Remote work was an option before the pandemic. After all, about 23% of workers who could work from home teleworked frequently prior to 2020. However, a massive shift occurred, as 59% of those still work remotely all or most of the time.
Businesses are embracing the change and seeing why work from home is viable and even profitable many times.
However, the switch to remote work can be challenging for both teams and their managers. Lack of face-to-face communication changes the dynamics of the workplace, leaving many managers confused about how to manage a remote team.
Look no further for five tips that can make managing your remote team easier.
Provide Devices and Other Tools
Providing tools for your team can make it easier when they are working remotely. One of the biggest to consider is providing computers to your team. While bringing your own device may sound like a good idea, it has many downsides.
For one, a lack of uniformity among devices can make it more difficult when employees need to use different programs. Even worse, BYOD can increase the risk of data theft, malware, and legal problems.
Using a remote desktop is also no longer the best idea. This option is old and slow. Instead, provide your team with the computers that they need.
Providing the proper software is also critical in the remote workplace. Try to find one remote environment since multiple systems can be confusing. Microsoft 365 for Teams/Enterprise is usually a good option.
You should also make sure there is a way to back up all data to the cloud. Storing data on individual computers opens up the risk of loss. For instance, a worker’s cat could knock over a cup of coffee and fry all of the data stored on their desktop.
If you have the budget, you could also provide a remote work stipend. This could cover good WiFi and an ergonomic desk and chair. After all, comfort leads to more productivity and focus.
Encourage Open Communication
When managing remote teams, it’s important to keep communication lines open. This can help build rapport and ensure team members feel connected.
Your team should also feel like they can come to you when they have problems and concerns. Sometimes the transition to remote work can be confusing and difficult. Being able to talk about these problems could allow them to find ways to be more comfortable with the change.
Using video calls for meetings can help encourage communication and remind everyone there are actual people behind the screen. Some managers opt to hold a daily huddle. This can be beneficial if everyone is in the same or overlapping time zones.
However, it’s also important to learn how to work and communicate asynchronously. This will reduce downtime while keeping the flow of communication open.
Work chat software is a common way for teams to communicate digitally. Check if your remote work solution offers a program. If not, there are many options available.
In any workplace situation, it is important to set expectations. This allows everyone to stay on the same page and know what they need to do.
This is especially important in remote work. When you aren’t in the room to check in on your team, it’s up to them to make sure they remain productive. You need to set clear expectations and encourage self-accountability.
You can list out expectations and deliverables. It’s helpful if you make this available in a document that employees can reference later.
You should also check in weekly with each team member. One-on-one video calls may be the best option because you can see nonverbal cues. Go over their productivity and concerns, and offer feedback.
While you want to ensure your workers are productive, you also need to be on the lookout for burnout. Some workers actually have the problem of not being able to turn off work when it’s remote.
Being flexible and understanding is key for a remote business. The change can be jarring for some. You might find it particularly difficult as you can’t check-in in person.
Others may feel stressed and uncomfortable. This is especially true for those who are less tech-savvy, have kids and other obligations, or who have not worked from home before and don’t have a well-equipped office. Accommodating for this can help these workers.
Team members may also face distractions that employees don’t face in the office. They may need time and help to adapt and overcome them.
As a manager, you’ll need to be flexible and allow time for your team to get settled. Some team members may need additional assistance or accommodations in the process. Be an open ear and work to make the transition easier.
Get an Assessment
As you transition to remote work, you’ll need to create protocols and norms for your team. Some of these may work, and some may not be optimal.
With a remote work assessment, you can learn where the gaps in your security, communication, software, and services lie. You can also get help budgeting assets such as manpower, software, and hardware.
While you may assume you can simply regroup in a few months and assess the situation on your own, many times an outside eye is needed. RWMS can help identify solutions that will work for your team and create a remote solution implementation plan tailored for your team’s situation.
Create a Smooth Transition to Remote Work
Remote work offers a number of benefits to workgroups. However, it also creates unique challenges that can be difficult to overcome. With some simple changes, you’ll be able to better manage your remote team, leading to a happy and productive team.
Schedule your meeting with a remote work specialist from Remote Work Made Simple today.