12 Tips For Managing Remote Teams

12 Tips For Managing Remote Teams

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. To boost motivation and engage your remote employees, it’s vital to establish team norms that dictate how they should interact and collaborate.

  • Thus, those rest periods increase the energy of your remote team members, which adds to the organizational productivity.
  • Managers understand it’s okay to not be okay and they actively create a safe space for their team.
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  • Before joining LYRASIS, Annie Peterson was the Preservation Librarian for the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University.
  • He has a background in video production and previously worked on several documentary films for Boston’s PBS station, WGBH.

As each team member shares various skills, the team leader expects everyone to deliver refined work by reporting progress. Hazim Macky, vice president of engineering for the cryptocurrency platform Coinme, believes that the most effective way to manage a team remotely is through personalized one-to-one meetings with team members. The better your employees understand you as a leader, the more confident they will feel in their work, leading to improved workplace happiness and productivity regardless of where they’re located. Try one or try all of these ways to help manage your remote team in 2021 and beyond, because working from home isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The quicker you’re able to adapt and run a virtual team smoothly, the more successful you’ll be now and in the future.

A recent report by software company Buffer shows that 19 percent of remote employees report loneliness as their biggest challenge. In a survey by cloud services provider CoSo Cloud, it was found that more than half of remote employees feel disconnected from their in-office colleagues. One of the main challenges of managing a remote team is cultivating the kind of connections that come from in-person social gatherings and casual conversations that happen day-to-day in a shared office environment. While monitoring the constant progress of your remote team, being sensitive to the risks of overworking is equally essential.

Take Charge Of Team Bonding

Before conducting your first virtual meeting, set a regular conference with your team members. If an appointment for the entire organization is required, you must consider this scenario. Note that a daily meeting is a great way to gather updates from each team. In addition, remember that duration of these daily meetings shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. It was also revealed that only 26% of respondents are working with an established project or work methodology, such as agile or waterfall. Meaning, that there are many scattered teams operating without a uniform method in their organizations.

Regularly checking in with your remote employees is a highly effective means of boosting their engagement. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, organizations around the world are advising 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. We spoke with managers as they pet their dogs, bounced their babies, and worked from their kitchens.

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Open Sourced Workplace is a community for business owners and workplace professionals seeking to share knowledge, insights, and experiences about work. According to a study by software comparison site GetApp, the number of professionals who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400 percent since 2010. Just as teammates have preferences for feedback or learning, they also have different reactions to stress.

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According to Bill Palombi, head of product at the dataflow automation organization Prefect, these hardships vary depending on what stage a company is at in terms of growth. While remote teams have figured out how to hit OKRs, creating a culture of open communication and psychological safety is a much harder target. A lack of body language and cross-the-room glances makes trust more important and more difficult than ever. With high-EQ, remote managers can lead with care and promote open communication. Sadeghi believes that as a manager, especially one working remotely, it is essential to know what is on every team member’s plate to ensure that the workload is being evenly divided.

Showing team members that you appreciate their work gives them a feeling of pride and accomplishment and will, in turn, lead to more commendable work in the future. Having open communication pathways to express both positive and constructive feedback offers organizations a level of transparency that will help them thrive. Another challenge of working from home is setting boundaries around working hours. Without a separate work setting, it can be difficult for an employee to set those boundaries and differentiate their personal time from their working time. As a remote manager, helping team members find that boundary becomes an incredibly important aspect of the job. However, Sadeghi said the solution to this problem is striking the right balance between being overbearing and being too hands off.

effectively managing a remote team

Sadeghi believes that offering employees the option to take a day to focus on getting back in the right headspace will help to avoid burnout, and this does not just go for employees but managers and team leaders as well. “One other thing that’s really important as a manager is to take your own paid time off and encourage people to sign off when the day is done; that really sets a tone for the organization,” she said. As a project manager working remotely, taking care of your own mental health and well-being will inevitably have a domino effect on team members. This will create a culture of inclusivity and care, ultimately leading to the production of better work as well as a healthier and happier work environment. For project managers and team leaders operating in a remote setting it can be easy to fall into the trap of viewing team members as employees only.

These conversations may seem non-essential, but employees with personal connections at work are often more engaged and motivated to perform to high standards. 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.

Tips For Managing Remote Teams

Of those surveyed, 48% reported that they operate in multiple locations within the same country while 39% said that their teams function in multiple different countries. Along with this specific channel, our company has also had themed and dress-up days like “hat day,” “skincare day,” “drinks day” and tons of other casual events to help our employees showcase their more casual sides. These activities are fun ways to bolster collaboration between employees and further solidify the connection they have with each other. It’s important that you also actively participate in these kinds of conversations. In doing so, you can help your employees avoid feelings of burnout and boost your team’s performance. 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.

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Useful Remote Workforce Management Rules To Support Your Team

If you want to thrive in the face of these challenges and equip your employees to succeed, here are 12 tips for managing remote teams. By framing feedback as learning, however, these conversations can drive the team’s greatest growth. The best remote teams acknowledge individual feedback styles and take care to share input at an appropriate time. More importantly, managers constantly ask for feedback so channels are a two-way street. One of the best roles the manager serves is to make sure that your team members have what they need to successfully complete their work. Tools for communication, strategizing, and project management that enable virtual teams to maintain productivity, even asynchronously, are constantly improving.

effectively managing a remote team

Knowing whether to give space, lend an ear, or take action often starts with asking the person. As a manager, you’ll serve your team well by providing an environment of transparency and accountability to ensure that https://globalcloudteam.com/ your team performs as expected. Help your teammates understand and align with the culture, mission, and purpose of your company. A solid remote work policy will help them respond to the established expectations.

