More and more people are working from home in today’s day and age, especially now during the Coronavirus outbreak, and it is easy to see this becoming even more common in the years to come.
Remote working can bring a handful of advantages to both the employer and the employee so it should certainly be embraced.
Still, it does also pose a few challenges, and it is more challenging to manage a remote team than the one person who you can easily engage with in the office.
Here are a few tips for managing your remote employees which will help everyone to benefit from this way of working.
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Trust Your Team
Perhaps the most important tip for managing a remote team is simply to trust them and avoid micromanaging.
It is hard when you cannot see them, and you are not in direct contact, so it is easy to assume that they are not putting in the effort.
But the truth is that people often work better at home and if you have recruited the right type of person.
Then you should trust that they will get the work done unsupervised provided that you have been clear about what is expected and any deadlines
Find the Best Way to Contact Each Member
You also need to have some flexibility and find the best way of working with each team member.
There will be times where you need to speak on the phone or have a videoconference, but for less essential communication you might find that some people prefer the phone or video call while others prefer online chat or email.
Give Regular Feedback
Regular feedback is always valuable as the leader of a team. Still, especially when people are working remotely as otherwise, it is hard for them to know where they stand, which can knock confidence (and lead to dips in performance).
Therefore, positive feedback is so valuable as it can boost morale, improve your relationship, and allow you to highlight areas where improvements could be made.
One of the drawbacks to remote working is that people can sometimes feel isolated and disconnected from work.
This is why it is a good idea to try and stay social by checking in periodically and showing an interest, as well as organizing online team social events such as after-work drinks on a videoconferencing software.
It can be hard to gauge how your employees feel when they are working remotely.
An employee survey is always a valuable tool but especially for remote staff because it allows you to monitor their emotional wellbeing.
It also helps to identify areas in which you could make positive change and take action to improve employee morale which is so essential for success and positive relationships.
Managing a remote team is a difficult challenge but one which can be achieved with the above advice and with a little bit of practice.
There are many benefits to remote working for all parties, and it will only become more common in the years to come so knowing how to manage, look after and engage your team remotely will be a valuable skill to possess going forward.