Though we keep virtual team meetings at a minimum, whenever we do organize a meeting, we make sure that it’s announced well in advance and scheduled at a time that works for most people. For example, some companies are 100% remote, while others offer a variety of office and remote options. Some managers trust their teams completely, while others use tracking software to ensure people are working.

If you can, take this into consideration when you’re doing training and development with your team. While this is perhaps more about self-management, you as a manager can still suggest various methods of avoiding some of those interruptions. If you’ve moved to a remote working model, even if only temporarily, then isolation may be a real challenge for many people on your team. As ever, it’s important to be open minded and focus on how you as a manager can remove blockers and foster greater collaboration. We don’t care where work is done, or where, as long as it meets our standards and customers and other team members are not being inconvenienced by a lack of communication. For help with this, check out 5 ways to give effective feedback.

Not only will it ease the transition from the office to remote, but it also keeps all employees on the same tier of expected productivity. And when you schedule meetings and delegate responsibilities, be sure to factor in cultural considerations such as social status, language challenges or barriers, time differences, and distance. All of these factors impact team members’ ability to participate and contribute, and your effectiveness at leading from a distance depends upon you being able to take those differences into account. If you want your team to be able to work on projects together, you’ll need a collaboration tool, such as Trello and Microsoft Teams. These tools allow employees to share documents, make comments, and even edit files in real-time. A one-on-one meeting is also an opportunity for a remote worker to consult you about important issues.

If you want to make sure your employees are productive, consider using productivity tracking tools. These tools can help you see how your employees are spending time on certain tasks. So, it’s important to consider different time zones when you’re managing people from all over the world. If you need to have a large group meeting, try to find a time that works for everyone. A remote workforce can offer a number of benefits for both employers and employees. One great training is not as good as continuous great training.

The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers. Our multicultural team gives us a broader view of the world and how we can solve different Managing Remote Teams problems together. But this would not be possible if we weren’t intentional about creating an environment where everyone’s voices are heard and respected.

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Currently, we have nine core apps that our team uses to communicate, manage projects and collaborate. The goal is that some repetitive managing tasks can be handled by the tool, which is why it’s important to document the purpose of each remote tool and explain how people should use them. We found that managing a remote team is easier when you use a smaller amount of tools and use them well. At the end of the day, you want to be productive and efficient without giving your team technology overload. We’ve learned that typical hiring practices don’t work for remote-first teams.

Allowing your team the autonomy to work when it suits them best, has proven to show greater quality and productivity. For instance, if you supply meals to your co-located employees, find a way to extend that benefit to your remote workers. If remote workers have flexible hours, find a way you can extend this benefit to co-located employees. Even when you deal with team members in the same location, some individuals may prefer to take the back row. If you’re not careful in remote teams, such individuals may disappear altogether.

Managing remote employees

As a remote-first company before the pandemic, we draw from our personal experiences as well those from our community and wider research. Learn how to boost your remote team’s efficiency and organization. Communication should be frequent as well; regularly hold meetings, one-on-one chats and conference calls. The need for excellent communication is even more important when employees work remotely.

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When employees don’t spend hours commuting to work and have less office politics to deal with, they tend to be happier – and more productive. According to a survey conducted by FlexJobs, 65% of remote workers said they were more productive when working from home. “If you’re used to seeing your colleagues or customers every day, feelings of isolation can creep in remarkably quickly,” Sparrow said in a news release. Susan R. Vroman is a lecturer of management at Bentley University. Her research interests include the impact leadership enactment has on organizational culture and employee engagement, with specific focus on supporting flexible work arrangements. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Vroman worked for over 20 years as an organizational effectiveness and strategic human resource management executive and advisor.

  • Also, explore our online leadership and management courses to learn how you can take charge of your professional development and accelerate your career.
  • But your employees should have an idea of the frequency of formal check-ins at the very least, so they can plan accordingly.
  • You need to know how to maintain employee engagement—no matter where they’re located.
  • Management professionals apply their leadership, interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills to help employees and other managers minimize potential issues.
  • There is A LOT going on right now that can cause stress, anxiety, and frustration for you and your team.
  • If possible, work jointly with individuals to create personalized schedules that are attuned to professional and personal obligations.

The best managers instill a sense of hope in their remote workers by helping them feel enthusiastic about the future. In managing your remote employees, you may find yourself interacting with people who are from various countries and backgrounds. According to management consulting firm Gallup, employees who regularly meet with their managers are three times more engaged than their peers. Studies also show that employees are four times more likely to be disengaged when they don’t meet one-on-one with their supervisors.

