Managing a remote team can be challenging. It’s easy to feel disconnected from your team and run into communication problems, things can get complicated quickly. Managing a virtual team requires managers to establish the fundamentals of good management, including meeting clear objectives, holding great meetings, communicating clearly, and leveraging the individual and collective strengths of team members. Successfully managing a remote team is a challenge, even for the most experienced managers. It takes time, patience and a lot of practice, but with the right processes and tools in place, it’s possible to have a fully remote team that is productive and engaged.
5 tips to manage a remote team
Build an environment of trust
Remote work is an opportunity to foster trust between employees and management. Rigid supervision of employees’ daily activities hinders productivity and manifests an environment of mistrust. On the other hand, established and agreed upon metrics for productivity ensure the long-term success of the team while working remotely.
It’s often difficult to manage remote work by adopting the traditional management methods executed by companies: entrance and exit schedules, pre-established breaks for lunch and rest, length of the workday, among others. Thus, the management of people in remote work must be fundamentally focused on the results obtained. It’s necessary to establish goals and objectives, create measurable performance indicators and adapt as much as possible to this new condition.
Organize regular individual & team meetings
Constant communication is the key to keeping your remote team productive. Plan regular team meetings at the beginning of the week, using video conferencing to discuss the status of projects, obstacles facing team members, and goals for the week. Then, at the end of the week, consider holding longer “wrap-up” meetings to discuss team assignments.
In addition to team meetings, regular “one-on-one” meetings to talk about individual accomplishments are essential to keep all employees connected and engaged. While “one-on-one” meetings can be time-consuming for managers with large teams, they play a key role in making team members feel valued as individuals, while also giving them the opportunity to ask questions, discuss problems, or raise suggestions they may not have felt comfortable sharing in a group setting.
Set clear expectations
When transitioning to a fully remote team, managers should prioritize developing clear guidelines and expectations. Most teams are made up of a diverse group of people. Some employees may have previous remote work experience, while other employees may be completely new to working from home. To ensure that everyone operates on an equal footing, it’s important to immediately set clear and realistic expectations for the entire team.
Not clarifying expectations early on can lead to problems and misunderstandings down the road that can cause major disruptions to your team’s workflow and performance. Clarify what tools your team will use, how you will communicate, what hours everyone is expected to work, how and when projects will be completed, and when things change, communicate that too. Your expectations should be written down, emailed and readily available to your entire team. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there is no ambiguity in what is expected of each team member.
Invest in a collaboration platform
One of the biggest challenges of remote working is keeping the whole team in sync when it comes to managing tasks, projects, and time. In addition, companies need to ensure effective management of all their areas of activity in order to continue operating. With Airdesk, you can access and manage all of this in one place! Keep your team connected, wherever they are. Organize and distribute tasks and projects so your team members know what work needs to be done.
Inspired by methods like scrum and agile, Airdesk values process automation to ensure that every part of the business is running smoothly. By giving team members access to all the right tools to work smarter, Airdesk empowers businesses and helps them grow.
Consider the above points as a base recipe for getting your team on the road to success. Now that you are more informed, how about putting what you have learned into practice? We hope these tips will help you manage a remote team in 2021.