20 Proven Tips For Managing Remote Teams & Employees


And isolation is one of the most common challenges that remote workers experience. When faced with particular changes in the work setting, leaders would have to modify the way they work. For example, when managers need to switch to leading a remote, instead of an office team. According to a recent survey by the training company VitalSmarts, 20% of leaders are unprepared or very unprepared to lead their teleworking team. Effective communication with your team is another major hurdle in virtual leadership.

In the online course Leadership Principles, Harvard Business School Professor Anthony Mayo says overseeing remote workers presents unique challenges for managers. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, organizations around the world are advising https://globalcloudteam.com/ workers to telecommute to adhere to social distancing guidelines and limit the spread of disease. One recent survey found that 67 percent of employers are taking measures to allow employees to work from home who don’t normally do so.

However, since many companies are already engaged in the practice of remote work, fortunately, there are many proven strategies that ensure the successful management of such teams. Believe it or not,over half of employeesadmit thatthey don’t actually knowwhat’s expected of them at work. It’s important that you outline clear expectations for employees — whether you’re working remotely or in-person. But, global pandemic aside, remote work has been a hot topic for many years. Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work report found that a whopping 98% of employees wanted to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their career.

Hiring the right people will help your remote team get along better and be more productive, so it is worth taking a little more time to find the perfect fit. Ensure that your candidates are able to communicate well, show initiative and have good time management skills. When there’s transparency and employees see how their work fits in, accountability naturally gets a boost. They see the domino effect that can happen if their tasks aren’t completed correctly or on time.

For many remote teams, the check-in happens at a set time each day . Other companies like their employees’ input on what is the best time that works well for them within the timeframe they are all available. Leading a team whose members come from all over the world and from diverse cultural backgrounds might be a challenging task. Unlike with a traditional in-house setting, communication and collaboration with a distributed team have to be via online channels. Also, tracking employee progress needs to be done differently than when leading an in-house team. Since they’re not sitting next to each other, teammates can’t communicate in person.

If you have an urgent topic or need input on a strategic decision, it is acceptable to dominate the meeting with your own topic. Because you are seeking to amass the brainpower and support of your team on a major pivot point. Your team knows when you are lying, covering up for the company, or being dishonest. If you genuinely cannot talk about a company-sensitive topic, say you cannot discuss it, but never lie. You see, I am English, in fact from a place in middle England called Warwickshire.

Proven Ways To Get Your Employees To Like & Respect You

You have a new employee joining your remote team, and you’re determined to make them feel welcome. Maybe filling in that spreadsheet feels like busy work to your employee. In one recent survey,96% of employeesindicated that they believe it’s important for their employers to demonstrate empathy. So, take a step back and express understanding for everything your employees are going through. Schedule weekly check-ins where you can chat about goals, challenges, and progress. Catching up on work is important, but make sure you connect about personal matters, too.

Put these strategies into play and you’re on your way to working remotely with confidence. Our flexible work management platform allows teams to manage projects, collaborate and communicate seamlessly, no matter where they’re based. So, when you’re figuring out how to manage a remote team, you need to remember that team members should be able to enjoy that perk. You need to avoidmicromanagingby establishing clear expectations and then getting out of their way.

Hopefully, with these tips, you will be able to effectively lead and manage your remote team and bring success to your business. Set performance indicators like KPI’s, OKR’s and SMART goals in order to help your employees with this. Performance indicators will help them understand what they are working towards so that they can manage their time more effectively. As such, it’s up to you to ensure that your remote employees adhere to company policies and follow certain rules about communication etiquette.

This simply means there needs to be a date for the goals to be achieved. Set a maximum of 3 or 4 big goals for the year per person; this will enable them to be focused. Dear Boss, I want to arrange a face-to-face meeting with my team in order to establish the following.

Managing Remote Teams

Unfortunately,one in five employeesdo not feel they have enough freedom to decide how they do their work. So many teams breakdown and become dysfunctional because of one thing. They are the ones you always go to lunch with; they are the ones you always go for a beer after work with. They are the ones you always go for your smoke break or coffee break with. Be mindful of overtly having favorites as your team will notice it, and it will breed a negative team culture. The visual side of the brain is a lot more receptive than the audio receptors.

Consider giving each employee a budget to buy equipment for their home setup. Companies such as Shopify are taking this approach, by giving each employee a $1,000 stipend to buy supplies while they work from home. Companies such as Shopify, Slack, Square, Twitter and Google have already announced plans for long term or permanent remote working, with more companies joining the list each month. Enhance your soft skills with a range of award-winning courses. Enhance your skill set and boost your hirability through innovative, independent learning.

But in team meetings, it is simply worth sharing the meeting agenda and minutes so that the audience can see what the topic is and who the actions belong to. One of the most important items on this list is how you handle successes. If you manage a high-performing team that has serious business objectives, then you will need to report out to senior management monthly or quarterly on your progress against those objectives.

