Once upon a time, the thought of remotely managing a team was only realistically available to a select few.
Now, it should go without saying that things have turned on their head. While many companies have opted to return to the office, or at least go for a hybrid approach, remote work is still much higher than it was several years ago. And, it should come as no surprise, as this approach is much more cost-effective thanks to lower bills and potentially lower insurance premiums.
However, today isn’t about debating the remote versus in-person topic; it has been done to death over the past couple of years. Instead, this article will discuss how managers can manage remote teams effectively. Let’s now look at some of the best ways to make this happen.
Related: 5 ways to improve your sales team productivity
Communication Is Key
This is the case for any good working relationship, but it becomes even more so when there is some distance between you and your team.
Ideally, you should aim to over-communicate with your team members. This way, there is no scope for misunderstanding or misinterpreting what you are trying to say.
There are various ways to do this, but one of the best is to have regular team video calls. This allows everyone to see each other’s faces and body language, which can help build rapport and trust. While a weekly 1-1 may have once been sufficient, daily stand-ups may now be more important – although make sure you don’t fall into the trap of micromanagement.
Set Clear Expectations
When working remotely, it is even more important to set clear expectations. This is because there is no scope for impromptu catchups or quick conversations in the corridor.
As such, you must be very clear about what you expect from your team and when you need things done. This will always vary depending on seniority, but now might be the time to have more processes in place to track deliverables.
It can also be easy for team members to feel like they are in a silo and that their opinion doesn’t matter.
As such, it is important to encourage feedback from your team. This way, you can better understand how they are feeling and what they think about the work they are doing.
One way to do this is to set up regular 1-1 calls with each team member. This allows them to voice any concerns and provide you with feedback on their work.
Related: 7 Team communication mistakes no one is talking about
Trust Your Team
Finally, it is important to trust your team. This is because, when working remotely, you can’t keep a close eye on them all the time.
As such, you need to trust that they are doing the work they are supposed to be doing. This will involve setting up processes to ensure that the required deliverables are being met.
Many managers have found that remote work doesn’t necessarily focus on the hours worked but on what is being delivered, which might require a shift in your mindset.