With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the popularity of digital nomads who combine work & travel, the idea of working remotely isn’t new. Today, more and more people have experience in working remotely at least once a week. Not only do they find it better for their work-life balance, but they also claim that being a part of a remote team increases productivity.
Over the last two years, the remote work trends and expectations have changed drastically. It’s estimated that 22% of the US workforce will work remotely by 2025. For business owners and managers, this means demand for effective management of remote teams.
The Importance of Managing a Remote Team in 2023
Today, the number of remote teams grows constantly. More and more employees perform their job responsibilities from outside traditional office space and it can be daunting for managers to master the art of remote workforce management.
But if you want to build a successful remote team, take at the main reasons for managing a remote team. It can hint at what business owners and managers can expect when working remotely.
Here are three more reasons for managers to bother about managing a remote team:
- The growth of remote workforce: In 2022, more and more people opt for the hybrid work model which marks the growing popularity of remote teams. For managers, collaboration with remote workers isn’t an option these days and the numbers below prove it:
- The difficulty of tracking employee performance: The modern workforce craves a flexible working environment, but when people work remotely, it makes it harder for business owners and managers to track employee performance. Why? People work at their own pace, so the importance of monitoring tools and performance-enhancing tools is high.
- The lack of focus and concentration: When working from home, the number of distractions is big. For remote staff, it can be hard to keep focus on their work duties and concentrate on their tasks unless they have effective management tools and well-educated managers who can support remote workers.
The importance of managing a remote team is big, so let’s take a look at six tips on how to make it easier and more efficient.
1. Invest in Onboarding and Training
With the rise of remote positions, when a big number of people start working remotely, the importance of remote onboarding and training has grown drastically. Since people have no experience in working from home (or any other place outside of a traditional office), many challenges occur. One of them is the need for team communication and team spirit.
When a new employee joins the team, managers should onboard new hires to help them understand the company’s product/service better and make them feel a part of the team. Over the long haul, successful onboarding makes it easier to manage a remote team.
What is more, when a team member reaches his/her potential, the need for training occurs. It helps to give more opportunities for growth and when your company invests in training, your employees feel a strong connection with your company. As a result, management is getting easier and better.
2. Set Up Clear Expectations
To achieve business growth, any company should manage a team of workers who have various responsibilities and whose work duties make it faster to achieve those goals. For employees, having a clear understanding of what is required of them, makes team members more engaged.
Simply put, managers should set up clear expectations for individuals and teams and constantly communicate with team members to analyze this performance. However, never forget that management expectations and deadlines should be realistic and therefore achievable.
3. Choose the Right Communication Platform
Proper communication plays a key role in management. Not only does it help to understand expectations and track performance, but it also helps to keep every team member involved and motivated.
When working in a virtual team, the importance of choosing the right communication platform grows. Although there are many forms of remote communication–calls, video conferences, emails–it’s important for the company to choose the right communication platform that has all tools for proper communication among team members.
For most remote teams, Zoom is the most obvious option. However, there’s a big variety of Zoom alternatives that allows business owners to find the best solution for their needs, wants, and budget.
4. Run One-on-One Meetings
Working in a team is great and crucial for business success, but every team member is an individual who bothers about his or her personal growth and achievements. Practically every worker wants to feel valued in a team, so managers should run one-on-one meetings from time to time.
First, 1-on-1 meetings help to enhance communication and understand your workers better. Second, it helps to check motivation. Finally, it increases trust and therefore boosts employee engagement that helps to improve management, too.
5. Encourage Employee Feedback
To achieve long-term success, giving feedback isn’t enough. It’s also significant to receive feedback from your employees to understand more about their performance or desire to work within a team.
No matter what role in your company your team member has, give him or her an opportunity to share thoughts and be listened to. In other words, you should encourage employee feedback and one of the following types of employee feedback can work.
The best way to encourage employee feedback is to ask the right questions, gather thoughts from your workers, give them all possibilities to share their feedback, and implement feedback.
6. Implement Remote Team-Building Activities
When working remotely, the lack of social interactions occurs. When people don’t see other team members or rarely communicate with staff, people don’t associate themselves as a part of the community and it can negatively affect their engagement which can also be a problem for managing a remote team.
Luckily, there’s a big number of virtual team building activities that help managers increase involvement and make people be connected with other team members. What is more, these activities create a sense of togetherness that drives motivation and engagement.
With the rise of remote workforce, it’s critical for businesses to master the art of managing a remote team that can help your employees work at their peak, no matter where their office is. There’s a big number of effective tips that can help to improve remote team management, so it’s high time to give them a try.