The way of the future workplace is now a reality that most employers are coming to grips with thanks to opportunities for working remotely. As the world moves to adopt remote workers, many managers and team leaders are facing various challenges with remote management, including a feeling of lacking the necessary control and difficulties in gaining a trust level with their remote workers.
It is a fact that managing your remote team has its fair share of challenges. An understanding of how you can manage remote workers is critical if you want to achieve desirable results. But what happens when it is your first time managing remote employees, and you did not have sufficient time to prepare for the same?
Here are some tips to guide you on how you can effectively manage remote workers.
Equip Your Team with The Necessary Resources
There is no way your remote team can function without the necessary tools of work. Remember that remote employees need some sort of office set up wherever they are, and that is why you should equip them with all that is necessary to help them work.
Some of the resources that your remote team should have are a high-speed internet connection, laptops, software, and mobile devices. Assuming employees have all it takes to work remotely is a misconception you should avoid as a team leader.
For that reason, you need to engage your team and find out the resources they need to work remotely and equip them.
Leverage Technological Communication Tools
One of the challenges you should seek to address as soon as possible when managing remote workers is barriers to effective communication. Facilitating interaction between remote employees is not an option if you want to maximize their potential. When remote workers interact as they work on specific projects, they achieve much more than when they work independently.
For that reason, investing in technological communication tools for your team of remote workers is a wise idea. Text messages and email are short-term solutions, which may not be of much use if you want to keep your remote team on the same page regarding particular projects. Microsoft Teams and Slack are some of the communication tools you should acquire for remote workers.
Investing in Microsoft Teams and Slack for your remote team suggests that such individuals will be able to collaborate and communicate as they work from different locations.
Avoid Micro-Managing Your Remote Team
As much as supervising remote employees is paramount, you should avoid the temptation of managing every aspect of their work as a team leader. One of the things you should appreciate as you oversee remote workers is the fact that they are responsible enough to meet your expectations.
So, if remote workers have to take a break or attend to other matters of importance, that should be the least of your worries as their leader. Rather than spending too much time focusing on the activities of remote team members or how many hours each of them works in a day, prioritize the outcome. The results your remote team delivers will be far more important than how they spend their time each day.
Slack, phone calls, and email can help your remote team to keep in touch, but you need to check on such individuals as well. Your remote team will need feedback, resources, and some guidance on various matters on different occasions, and these are part of your responsibilities. Checking-in daily via a video call to facilitate face-to-face or one-on-one interactions with your remote team is a necessity.
Assessing the expressions of remote workers and ensuring that they have a better understanding of what you expect from them has to go beyond a casual phone call. That is the reason why video conferencing and video calls are an ideal options for managing remote teams.
Manage Your Expectations
What do you want your remote team to achieve? How will they realize the goals you set and within what period? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself as you oversee remote employees. Focusing on success is what helps you to steer your remote team in the right direction as a leader, and that is one of the most important things at the end of the day.
As such, you need to set realistic expectations, state the tasks that your remote team should accomplish and the reasons for the same, and also explain how you will measure success. Once your remote team understands what you require and the timelines in place, you will not be in for surprises when you need to see the results.
As a leader managing remote workers, the responsibility of ensuring they succeed in what they are doing lies squarely on you. The tips above can help you realize success, whether you are new to managing remote teams or if you need to fine-tune your remote team management skills.
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