The new reality of the modern workplace is remote working. As a team leader, this means having to adapt to being in charge of a team that you cannot directly supervise. This presents a unique set of challenges that need to be properly managed to ensure high productivity. This article outlines five ways to efficiently manage your remote team.
1. Active resource planning and management
The number one rule to winning while working with a remote team is to set expectations early and frequently remind your team of these objectives. Since you need to set out a guideline on how goals will be achieved and actively monitor progress, you need a resource planning tool. This will make it easier to have your team under control as you have a central platform that allows you to set, monitor, and have insights on workloads. This makes it easy to know how and when to schedule tasks, effortlessly keep track of projects, allocate resources in a timely manner, and be in constant touch with your team.
2. Constant communication
Since there is a lack of direct contact with a remote team, you need to emphasize communication. Evading constant communication can quickly create a disconnect with your team, leading to failure. The good news is that there are many ways to communicate with remote workers, but the best of all is face-to-face interactions. Regularly checking in with your team via video calls will enable you to have deeper engagement levels that make it easier to offer the right support.
3. Make the rules of engagement clear
It is easy to frustrate remote workers with over-communication and never-ending check-ins. Rules need to be made since remote workers have to properly balance their professional duties with their personal lifestyle. What you think could be a good moment for communicating could be a disruption to a family breakfast. To easily draw a line between effective check-ins and disturbance, you need to have rules of engagement that are always respected.
4. Outcome-first approach to performance
There are critical leadership rules you need to break as you manage a remote team, and one of them is your approach to performance management. A remote team does not need micro-managing but the right support to meet their deliverables. Instead of worrying about the hourly activities of every remote worker, your focus needs to be on the output. This way, you will provide your team with flexibility on how they operate without losing focus on the bigger picture.
5. Enhance team collaboration
Remote workers do not have to operate independently when they can easily collaborate and make workflow easier. Creating a framework that supports agile collaboration will ensure you do not spend too much time keeping everyone focused on the goals at hand. This is because it breaks the monotony of working alone and keeps everyone on their A-game as the entire team will be more focused.
Managing a remote team is entirely different from heading a team that you meet each day at the office. You need a shift in how you handle a remote team, and these tips will help you be better equipped to navigate these waters.