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You can try creating a mentoring program for these employees, by pairing them up with more tenured individuals in your team. By encouraging the mentor-mentee relationship, your employees can grow and develop in new ways. Ensure you don’t talk too fast or others on the call might miss what you’re saying. This is something you can practice through Managing a Remote Team interactive online exercises, where you record yourself speaking and listen back to what you are saying. That means there’s a higher chance of having miscommunications if the managers and team members in a virtual team are not excellent communicators. Communications must be clear and concise, even more so than they need to be otherwise.

Provide enough detail and direction to avoid being ambiguous and eliminate any confusion. Employee empowerment is an essential ingredient of successful, high-trust teams. According to a report by Great Place to Work, organizations with trust-based cultures have higher levels of innovation, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and agility. According to management consulting firm Gallup, employees who regularly meet with their managers are three times more engaged than their peers. Studies also show that employees are four times more likely to be disengaged when they don’t meet one-on-one with their supervisors.

Make Meeting In

Remote working can get more complicated if not all employees are working on the same time zone. To maximize productivity, make sure there are at least a few hours of overlap for all employees on your team. This allows everyone to get familiar with the team, even when they are dispersed. Strong leadership is essential for creating a business culture that’s productive, innovative, and able to adapt to an ever-changing professional landscape. 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home. Lean into the norms and expectations you established at the outset and encourage your employees to adhere to a set schedule and step away from work when operating hours are done.

  • Regularly checking in with your remote employees is a highly effective means of boosting their engagement.
  • Unfortunately, many managers are seen as distant, who only distribute assignments from their office.
  • For team leaders, this setting allows them to manage their employees with ease.
  • But, global pandemic aside, remote work has been a hot topic for many years.

Learn more about other necessary steps that you and your team need to take. Since remote employees work from distance, employers can choose the most fitting candidates from around the world. There will be a number of difficulties to overcome when transitioning your team or organization to remote working.

Set Team Meetings At The Best Time

After taking this course, you’ll be able to quickly apply remote-team best practices to your existing workforce, or begin building your remote workforce from scratch. Help your remote employees feel like they’re part of the team by organizing online gatherings, such as a virtual happy hour, and allow time for small talk before team meetings. Research shows it’s an effective way to strengthen bonds and develop trust. In this article, we look at the importance of virtual leadership in these uncertain times, as well as essential skills a virtual leader should have to manage remote teams. Fortunately today, there are a host of collaboration and project management tools that help remote teams with communication, meetings and task management.

He has a background in video production and previously worked on several documentary films for Boston’s PBS station, WGBH. In his spare time, he enjoys running, exploring New England, and spending time with his family. To instill purpose among your employees, provide concrete examples of how their collective efforts advance important organizational objectives. When doing so, employ the principles of the “Commander’s Intent,” a concept that’s detailed in Management Essentials and serves as a means of unifying individuals around a goal. When scheduling check-ins and one-on-ones, use technology to facilitate face-to-face communication whenever possible.

A virtual team leader must be willing to make themselves accessible and available to team members. Accessible leadership means that you are easily approachable, like having an open-door policy in a physical office. Use appropriate channels for your communication and set expectations on how the communication channels are to be used.

A study detailed in the Harvard Business Review found that face-to-face communication is 34 times more effective than correspondence via email. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Keep in mind that hiring talented employees who aren’t a good fit could actually create more problems than benefits because they will not be comfortable in that environment. It’s important to make sure your hires are right for your business, regardless of whether your business operates remotely or not. These activities will help your team to feel more connected and this helps them start working together towards the same goal as a cohesive unit. Holding employees accountable for their work will not only give them a sense of responsibility, but also the confidence that they are in charge of their own projects, in their own phase.

How To Support Newly Remote Workers

Regardless of what you decide, make sure to set these meetings in advance so that everyone is aware of when it will happen. The format of chek-ins can vary from company to company and it is up to you to decide how this process will work for your team. While constructive criticism and feedback is important, don’t forget to offer recognition when an employee completes a project or achieves another win. Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work Report found that flexibility — both in terms of schedule and work environment — is the biggest benefit of working remotely. Equip your employees with tangible and quantifiable directions.

Ensure your team knows you are always available to talk and that they should not leave their only interaction with you until their bi-weekly One On One session. If you are not available, a team member may get slowed down with a problem that you could help with. This slows them down and slows down the ultimate achievement of the goal.

That will keep those connections strong — even if you aren’t working in the same space. The more you proactively explain this to your team, the more supported they’ll feel. If your team is new to the remote lifestyle, the transition won’t be without its bumps. When you manage a remote team, it’s your responsibility to help them navigate their new environment.

They’ll be far more motivated to get to work when they feel like they have a good handle on what they should actually be doing. There isn’t the opportunity for people to have quick conversations in passing or for team members to overhear something important that’s mentioned off the cuff. Team members need to be intentional about communicating openly. When your main form of communication in a global conference call is your voice, you had better make sure your voice means something.