How to Manage Remote Teams03 Sep, 20202
For those of us fortunate enough to be able to work from home in a safe environment, the way...
For those of us fortunate enough to be able to work from home in a safe environment, the way we communicate with our colleagues will have greatly changed over the past few months. Instead of viewing this in a negative light, it’s important to look at how leaders can manage remote teams effectively and use this as an opportunity to re-engage employees.
Although we are all facing the same virus, the circumstances in which we are all dealing with this greatly differs. Be empathetic to difficult working scenarios and check in on your teams. Making time for small talk is essential – just as you would have a quick chat over the water cooler or before a meeting gets under way, check in with your employee’s wellbeing. Show the individual that you care.
Non-verbal cues are harder to look out for via video chat than face-to-face communication, so you will need to be more aware and make sure that you are listening actively. It may also be an idea to increase one-on-one communication in this time. In larger teams it’s easy for individuals to feel left out or like a spare part. Having more one-to-one calls allows for a two-way feedback system for both the individual and the manager to discuss any workload issues or concerns.
As a manager, worrying about engagement and productivity of your team is normal. When you can’t see what everyone is up to, like you would in an office, you may have these concerns. Exercising levels of trust where you respect that your employee will deliver their work builds a far stronger relationship, and allows for greater flexibility. In the long term, this will help your team feel more appreciated.
There is no reason why socials you would usually do in the office can’t be replicated over video call. Friday drinks, quizzes and lunch and learns can all still happen. This is important to bring teams together. The culture of the business is far easier to be felt in a bustling office than in people’s living rooms, kitchen tables or home offices, so it is important to keep traditions alive and celebrate the small stuff.
Overall, it is clear that remote working is the future of working, so it is important to adjust and feel confident in your managerial methods. Times are tough at the moment, which it’s way it’s even more important to be a strong leader for your team.