With the workforce being more remote than ever, managing your team has faced new and unpredicted challenges. Digitalization, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the work-life balance concept all contribute to the increase in working online. While working online comes with many benefits for the employees, managers might struggle a bit more. Having a remote team can make supervision, collaboration and communication harder. That’s why we at Moyyn decided to make this guide on how to manage your remote team. Hopefully it will remove some of your obstacles, and make you more confident in your role!
The challenges of managing your remote team
The number one challenge of managing a remote team is the lack of face-to-face supervision. Checking in on your team becomes more formal when you have to do it via email or a meeting, rather than just stopping by their desk. This reduces your access to information which is normally gathered by informal small talk. Not to mention how existing issues will be harder to manage on an online basis. Making a team collaborate is not easy, and with social isolation and distractions at home is only making it worse! So how can you deal with this situation?
How managers can better lead
To ensure that you stay up-to-date with how your team is doing, it’s important to schedule daily check-ins. Even if this is simply done through email, your team will create a habit of keeping you in the loop. By establishing these rules of engagement, you make sure that the focus always stays on communication. But since working remote involves technology, use it to your advantage. Most teams email, text or send out announcements, and the lack of communication exists already in the actual workplace. So, for successful collaboration it’s important to establish a frequent (online) face-to-face interaction. There are endless of ways to communicate nowadays, so get creative!
- Your manging style
How you manage your remote team sets the tone for the level of success later on. Make sure your team knows that you are there to mentor, not manage. When they struggle with their workload, show flexibility. When they are having a hard day, show empathy. Working remote is not easy, and you’re not there to make it harder. Trusting your employees that they will do a good job will reflect back on their work. Also try to always look for signs of stress, and reduce it wherever possible. By encouraging remote social interactions, employees will feel less socially isolated.
- Help the outcome
Promoting communication and being a nice manager is a good start, but there are things you can do to help the outcome of their work. You can’t expect your team to just know what to focus their work on. Manage and set clear expectations, and ask for feedback to make sure everyone understands. By clearly defining the goals you should then allow employees to work on their own. Focus on the outcome rather than the activity, giving your team room for creativity. Provide them with the right resources, remove obstacles, and encourage innovation – that is the key to successfully managing your remote team.
We hope this guide to managing your remote team was useful, and that you now feel more confident in your role! If you want to get more information on how to hire remote workers, we created a guide on the remote hiring process here.
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