We don’t expect distance to have any effect on relationships. This statement applies not only to personal relationships but also to work. With the advancement of technology, when information and resources become available to each of the parties, shoulder-to-shoulder work is becoming less popular.
Today, organizations are more and more committed to this trend and are hiring the best specialists from different countries, so managing remote teams is becoming the new responsibility of a leader. Being a manager for these teams, your job is to coach, guide, and support team members, which can pose quite a few challenges.
Challenges of Managing a Team Remotely
As work from home becomes more common, here are some of the most common problems associated with remote team management:
- lack of proper tools to keep in touch with the team;
- the difficulty of hiring the right employees;
- lack of an accountability program;
- respect for personal time;
- no clarity about roles and tasks;
- not having a common schedule;
- difficulty in tracking employee performance;
- lack of team cohesion.
Best practices for managing a remote team effectively
There are companies that work completely remotely around the world. Nonetheless, many businesses go to great lengths to recreate the success of other successful remote working businesses. If you’re always thinking about how to manage remote teams efficiently and improve their productivity, and need some ideas, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions on managing remote teams’ best practices for you.
1. Set limits for remote workers
Working in a remote team often necessitates some kind of separation between work and personal life. Because team members operate in different time zones, any notifications, chat messages, or emails can disrupt their personal time. Work schedules should be addressed with each team member to show that you value their time away from work.
2. Consider cultural differences
Managers experience cultural challenges while managing remote teams, which is unsurprising. The difficulty with multicultural teams is that they are divided by misunderstandings and disagreements. An easy way to deal with this is to find out how different people with different backgrounds are open to getting feedback. Spread the mindset that their colleagues are culturally diverse. Encourage respect for national holidays.
3. Define the rules and your expectations in advance
Expectations exist in every organization, so discussing the rules with your employees will help you reach your objectives more efficiently. You should set the following expectations:
- Respond to your emails and inquiries as quickly as possible;
- Take responsibility for important projects and deadlines;
- Attend all team meetings;
- Find different ways of communication;
- Be accessible and available during work hours;
- Keep in touch and stick to your work schedule.
4. Improve your online communication skills
Many remote work teams experience communication problems when working on projects. It’s tough to get the important messages via online communication because you’re not interacting with the team in the same way as you were when in the office.
To avoid overloading team members with information, start a conversation quickly and concisely. Communication is essential in leading a remote team.
5. Help your subordinates when they need it
When an employee is out of sight, it’s easy to miss how they experience obstacles and difficulties while completing their tasks. These can include issues with a project, a colleague, or how their work is completed. You should pick up on your employees’ hints and provide a helping hand if something disturbs them or makes them feel insecure.
6. Invest in the best project management software for remote workers
You can effectively manage a remote team if you have the proper software that allows you to schedule activities, projects, and even the amount of employees. Additionally, such technology can help you:
- communicate with your remote team;
- manage schedules;
- share information in real-time;
- track the development of the project.
As a result of the pandemic’s present global situation, many workers have moved to remote working. This tendency will continue even after the pandemic is over. Management must now realign and reassess their team management skills.
With the right tips and advice on how to properly manage a remote team, you can keep your department productive. You might be surprised at what your team can do with good management and motivation.