How to effectively manage remote workers
One of the upcoming in-demand skills for managers is being able to effectively manage remote teams. While managing a remote team may sound like an easy job on the outside, it poses unique challenges and scenarios for which most management courses haven’t prepared you.
With that said, overcoming these challenges is not impossible. In fact, with a proactive approach, you can avoid most difficult situations associated with managing a remote team.
Read on to know about common mistakes remote team managers make, and how you can avoid them.
Not Having The Right Tools In Place
It’s simple, with the right tools, you (and your team) will be able to carry out your responsibilities with maximum efficiency.
For instance, with a robust project management tool, you will be able to delegate tasks effectively and ensure they are being completed on time and no teammates are lagging behind.
Similarly, with an interactive whiteboard online, you can facilitate effective collaboration on creative tasks. Skype and other such messengers can help you minimize the need of using email every time you communicate with your team.
Group conferencing apps will help you ensure all team communications happen on a single platform so that everyone is always on the same page.
Not Keeping Communication Alive
Communication is the bond that will keep your remote team united. Failing to effectively communicate will result in confusion, which will in turn, affect your deliverables as a team. For this reason, it is important to be extremely detailed when you are communicating details of a task to a team member. It is also advisable to instill this habit in your teammates as well.
Another aspect of communication is checking in on your teammates. Are they struggling with their tasks? Are they dissatisfied with something (work-related)?
Your team members may cherish the independence that comes with remote working, but they still need to know their manager is looking out for them. A simple “hello” every now and then can go a long way in keeping your teammates involved with the organisation.
Micromanaging is not a management mistake that is limited only to remote team managers. However, this problem is more common among remote team managers, and for obvious reasons.
When they don’t see their team members in the office, some managers think that constantly checking-in and following up with their team will ensure tasks are being carried out with maximum efficiency.
Unfortunately, the case is quite the opposite. In fact, when you constantly pester your teammates about their tasks, they may start feeling that there is a lack of trust.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to keep a check on how often you are following up with your team. If your deliverables are not being compromised, it may just mean that your team is self reliant and there is no need to check in so much.
Overlooking The Importance Of Team Building
According to a study, loneliness is one of the top challenges associated with working remotely. To make sure your team isn’t struggling with the same challenge, it is important to conduct regular team building activities.
No, this doesn’t mean you need to fly them out from the other end of the country for a team outing. Instead, undertake simple initiatives such as birthday celebration rituals, starting every meeting with an icebreaker.
The objective here is to make your team members feel like an important and valued part of an organisation.
Managing a remote team isn’t a difficult task.
By using the right tools, communicating effectively, and making sure your team members don’t feel like the organisation has forgotten about them, you can ensure your remote team makes the most of their remote working privileges.