to establish clear expectations and guidelines to ensure everyone pursues the same aim.
Managers should establish clear goals and objectives for their remote teams. This helps to give team members a clear sense of what is expected of them, what they need to achieve, and how they will be evaluated. Clear objectives provide a sense of direction and purpose for the team and help team members to stay focused and motivated.
Managers also need to establish clear communication protocols. This includes expectations around when and how team members should communicate, how often check-ins should occur, and how to share updates and feedback. Clear communication protocols help to ensure that everyone is informed and up-to-date and that work is done on time and to the desired standard.
When expectations are clear to everyone, it promotes a sense of direction, accountability, and purpose and helps to ensure that work is completed efficiently and to a high standard. By setting clear expectations, managers can create a positive work environment that supports the needs and preferences of their remote teams.
Train Your Remote Team
Constant skill improvement is a must in today’s work environment. Remote employees need to feel that they are doing their job well, but also that they are developing their skills and becoming better every single week.
With a deluge of useful artificial intelligence-based tools, it’s easy for employees to fall behind and feel that one day machines will replace them. That’s why it’s crucial that you implement a regular training protocol so that everyone can start using the newest tools.
This can motivate a remote team like nothing else and boost productivity as well.
Managing remote teams doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many useful tools and management protocols available that a remote team can often outperform a locally based team.
If you find ways to foster team cohesion, use the right communication tools, build trust, set clear expectations, and develop your employee’s skills, there’s no telling what you can accomplish together.