The coronavirus pandemic has created a number of challenges for businesses in every industry, but one of the biggest challenges that managers have faced is having to learn how to manage remote teams. Companies all over the globe are facilitating working from home if possible, which can create difficulties when it comes to remote team management in a crucial time for all businesses.
A New Challenge
Many businesses have been using remote working for a number of years, but very few have an entirely remote workforce, plus the added stress of the pandemic makes this even more challenging. This is why it is helpful to outline a few important tips for making remote working and to make it easier for managers to lead their teams during this challenging period. For businesses that are struggling during COVID-19, consulting services like RSM can be helpful for adapting and finding ways to succeed.
Clearly Defined Processes & Responsibilities
First, you need to make sure that you have clearly defined processes and responsibilities. This is so that all employees know how to carry out their role remotely and what is expected of them each day which will lessen the need for communication. Communication will be a challenge and you do not want to constantly have to have video calls throughout the day, so making sure that everyone knows what they are doing and what their responsibilities are is key.
While you won’t want to be on video calls all day every day, it is important that you have regular meetings to touch base and to make sure that everyone is on the same page. It is less likely that virtual teams will seek out communication so this needs to be arranged by you, even if it is just a quick chat at the end of the day to see how everyone is faring.
Virtual Water Cooler
Leading on from this, many people miss the office environment and feelings of isolation and loneliness are common with remote working. This is why you need to encourage your team to take regular breaks, allowing them to leave the house and being flexible with their schedule. Additionally, you could encourage employee interaction by setting up regular non-work-related events, such as afterwork drinks via video call.
It is hard to feel important and a member of the team when you are not surrounded by colleagues which is why you need to make an extra effort when it comes to positive feedback and celebrating accomplishments. Setting regular and achievable goals and/or using incentives can be a smart way to keep people motivated while also helping them to feel valued which is key in a challenging time.
Finally, you need to make sure that you show compassion during this difficult time. Every member of your team will have their own situation whether this is total isolation, trying to work remotely with a house full of kids, living with partners who have been made redundant or those with sick relatives. This is why you need to show compassion during this time and also have flexibility when it comes to scheduling.
Hopefully, this will help you to have confidence managing a remote team which will help the company to succeed during this difficult time while also showing support to your staff.