Employer Resources

How to Manage a Remote Team

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Due to the pandemic, some of us have been thrown into remote work or tasked with managing a remote team. For some, it was a natural transition. To others, it was fraught with difficulties ranging from IT system shutdowns, to slow internet connections, to major miscommunications.

Regardless of which camp you sit in, remote working – though advantageous in many ways – has its fair share of disadvantages, particularly when managing employees. For example: 

  • How do you motivate a team? 
  • How do you build team unity? 
  • How do you maintain productivity? 

Here, we will answer those questions so you can learn how to manage a remote team quickly and efficiently. 

Tips for Managing a Remote Team

The following tips will help you manage your remote team. When used collectively, these tips can make a big difference to your team’s overall productivity. And just as important, they will build team morale and promote a positive work environment, which will improve employee retention.

1. Schedule One-on-Ones

You may not have done this in the office, but it’s a good idea to schedule one-on-one calls with each team member, each week. It will help you build a strong working relationship with your team members. Subsequently, it will make you more approachable and encourage team members to update you with any issues they may face, which can prevent problems from getting out of hand. 

2. Leverage Technology 

Make use of all the technology you have available to you. Ensure that each of your employees does the same. If that means more training on the software you use, so be it. Initially, it may mean time taken away from working on projects, but it will help productivity in the long run. Look at ways to integrate different apps into your workflow and to automate as many tasks as possible.

3. Hold Virtual Team Socials

It is essential to have social time for your team to help promote good team rapport. If you only have team meetings via video call that discuss work subjects, you may find that team members become dissatisfied with work. As a result, employees become unmotivated and stop producing high-quality work. Holding team socials where employees can connect over non-work related topics can prevent those risks. Socials will build team respect, increase creativity, and motivate employees.  Gifts for work-from-home employees are another idea. 

4. Outline Ways to Communicate

Perhaps the biggest issue that managers of remote employees encounter is how to communicate. Back in an office, chatting to a fellow employee could be as informal as talking during a water break or as formal as a sit-down meeting. To ensure effective communication, outline the ways your team communicates and how each communication platform is used. For example, specify when to use email versus Slack or MS Teams. Doing so will prevent miscommunication and ensure that tasks are finished on time.

Managing a Team Remotely

Make no mistake, managing a remote is difficult and presents new challenges. Yet, remote work has several advantages – employees are happier not commuting and enjoy schedule autonomy. So overcoming the challenges is worth it. Technology and resources are available to help you manage your remote team. And to help your team’s productivity flourish, rather than flounder.

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