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How to Manage Remote Teams: 8 Effective Strategies

How to Manage Remote Teams: 8 Effective Strategies
How to Manage Remote Teams: 8 Effective Strategies
Here are eight strategies that can help you manage your remote teams. We'll also go over the advantages of this business approach and give you a few tips to keep your employees engaged and productive.
Posted in: Employee Engagement
How to Manage Remote Teams: 8 Effective Strategies
How to Manage Remote Teams: 8 Effective Strategies

Transitioning to a remote setup can save you around $11,000 per team member while boosting your employees' collective productivity.

However, as a manager, you also have to get used to a new style of leadership and adapt to the nuances of leading a team from afar.

Here are eight strategies that can help you manage your remote teams. We'll also go over the advantages of this business approach and give you a few tips to keep your employees engaged and productive. 

1. Create a Clear Description for Every Role 

One of the most significant challenges faced by remote workers is a lack of clarity regarding their roles within the organization. 

This challenge is reminiscent of the traditional office setting, albeit with a notable distinction: in a physical office, seeking guidance and assistance from colleagues is often more straightforward.

A highly effective solution to this predicament involves the meticulous crafting of comprehensive role descriptions for each position within the remote workforce. While it is essential to grant employees the autonomy to manage their time in a manner that suits their productivity, it is equally crucial for them to possess a comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities. 

This encompasses a clear delineation of the tasks they are expected to deliver and the mandatory meetings they must attend on a daily basis.

By providing employees with such explicit guidance, they are empowered to make informed decisions and effectively plan their time, thereby enhancing their overall productivity and contributing to the success of the remote team. 
This structured approach not only fosters a sense of purpose but also facilitates smoother remote collaboration and organizational coherence.

2. Know Your Own Responsibilities

Managing a team in a traditional setting is an art form that has been honed over decades of observation and fine-tuning. Managing a team of remote workers is a completely different beast altogether.

Instead of trying to follow the same management style, look at your usual responsibilities and identify the tasks that are no longer required. For instance, walking the floor to make sure everyone is working is no longer necessary.

Now, look at the tasks you still have to fulfill and take the time to identify jobs that arise with your new format. Then, create a list of these responsibilities and use it as a guide until you know them by heart. 

3. Create a Standard Onboarding and Training Process

The training and onboarding process plays a huge role in traditional office environments, and it's even more important when managing a remote team.

By standardizing the steps and length of your onboarding and training, you'll make sure that every employee is qualified and familiar with the job expectations before they hit production. 

4. Organize Regular Team-Building Exercises

Getting to know your team members gives you the opportunity to learn about each individual's personality while giving you a peek into their other skills.

This is a great way to identify employees who can serve in other roles, but it's much more difficult to achieve in a remote environment.

As a leader, you can counter this and create opportunities for bonding through team-building exercises.

Here, it's important to change the type of event and format to keep employees engaged. But, as long as you organize them properly and actually give employees a chance to get to know each other, you'll also reap the benefits. 

5. Be Conscious of Your Team's Varying Time Zones

One of the biggest issues that remote workers have is working unconventional hours due to time zone differences.

The worst part is that your employees may feel like they have no choice, so it's up to you to change the cycle and build a culture that doesn't force team members to work during the early hours of the morning.

This best practice comes down to building a company culture based on consideration and respect.

Now, everyone needs to be considerate and flexible to some extent.

But, if you take the time to bring up time zone differences in your team meetings and make it clear that your whole team needs to adapt and respect each other's schedules, it should work out fine. 

6. Help Your Team Prevent Technical Issues

Technical issues are another common problem faced by countless remote employees around the world.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for this issue. Because of this, your best bet is to be supportive and put your employees in a position to overcome these challenges.

A great way to do this is by providing them with their work devices, as this will ensure that every laptop, smartphone, and other gadget in your company's professional network meets certain technical requirements.

Additionally, you should provide each employee with access to a VPN, which can prevent bandwidth throttling and boost security across the board.

How do VPNs work? In simple terms, they encrypt your internet connection, which means that the messages sent to and from your computer are securely encoded. 

7. Lead Regular Performance Evaluations

Performance evaluations have become a staple in most industries.

The reason for this is that they help you determine which employees are meeting or exceeding expectations and which individuals need more support.

These employee reviews are even more important when managing a remote team because they can help keep your team on the same page.

Remember, every performance evaluation needs to be adapted to every role and seniority level in your business, so you'll likely have to create several to cater to your team. 

8. Pay Close Attention to Conflict Resolution  

Conflict within a professional environment is normal. The most difficult part about this, however, is learning how to manage it, especially if you are not in the same room as the individuals who are clashing.

Similar to the resolution of issues in an office, you need to hear both sides, understand what each individual expects from the situation, and make a fair decision that allows your whole team to move forward.

If you have a remote team, it may be worth taking extra steps that you wouldn't normally take, like scheduling more one-on-one sessions with each person involved after the conflict has been resolved, just to check on their morale. 

Why Opt for a Remote Team?

As we covered earlier in this article, having a remote team can save you tens of thousands of dollars. But, this immediate benefit may not be the most important.

Remote employees report being 43% happier with their jobs compared to team members in conventional work environments.

Not only this, but 35% also feel more productive, in part because they don't have to exert energy getting ready early in the morning, commuting and interacting with dozens of people along the way. 

Tips to Help Your Remote Workers Stay Focused

 Here are some tips you can follow to boost your remote employee's efficiency and focus.

  • Encourage Your Team to Take Breaks: Make sure that your team members are taking at least a small break every couple of hours.
  • Be Clear About Your Expectations: Give your team members clear instructions and guidelines.
  • Give Credit and Recognize Achievements: Take a moment to analyze performance and recognize the top employees.
  • Create Wellness Initiatives: Encourage your employees to stay active and maintain good mental health through wellness initiatives.
  • Set the Example: Lead by example and do whatever you expect from employees.

Wrapping up 

Leading a remote team is definitely a unique challenge, but employees can achieve new heights in terms of productivity and company satisfaction when working from home.

As long as you create clear descriptions, know your own role, standardize your onboarding, and follow the other tips listed above, you should be able to hit your stride and help your team stay productive.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2024
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