Working from home has become the new normal.
The benefits of working remotely are obvious. To only name a few: On one hand, it allows savings for the companies and enables international teams to connect and bond together.
On the other hand, remote employees can work and live anywhere they want with a reliable internet connection and avoid any daily commute time.
But despite these perks, many organizations and remote teams are facing the same issue: how to successfully manage a remote team?
This post explores what remote management entails, why it’s useful for both organizations and employees, how remote managers can successfully lead a remote team, as well as some of the tools that can help you to do so!
The basics of Remote Management
What is Remote Management?
Remote management is the use of adapted communication, techniques, and new technologies to manage and oversee a team who works remotely.
Remote management can be achieved through regular meetings with remote team members, virtual collaboration through video conferencing tools, or daily chats about any work-related topic.
Why shall you care about remote management?
You might be an accomplished manager and strong team leader in the office – and we don’t doubt that not even for a second! But you need to know that managing a team that is working remotely is quite different.
In remote management, motivation, organization, and communication are the keys to success.
Your main objective is to make your collaborators feel like they are part of a strong, cohesive, engaging remote unit and keep them focused and organized in their work.
Remote managers can help overcome the challenges of working from home such as feeling lonely or isolated, getting lost in processes, struggling with a specific software, etc.
What are the advantages of managing your remote team?
If you are able to correctly manage your remote team, you’ll be able to notice a few advantages:
Keep contact with your employees
One of the main advantages of managing a remote team is to keep in touch with your different collaborators and have regular updates on company projects.
Make your employees feel part of the team
Well managed employees will automatically feel like they are part of the team. And you know how the sense of belonging can be extremely important to keep remote team members satisfied and committed to the company.
Staff performance improvement
Giving your employees the right process, the right resources, the right reports, and the right support will make them feel confident and will definitely improve their performance.
Limit employees’ turnover
If your remote employees are well led and know how to do their job efficiently and in autonomy, they can be independent.
They’ll be able to do their tasks whenever they want, wherever they want – as long as they don’t forget that Monday morning team meeting to kick off the week right! 😉
They finally feel free, and this new work/life balance gives them the confidence to keep that job that allows them to do so much more!
Save money for office space
If you’re able to handle your company’s remote workforce correctly, then the benefits outweigh the costs.
Your company may be able to avoid the cost of renting or buying an office which can have huge savings in the long run.
Remote managers: How too successfully manage your remote team?
Below are a few tips to help remote managers successfully lead their remote team:
Provide the right tools to ease up remote work
Remote managers need to implement and encourage their teams in a number of different tools in order for the team members to feel like they are working from an office space.
They need to know how to access tools, know what the processes in place are and which platform they should use for any purpose.
Some tools you could start with are:
- Slack or Microsoft Teams for daily chats
- Asana or Trello for project management follow-up
- Zoom, Skype for Enterprise or Microsoft teams for video calls
If you want to know more about those options, make sure to check out our Top 5 productivity tools post on the blog.
Overall, choose the software(s) or tool(s) that will fit your needs and try to limit the number to 2 or 3 tops! And don’t forget to train your team on how to use them!
Establish clear channels of remote communication
Once you define your tools, one of the most important points is to establish very clear channels of remote communication. This will prevent any miscommunication with your remote staff.
“For written updates on this project, use this specific channel on Slack.”‘
“For the weekly business meetings, connect via the recurring video conference link of Zoom.”
“For sending a note to keep track of the done work, you can do it with this productivity tool.”
Whatever the communication process you put into place, remember to keep it easy for your team and to make sure everyone understands the communication means in place.
If needed, don’t hesitate to create a written and clear process.
Incite social connection
After establishing the common ground for this remote communication to work efficiently, make sure you incite a social connection with all team members.
Whether it is written communication (chat, emails) calls or video calls, give them the chance to contact you at all work times for those who need it the most.
Write with caution
Writing feedback by email/chat can sometimes sound harsher or more condemning when on paper – or well on screen – than when spoken out loud.
As a result, you should be a bit more careful with the words you pick to express yourself when managing a remote team.
Make sure to read-proof the digital “tone of voice” of your message before sending it!
Find the right balance of autonomy and control
Give your remote employees some freedom by giving them a clear goal, set up boundaries for what they need to do, and allow them to work on their own time.
You’ll have more success in managing remote workers if you let go of micro-managing tasks. So just learn to trust your very competent team. You know they can do it!
Don’t forget about your team, keep motivating them
If you want remote staff to be engaged and committed, then make them feel like they are valuable to your company. No matter if they are miles and miles away!
It’s not because now they work remotely that your business reward system should be forgotten.
Give them feedback
This point is crucial! Make sure to regularly give remote employees feedback on their work, so they know where they stand.
They might feel lost sometimes working by themselves, so this could be the only way for them to get an idea of how well they are doing in your company if there are any improvements that need to be made, and overall, stay connected with you as their manager.
Meet at least once in a while
Finally, if you can, organize an in-person reunion once in a while!
It might sound controversial with the idea of a remote team, but trust us, it’s good to create that glue that keeps the team united.
This will not only give employees a chance to see the team in person but also allow them to feel like they are still part of the company.
This might also be your opportunity to organize something fun and show them that their work is appreciated.
Remote management is not as difficult as it might seem. Actually, remote teams are sometimes easier to manage than others and can be more productive if you know how to do things right!
We hope these tips will help you create a productive and engaging remote work environment and find the remote management style that suits you and your team best!