The current pandemic has made remote working a necessity for companies around the globe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 44% of U.S. employees are working from home 5 days or more per week, a share that was around 17% before the pandemic, according to the data published by Statista. As a result, several team leaders and managers have suddenly found themselves managing a completely remote team.
Remote working offers several benefits during the current crisis. It not only helps companies cut overhead costs but also facilitates a flexible work schedule for employees and allows them to handle work with personal engagements at their own pace, according to a blog published by Monmouth Computer Associates, LLC. However, it is important to learn how to properly manage a remote team through these times.
Here are 6 helpful tips to better manage your remote team:
#1 Communicate More
One of the most difficult things about working from home, especially for those used to an office environment, is the sense of loneliness and isolation. That is why managers should regularly communicate with the team members and lift their spirits.
#2 Manage Expectations
You should set achievable objectives for yourself and your team. It involves defining the scope, deadlines, and deliverables for each assignment so that your team knows exactly what you are expecting from them.
#3 Invest in Business Tools & Technology
If you expect your team members to work for several months and maintain their normal productivity, you should make some investment in hardware and software, according to an article by Forbes. Make sure that you cover the basics (high-speed WiFi, good ergonomic chair, and monitor for their laptop) and some free or low-cost communication software such as Skype and Microsoft Teams.
#4 Be Flexible
You should understand that regular working hours may not be possible for most employees at home. It is better to trust your team and give them the freedom and flexibility to complete the assignments on the schedule that helps them be the most productive.
#5 Focus on Outcomes
Managing a remote team should not go to extremes. You shouldn’t micromanage them, nor should you let them completely free. Your team may be distributed across different locations. So, take regular reports and focus on the outcomes to measure their performance.
#6 Increase Recognition
You should openly discuss during the virtual meetings the barriers your team may have overcome or how their peers may have helped. It will help you identify elements to recognize, thank, and share the accomplishments of your team members.
You should understand that even post pandemic, remote working is here to stay. That is why your focus should be on learning new ways to effectively lead remote employees and boost productivity any way you can. Small business IT solutions for working remotely are critical at this time and we are here to help you.