How To Manage Remote Employees For Success

Managing a productive team remotely begins with a strategy for communication. First, arrange for the appropriate number of weekly formal report-ins. Some people work better with a shopping list of tasks while others need more freedom. An understanding of what’s urgent will further mitigate inefficiency, leading to ultimate productivity. When transitioning from exclusively in-office employees to remote workers it’s important to manage your expectations and stay focused on the big picture. Train yourself to worry less about what’s being done on a micro-level, instead concentrate on what’s being accomplished.

With fewer opportunities for face-to-face interactions throughout the day, there are more opportunities for important messages to get lost in translation. This is why improving communication within and across teams is vital to ensure optimal work performance. Not only do they lack the physical proximity that encourages feelings of cohesiveness, but often members are unsure how to address cultural differences.

Managing remote employees

When working from home, we don’t lose access to our favorite things like Twitter, Netflix, pets, kids, and the comfort of our couches. Managing a remote team requires this skill even if you’re not working remotely. If the work is done well and the goals are achieved, there’s no need to specify how it should be done. Everyone has different routines and environments that can promote productivity more in the early morning or late at night.

Make Precise Standards For Remote Work Productivity

The eight tips we’ve listed above should help you effectively manage a remote team to maintain performance outputs while also enjoying all of the benefits that come with working remotely. Now that you are managing remote teams, there will be more trial and error to develop the same internal standards and expectations. Whether manager of the entire company or of just one team or department, one of your primary duties is to delegate work and tasks.

Managing remote employees

There are a few things you can do to gauge how fit for remote work someone is, or to establish the kind of culture where remote work is more dependable. Similarly, you could try a synchronous pizza party or similar celebration where each person joins from their computer at the same time and gives a toast. If you communicate primarily over Slack, you can use their Giphy integration to make it easy to drop a quick gif in when you want to praise, congratulate, or spark some other emotion. In your 1 on 1s you’ll find out how they’re really doing, can keep them up to date on changes happening in your company, and answer their questions. There is A LOT going on right now that can cause stress, anxiety, and frustration for you and your team. Your 1 on 1s are the best place to help support your team through all of this.

The Bottom Line On Managing A Remote Team

It’s easier to figure out a company culture when you’re actually there. But in a remote work environment, many things that usually go unsaid need to be made explicit. Second, working remotely can allow employees to escape the traditional office environment and create their own flexible schedules. For employers, remote workers can help to reduce costs, such as rental for office space and electricity. Remote workers also tend to be more productive and take fewer sick days.

In a normal workplace environment, lack of communication can already be a challenge. But when employees are working remote – and potentially now focused on new or different tasks and goals, communication is paramount. Hold weekly team meetings to establish communication and good social interaction.

And a big part of transparency is setting clear rules and regulations for your team members. This way, a member of your remote team may become sidetracked, miss a deadline, and now both you and the rest of the team feel terrible. It might be challenging to keep remote workers productive when they aren’t gathered in one place and held to the same accountability standards. To deal with this issue, encourage your remote workers to use their leaves and take some time off to spend with the family. Also, be flexible and plan work around their personal commitments, such as childcare.

While the process is designed to keep track of everyone’s work at a team level, we don’t tell people how they must accomplish their tasks. Building rapport is an essential stepping stone to get your remote teams to trust you and stay motivated. Check out our comprehensive list of ways to build rapport with anyone. While you may plan to apply all the lessons we wrote here today to be a successful manager of remote employees, it’s still on the employee to do their part. Because of the unique challenges that remote employees face, it’s important to have questions on hand that help dive into those issues they uniquely deal with.

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When you don’t get to see someone in the office every day, having any type of visual clue to what someone is thinking is essential. Want to learn more about the challenges of remote work in 2022? Check out this episode of the ‘Creating High Performing Teams’ podcast. Regular human interaction can be easy to take for granted, until you don’t have an office full of people to be around every day.

If not, that’s when you can look closer into what exact aspects of your remote team are lacking. More often than not, it’s a communication issue that can be solved with an open dialogue between you and your remote employee. Although it can be tricky, we’ve narrowed it down to these must-have skills. Many remote workers work from home, so it’s harder for them to tune out of work even when they’re not clocked-in. Conference calls are a great way to foster positive relationships among remote team members.