7 Doable Ways To Manage Remote Teams

The pandemic has set up remote teams as the most basic unit of every business. Regardless, it’s a big challenge to manage many professional egos through remote tools. While this is easy in real life, you need to go the extra mile to make the most out of your management skills.

Managing remote workers is not only a matter of providing them with a video hosting platform. You would need the right strategy to keep them engaged. These 7 doable ways to manage remote teams should give you a good idea of what to do.

1. Schedule Daily-Check-Ins

A daily check-in gives everyone an overview of what’s expected from them. A lot of managers do this while they’re in the office. However, getting everyone’s attention in a real-time setting is not easy. It gives every member a chance to voice out any concerns, but the frequency would depend on the size of the team.

This shouldn’t be made complex. Remote employees should have the option to schedule their daily meetings, minimizing distractions. It also makes sure that everyone is on the same page. You can plan your meeting using these 15 minutes. 

Setting a regular time slot for daily check-ins should be part of your routine, regardless of which team you manage. It’s the best way to ensure that your team members stay on the same page. While there’s still some room for error, it helps in eliminating miscommunication. 

2. Make Communication Easier

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait for an answer. Whether it’s time or money, it will affect your business one way or another. How can you make it more productive? The answer is to find tools that can make communication easier.

Aside from online video chat, having an instant messenger is also helpful. This is similar to using a private message board, removing clutter in your email inbox. Using office communication apps, they can stay connected and collaborate in real-time. 

This ensures that every team member is informed, eliminating the need for email chains. You can also minimize arguments and passive-aggressive email exchanges by having everyone chat in real-time. This should improve remote work productivity and enhance accountability.

3. Set An Agenda 

Having a regular agenda is a must when you have multiple people involved. It prevents any confusion. It keeps members on track. When creating a virtual office, it should be done upfront. It should never be an afterthought. 

An objective-setting session needs to be attended by everyone involved. Your focus should be on discussing the goals. This will guide your discussions. It will also make sure that all objectives are achieved on time. 

This way, you can pinpoint which tasks are due and which ones aren’t. Having this plan also helps monitor your team’s performance and identify areas for improvement. It should also be aligned with your business objectives. 

4. Do Team Building Activities

A big part of managing a remote team is team building. While you can directly communicate with them, face-to-face interactions are still ideal. Ideas can flow freely. You can solve problems quicker, and you can avoid misunderstandings. 

One way to do this is through video conferencing. You can meet with your teams from different locations, allowing you to share notes and ideas. This lets you build stronger bonds. It promotes open communication and collaboration. 

Employees can also come together through group video calls. They can have a companywide conference to brainstorm. You can hold an office-wide quiz competition. This encourages your employees to work together. It puts them in a competitive environment. 

While organizing remote team engagement activities, keeping all communications digital is also essential. It doesn’t mean that you can’t arrange a live event. Instead, it’s best to use digital tools. Sharing content via messages, social media, and video calls is more manageable than sending a physical document.  

5. Be Sensitive To Overwork and Overload

The COVID-19 crisis has forced businesses to adapt. Workers are working from home. Some are even moving to other cities. Staying connected is essential. This has made scheduling hard. Managers have to work with their teams on tight schedules. 

This puts a lot of stress on your shoulders. You need to find a way to keep everybody motivated. While most workers are dedicated, some may give up. It can happen when they don’t get enough rest. It usually happens when they overexert themselves.  

It’s natural for employees to feel burned out. They need breaks. They need to have time off. Working 20 hours a day will just lead to additional problems. It can cause someone to get sick. It hinders them from thinking clearly.  

When employees tell you that they are overwhelmed, don’t push them to work. Give them some time to relax. Tell them that it’s okay to take some days off. Focusing on their health is more important than getting work done. Host walking meetings to help them get off their desks and encourage an active lifestyle.

6. Provide Emotional Support

The coronavirus has triggered anxiety, depression, and fear in many people. It can leave some feeling helpless, becoming detrimental to their mental health. It can also affect their performance. 

As a manager, you need to identify signs of distress. It could be physical or psychological. It could also be emotional. If you notice some warning signs, you should encourage them to seek professional help. 

One way to make them feel better is by talking to them. Be open about your concerns. Encourage them to share their feelings. This can help them overcome their issues. It would also help them feel more supported. 

7. Get The Team To Occasionally Meet Face-To-Face

Having in-person interaction is essential. It helps build relationships and assists in brainstorming and problem-solving. It can keep the team together. 

How can you make this possible? It can be done through scheduled events, from hosting a company-wide picnic to conducting a training seminar. It can even be as simple as having lunch with the entire team.  

While having these meetings can be beneficial, you must keep them brief and limit the number of attendees. This limits the spread of the illness to other employees.  

As for how you will do it, you can use your locale to your advantage. You can look for a place where all members of your company can meet. You can explore the place. You can show them around. It will allow you to bond with them away from the confines of your office. 

The Bottom Line

The Coronavirus has changed the way work is done. It has also affected the way business is conducted, and there are times when you have to rely on technology. However, having a virtual workforce comes with its own set of challenges.  

It can be challenging to manage such individuals effectively as a team leader. This is especially true in a time like this where the virus has affected how we socialize. It has slowed the global economy, cut-off trade, and caused companies to cut their budgets. 

Fortunately, there are ways that you can make your management more efficient. There are methods that you can use to improve employee engagement. There are strategies that you can apply to minimize downtime. It wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but it is manageable. 

And to better prepare yourself to manage remote teams, you may also want to consider upgrading your skills by taking a pmp course. Doing so should equip you with the right skill set to effectively manage projects and teams. 

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