Tips to Effectively Manage Remote Team & Employees

tips to manage a remote team

2020 has truly been a year of unprecedented events, experienced by everyone across the globe. These significant changes have been predominantly evident in the workplace, as we all had to adapt ourselves to the new normal. Hence it is required to rethink effective team management strategies and understand the tips to manage remote team. And as we have spent most of our 2020 in lockdown restrictions and working remotely, one thing has become abundantly clear that remote working approach will continue to dominate workplaces even in 2021.

Though more and more organizations are embracing new ways of working, there are few factors that must be considered whether these organizations are already practising remote working or newly acclimatizing themselves to the new trend.

Effectively Manage Remote Employees

  • Remote working provides flexibility to work from anywhere and anytime. But adopting this new way of working would require appropriate structure and discipline, from the organization’s as well as the employee’s side.
  • Currently, new businesses are susceptible to the risk of being impatient towards new practices of remote working to set in. Even if it has been already a few months that employees are working from home, individuals are still adapting and making required changes in their work environment.
  • Many businesses have experienced a significant cost reduction while their employees worked from home. However, remote work must not be implemented as a cost-saving technique.
  • Remote work has enabled work from home companies to hire individuals from diverse background, without needing them to relocate or travel from their locations. This approach will not only help organizations to diversify their talent pool but also enable them to hire employees that are located at the customer’s location.

Nevertheless, remote work culture has specific benefits. The culture brings in the sense of shared purpose between the employees and real sense of togetherness despite being physically apart.

If you are wondering how to manage a team working from remote locations in 2021 and sustain this feeling of shared purpose for the long term, organizations need to make some of the following efforts.

Remote Team Management Tips

Here are the top tips for your remote team management or to manage your employees working from remote locations.

1. Introduce Rules for Regular Communication  

Introduce Rules for Regular Communication

In times of social distancing, it is obvious to develop a sense of isolation. Thus the most effective way for remote team management and to make your employees feel included is to host regular communication sessions with your team members. Additionally, if immediate managers make an effort to have one-on-one communication with each individual, it boosts the team member’s morale.  Also, it is important to determine how often and when your entire team is comfortable to communicate. For the purpose, clear communication guidelines must be provided and superiors can urge employees to adhere to the expected standards.

Also check: Tips to Enhance Productivity While Work from Home

Apart from communication frequency, lay out detailed plan about required communication tools. Today, several video conferencing, quick messaging applications are available in the market. Determine which tool/application that is able to satisfy your overall communication needs. An ideal tool must allow every team member to share important information/document with efficiency and with sufficient security.

2. Clearly Define Goals and Establish Accountability

Clearly Define Goals and Establish Accountability

Establishing accountability for daily work and setting appropriate goals is the first step towards achieving better results, whether working remotely or at a brick and mortar setting. Accountability ensures each team members’ high performance levels.

Following are the ways to establish accountability amongst the employees

  • Initiate by providing proper guidelines about work and also provide an outline for the work to be done. 
  • Afterwards, as the work progresses, review the performance of each employee on a regular basis.
  • Tracking progress on regular intervals helps in maintaining higher productivity levels amongst employees.
  • Also, any deviation from desired productivity output may help managers in identifying bottlenecks or possible stalemate situations in remote management that are ultimately hindering employee’s performance.

To make the work much simpler, various remote team management tools are available in the market. These tools help organizations in managing their employee’s virtual presence in an efficient way. These advanced platforms record each task performed by the employee, the amount of time required for an individual to perform the task and ultimately provides detail analyzed report. This eliminates manual entry and also ensures record authenticity.

3. Build Cordial Relationships with Each Team Mate

Build Cordial Relationships with Each Team Mate

At the end of the day, inter-personal relationships are all that matter. All human beings thrive when we have harmonious relationships around us. This is not just true in our personal lives but also true for professional settings. The goal here is to create an engaging environment for employees without losing the empathetic touch. This is one of the important tips to manage your remote team or employees.

Having cordial relationships with each teammate may boost productivity levels in the long run. It also helps in keeping stress levels at a minimum. However, at first it may seem like a difficult task to build such relationships with mere virtual presence. Regular interaction and various team building activities can be of great help to achieve the purpose.

On the other hand, one may become worried that remote working culture might dilute your organization’s existing work culture. Quite the contrary, managers can utilize this unique opportunity to further strengthen work culture for the upcoming 2021 by putting extra efforts in team management and team building activities. Being separated physically, these virtual team relationships are often based purely on trust and mutual understanding. Thus little extra efforts have the potential to make a significant impact.

Here too, various video calling applications or virtual event management platforms can assist you in building effortless communication and management.

4. Effectively Manage Instances of Distress

Effectively Manage Instances of Distress

The current Covid-19 situation has created a lot of uncertainty for almost everyone. The uncertainties may be related to job security or stress at the workplace. Managers must make efforts to identify and address any signs of distress amongst the employees. Distressed employees may be consoled through communication and proper guidance by superiors.

Furthermore, managers should encourage employees to hold two-way dialogues considering both the positive and negative effects of the current outbreak of COVID-19.

5. Provide Flexibility to Employees

Provide Flexibility to Employees

Many employees especially women juggle between work and family commitments. Nevertheless, it is true for both men and women. Providing them bit flexibility in terms of time management may lead to increased productivity. This approach also helps in reducing stress levels amongst the employees.

6. Promote the Culture of Recognition

Promote the Culture of Recognition

Nothing motivates a hard-working individual compared to an appreciation for his hard work and proper recognition. When an individual has been given his due recognition, he feels motivated to work even harder. Additionally, it enforces a belief that their efforts will always be recognized by their superior.

Finding a Balance is Key Factor

Company will benefit only if their employees are completely aware of the extent of their work and what is expected of them. Finding a balance between employee’s expectations and the organization’s requirement will remain a key factor in achieving long term success for the company.

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