Managing a Remote Team

Managing a Remote Team | Expert Staffing

Before the Covid pandemic forced many workers to remote roles, nearly a quarter of the workforce was already successfully working virtually. Two years later, many of the positions are back to usual, but there’s still a large portion of companies and workers who have embraced the remote work environment for one reason or another. 

Working remotely may indeed prove to be a possibility for many business structures, but a team working virtually is absolutely not the same as one in the office and a good manager must realize this to successfully adapt.

Best Tips to Manage a Remote Team

Common Challenges for a Remote Team

The in-person office space has its own challenges, and while some of those vanish when a team is operating remotely, new obstacles replace them. Here are some common challenges that a manager and his team face in a remote setting.

  • Lack of face-to-face supervision
  • Limited access to information
  • Social isolation
  • Distractions at home
  • Enhanced issues with already-existing silos

As a manager, you won’t be able to solve all of these issues easily, but it’s important to be aware of common issues so you can do your best to work with your employees to find solutions. Working together will create a stronger team, even though you may be working several miles apart.

6 Tips for Solving Issues at the Virtual Office & Managing a Remote Team to Success

Here are some tips to help you lead your team to success no matter what type of desk they have and where they’re working. 

Schedule Daily Check-ins

How is it possible to do a daily check-in with each of your employees and still get your own work done? Well, conventionally speaking, it’s not. However, since there are so many ways for employees to report their progress on a project, questions they may have, etc., you should be sure that throughout the day, you’re getting a pulse on what each of your team members is up to. This can help you be sure deadlines are met. Whether you have people send emails, use messaging platforms like Slack, update a collaborative document, or even send a text message, there are plenty of ways to ask your employees to check in on a daily basis. 

Establish Rules of Engagement

One of the biggest problems with remote work is a lack of communication and misunderstandings. Since there are a variety of ways to communicate with your team members, it’s best that managers establish clear expectations of how they want the team to communicate with each other. This can be different for each project, or for different types of communication. It also should convey your expectations on the work-life balance. For example, people should know what type of information is sent via email versus an instant messaging app. They should also know how to block off calendars for personal time and away notifications when they’re not at their desk. This can help them set boundaries and be more satisfied with their working arrangements. 

Manage Expectations

This is one of the most important issues in any office – remote or brick and mortar. Be sure that your employees understand your expectations of not only their daily tasks and responsibilities but of major projects as well. Remember to ask for feedback as well so the whole team is on the same page and can do their best.

Embrace Technology

If your office is running virtually, it’s definitely time to embrace technology and all the ways it can assist your team members. From video conferencing to quality microphones, to collaborative documents, to preset backgrounds, there is so much available to make the remote office efficient, comfortable, and secure. Embrace the technology out there and encourage the team to work with it all together so everyone is unified in their efforts. 

Provide Resources

As a piggyback to embracing technology, it’s also important that you provide the resources for your employees to learn the new technology and to have the best equipment available at home so they work smarter. You can make video tutorials for them, hold a training meeting, and or send them existing tutorials on how to best utilize new technology.

Show Flexibility

As with anything new, it’s very important that you show flexibility. Everyone deals with a different home life and different struggles. Instead of being able to control the environment, the manager of a remote team can only control how he responds to his employees’ challenges. Make sure your team knows they can come to you for a collaborative approach to solving their problems. 

Looking to Build a Remote Team?

If you need help finding the best workers for your remote team, enlist the help of Expert Staffing.

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