Palombi believes that any kind of task and project management software that allows managers and team members to keep track of in-progress tasks, has become an essential part of managing teams remotely. “There’s a tool that we use to capture tasks, assign those tasks to people, and then use that task… as a point to share status updates relevant to the completion of the task,” he said. These types of tools can be a huge benefit to project managers as they not only allow for a certain level of collaboration, but also the tracking of different team members’ work. If you want to manage your remote teams effectively, you must train the emotional intelligence of your team leaders. A great team leader should possess qualities such as empowering team members, creating a friendly environment and showing productivity.

For example, if you place greater value on habits of self-care, such as daily fitness exercises, diet regimens and nourishment, these habits create a foundation of freedom based upon physical health. Also, explore our online leadership and management courses to learn how you can take charge of your professional development and accelerate your career. By heightening your self-awareness, you can identify your weaknesses and craft a Managing a Remote Team stronger leadership development plan, enabling you to become a better manager and set a positive example for your remote team. The managers we interviewed kept mentioning how difficult it was to get teammates to take time off. Without anywhere to go, remote teammates skipped their vacations and continued working. As best you can, encourage teammates to take time away from work and break the cycle of burnout before it gets worse.

Trust And Empower Your Employees

Lean on virtual tools to ease the initial hesitation or awkwardness and prioritize flexibility in the way the work itself is performed. By focusing on outcomes instead of processes, your team will feel empowered to work together to meet goals. Providing opportunities for collaboration can help foster better team dynamics and improve rates of productivity. It’s ideal for managers hoping to stay in the loop of what their team is working on without venturing into micromanagement territory. Micromanagement has always been a struggle in the workplace, but remote work has given new meaning to the phrase. Employee surveillance software is on the rise, but we don’t recommend using such tools unless it’s mission-critical.

A year into forced work-from-home, it’s up to remote managers to maintain company culture and the key relationships between teammates for long-term remote success. These 21 tips cover only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to supporting your remote team. The top three challenges of remote management are isolation, expectation-setting, and burnout. If you want to improve your remote team’s productivity, you should provide them with the right tools to help them connect and produce high-quality work outputs. These technological devices include project management tracking apps, messaging apps, and video conferencing apps.

effectively managing a remote team

When setting these kinds of expectations, it’s important to factor work/life balance into the equation. While it was once easy to account for virtually every minute of an employee’s time spent in the office, the task is more challenging for remote workers. By working from a place of empathy and understanding, it’s easy to create a plan that feels manageable and appropriate for everyone involved. In addition to setting expectations verbally, it’s a good idea to document your communication process for easy reference down the line. Clear and consistent communication is paramount to effectively motivating and guiding your remote employees. In a recent study by the Association for Talent Development, 83 percent of business leaders said communication is the most important skill for managerial success.

The Better Your Employees Understand You As A Leader, The More Confident They Will Feel In Their Work

Although some organizational roles can exercise flexibility overnight, other departments can stop micromanaging your virtual workforce. To effectively share information within the organization, ensuring data privacy must be your main priority. Underestimating the power of unprotected information poses data breach consequences such as lawsuits, governmental audits, lost reputation, and bankruptcy. Please jump in and share your experiences with other like-minded professionals. There is every indication that remote working will remain in place for many firms and industries. The new ways of working introduced since the pandemic have created opportunities and flaws for many…

This method will give them enough free time to feel like they don’t constantly work. Thus, those rest periods increase the energy of your remote team members, which adds to the organizational productivity. Next, find the right collaboration tools to communicate with each team member. These tools include chat applications, project management tools, video call software, and screen sharing applications. Pick which communication tools work best with your in-house and remote staff. A remote team involves individuals who collaborate with the same project to achieve specific objectives within a defined period.

She coordinates LYRASIS Learning and teaches classes on preservation, digitization, and other topics related to cultural heritage institutions. Before joining LYRASIS, Annie Peterson was the Preservation Librarian for the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University. Previously, she was an IMLS Preservation Administration Fellow at Yale University, where her primary focus was writing a disaster plan for the library’s high density storage facility.

Remote Manager Challenge #2

Instant messaging applications can offer a low key, informal way to check in with employees about their progress on certain projects. Chat with each of your employees about their preferred method of communication, and then find a mutually agreed upon strategy for routine conversations. Each of these remote manager challenges can be tackled with a bit of vulnerability and emotional literacy. Improving your remote team’s efficiency is a matter of knowledge and skill. As the leader or manager of a team of professionals, it’s your responsibility to keep the results steady and consistent.

Enabling Your Remote Team To Succeed

“This type of meeting is a great tool for any manager to have in their toolkit, however, there needs to be intentionality to back it up,” Macky said. This becomes especially important when managing a team remotely because face time with your employees becomes more rare. This meeting allows us an opportunity as a company to talk about our professional and personal wins throughout the workweek, as well as any “oops” or blunders that we might have made.

Mohamed Ghazwan