Remote Team Management
Since the pandemic of the new coronavirus called COVID-19, working from home or remotely has become a way of life for many people. The number of people who can now work from anywhere and everywhere continues to grow with each new development in technology. In some cases, it is not possible to physically meet in person with team members. This has led to a whole new level of remote teaming. In this blog, we’ll explore some tips for overcoming these challenges and creating a successful remote team.
Most people think of working from home as being a great perk – no need for rush hour traffic, the freedom to set your own hours, and so on. But for many professionals, working from home can be a huge challenge. When you’re not in an office environment with colleagues, it’s easy to feel isolated and unsupported, especially for someone who manages the team remotely.
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What are the problems in a remote team?
One of the disadvantages of working in a remote team is that you’re not around each other for several hours per day. You aren’t there to see if something is going wrong or if interpersonal problems are starting to creep up. When it comes to a remote environment we usually assume that no news is good news, but that isn’t always the case. Let’s take a look at what we can do to make sure we see problems in our team early on and can work towards correcting them.
Unnecessary conversation and personal sharing stops
Your first indication that something isn’t quite right is if the chit-chatting and bantering start to stop. You’ll see this during conference calls, video meetings, and even emails and instant messages.
Yes, there will be days when things get busy and the personal stuff stops just because everyone is a bit stressed and trying to get stuff done, but if it stops altogether or the tone changes drastically, you want to start paying attention. Chances are there are some unresolved underlying issues that need addressing.
Team members grab opportunities to avoid attending meetings
Another good indicator that something isn’t quite right is when one or several team members suddenly have a hard time making meetings. Yes, we all have lives and there are times when a team member has a valid excuse for missing a meeting. If, however, the excuse seems weak, they have a Doctor’s appointment every time you schedule a meeting or they don’t even bother coming up with excuses anymore, something is up. It’s time to get on the phone and see if you can’t figure out what’s going on and resolve it.
Missing deadlines without a valid reason
Your internal alarm bells should really start going off when team members start missing deadlines without a valid reason. If you didn’t change the scope of the work and haven’t heard anything from your team throughout the process about there being issues, hang-ups, or some sort of valid reason that would explain why a deadline can’t be met, there’s a pretty good chance something is going on that you need to know about.
Yes, it could simply be that a key player on your team has been fighting the flu or is dealing with some issues at home that keep him or her from performing as usual. If that’s the reason for the delay, it’s something you need to know about so you can reassign tasks as needed to help a valuable member of your team get through a rough time.
The other cause may be that the team member isn’t happy or has some other ongoing issues with a member of the team or even you and is choosing (consciously or subconsciously) to react in a passive-aggressive way. Either way, it’s something you want to address right away and get back on track.
5 foolproof rules to build a great team
It’s not hard to build a great team. All you need is time, dedication, and the ability to follow five simple rules! The benefits are invaluable: your productivity will soar as well as the quality of work increase with every new member on board- so recruitment isn’t just for selfish reasons after all.
Set clear expectations and deadlines
Let’s start with the most important rule. As you assign tasks to your team, you have to be very clear about what you expect from each person. Assign tasks and don’t forget to include deadlines. Following this simple rule will benefit both you and your independent contractors or employees.
Ensure communication is clear and open
To make sure your team members feel valued and heard, it is important to keep the lines of communication open. Be easy on them by making errands quickly so they don’t have time to go back and forth with you about something small or large all day long! Plus communicate everything from changes in plans for projects right away when necessary – this will show how much trust both sides share towards each other.
Build connectivity among team members to know each other well
This is a great way to get your team members acquainted with one another. If they’re all in different time zones and locations, setting up some video conferencing can allow them the opportunity for real-time interaction that doesn’t happen when people only communicate via email or instant message on their phones during office hours! A remote exercise program might also help break down barriers by giving everyone something interesting to share stories about themselves while working out together at the home base–without having any travel expenses incurred whatsoever.
Value your team’s input
When you make it clear to your team that they are a valued and an integral part of the business, then their ideas will add value. We know how important communication is for a successful project but let’s not stop there! It’s also essential when speaking with others on our team or outside sources who may have different perspectives from us – especially if those views conflict with what we believe would be the best course of action for ourselves as individuals within this organization. So keep talking about these things because by listening closely enough maybe someone else has an insight into solving some problem that only seemed soluble through direct solutions
Appreciate and Reward for a good performance
Last but not least, let your team know when they’ve done a job well. Verbal recognition is great and a thank you will go a long way. Of course, I also have yet to find someone that would turn down a bonus check.
Why is it important to meet remote team staff in real life?
Working with a remote team is great. It allows you to collaborate with people from across the country or even across the globe. It also allows you to hire or contract just the right people for the job. As great as working remotely is, there are also some big benefits to meeting in person. Let’s take a look at three reasons why you may want to get the team together in real life at least once or twice.
Trust comes easily when meeting someone in person
One of the main reasons it’s a good idea to have your team meet in person is that it’s much easier to trust someone you’ve met and looked in the eye. There’s just something about real face-to-face interaction – and no, FaceTime doesn’t count- that makes us feel more comfortable with another human being. Who would you be more likely to buy a car from?
A person you’ve met and hand you’ve shaken or someone you only met on craigslist. In both cases, you may see the car, but without meeting the owner, you’ll be a lot more suspicious and less trusting. The same goes for your team. It may not be as upfront and obvious as in the example above, but you won’t reach the same level of trust as quickly in a purely remote work environment as you would with just one or two in-person meetings.
More Meaningful connection develops
Along with that trust comes a deeper connection. We have longer and more meaningful conversations. We pick up on subtle expressions and body language that just doesn’t translate into a remote environment even if it involves video conferencing.
Personal connections sync faster
Last but not least, we tend to connect with people faster when we meet them in person. A few hours spent together at a conference for example, or meeting for lunch makes us feel like we know someone much faster than spending time online, be it emailing back and forth, chatting on Facebook, or even talking on Google Hangout.
How often do you have to meet in person? Not as often as you think. It’s helpful to schedule a meeting early on in the project and then if possible re-connect in person once a year. If you can make it happen more frequently, great, but even meeting once every 12 months can be very beneficial if your team is working closely together for long stretches of time.
Although remote work has become the new normal for many companies, managing a remote team can still be a challenge. By following these tips, you can learn how to manage your remote team effectively and keep them motivated no matter where they are located. Do you have any other tips for managing a remote team? Share them with us in the comments below!
Want to know more about remote team management? We have courses related to remote team management like Managing Remote Teams, Management Remote work, and many other courses that help you in your career and journey as a manager. Please visit our courses at https://clap.skillculture.in
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“People today really value workplace flexibility and remote work because it allows them to focus their energies on work and life as opposed to commuting” – Ken Matos