Tips for Remote Management & Leadership

Many employees prefer to work remotely if they have a remote working option in their workplace. Employees feel they are more productive working remotely, and they can easily maintain their work schedule. 

Providing remote working options can be beneficial for both employees and the organization. Both parties can save their expenses and get better work output. 

Remote working has both pros and cons for both employers and employees. These pros can be used for the betterment of both employers and employees. And if better management is done, you can convert the cons of remote working into pros.

As a manager, it is your responsibility for managing remote teams properly. And you should be able to convert the disadvantage of remote working into opportunities. 

To manage your remote team, first of all, you need to understand your team and get to know about their abilities and their talent. You should be able to lead your team and motivate them to do better. Your team members should be disciplined and should be able to follow your guidance. 

Here are some tips on remote team management and leadership that you can use to manage and lead your remote team. 

Tips for Managing Remote Teams

Clear Expectations

When your employees are working remotely, they may not know what you expect from them. And most of the time, employees’ performance might not match your expectation, and you might not be able to meet your goal on time. And when you can’t complete your goal, this can create disappointment among employers. 

Likewise, there is some expectation of employees from their employers and the workplace. When you cannot meet your employees’ expectations, they might not get disappointed with their work and may not perform well.

Therefore, while working remotely, you and your employees should make expectations clear when employees join their work. 

To clear expectations, you should communicate about each other’s expectations before starting the job. You have certain expectations towards employees like work accountability, trustworthiness, employees’ positive attitude, and more. 

Similarly, employees can have expectations like job security, fair treatment, feedback, trust among employees and employers, and more.

To express your expectation in front of your employees, here are some tips that you need to follow:

Determine When to Set Expectation

When you are setting expectations, first of all, you should determine when to set expectations. It is always better to set and express your expectation towards employees when they are joining the company. 

If you do not set your expectations initially, employees might not know what you expect from them. Therefore, when you set expectations initially, there will be fewer chances of employees being confused with their work.

Make Your Expectations Crystal Clear

While discussing your expectations with your employee, make sure you discuss in simple language. While explaining your expectation, you should ensure that there is no room for confusion. 

You should put forward your expectation in a straightforward manner. You should not explain your expectation in a roundabout way or using difficult vocabulary.

Likewise, you should also not use harsh and vague language while communicating your expectations. 

Document Your Expectation

It is always better for you to document your expectations, which helps employees remind about the expectation. While documenting your expectation, you should write it in simple language. And make sentences as short and understanding as possible. 

One advantage of documenting your expectation is you can use it as a reminder when your employees forget about the expectation. 

Explain to them the reasons for your expectation

You need to give reasons for employees why the stated expectation is essential for you. When you provide reasons to employees, they will be more clear about your expectation toward them. 

When you provide reason and justification to employees, they will be more attentive to fulfill your expectation. 

Balance Employees Schedule

Remote employees provide the flexibility to schedule their work according to their feasibility. 

Employees want to work at a different hour, and sometimes this can create problems when you want to communicate with all employees at once. When you need to have a frequent conference with your employees, it can be a problem.

Likewise, some tasks need to perform in shifts. And when all your employees select their schedule at the same time or day, this creates difficulty for managing employees’ schedules.

Therefore, when employees schedule their shift, you should review the schedule and make some changes when required.

When you change the work schedule of one group, another group might not be satisfied. Therefore, if you provide schedule flexibility for one group during the week, you can give another group a flexible schedule next week.

This helps to create employee satisfaction among employees, and employees will not feel left out or ignored. 

Use Communication, Collaboration, and Project Management Tools

skype- managing remote teams
Skype

Communication, collaboration, and project management tools are important and useful tools that remote employees should use. 

As remote employees, employees work from different parts of the country or work. They need a medium that connects them. And this medium can be communication, collaboration, or project management tools.

You can use communication tools like Microsoft Team, Zoom, Skype, Slack, and more to connect employees. 

Using communication tools, employees can keep in touch with each other. It provides a platform where employees can discuss their work, update each other about their work issues, connect with clients, and more.

Communication tools are also crucial for decision making, motivating employees when needed, and can be an aid for effective leadership. 

Similarly, you should encourage your employees to use project management and collaboration tools to track project progress and share project status. With these tools, employees can easily plan their schedule, track project workflow, share files and folders, and more.  

With project management and collaboration tools, you can invite your clients to view their project status and prepare reports for them. 

With these tools, you can also manage your employees’ schedules, assign them tasks, and set deadlines for projects. Some popular project management and collaboration tools are ProofHub, Asana, Trello, Scoro, and more.

Organize Daily Standup

When employees work from the office, you can schedule daily stand-up every morning. In daily stand-ups, employees can share their work progress, plan for the day, share any issue related to work. 

While working remotely, you need to schedule and organize virtual stand-ups every day. You should organize a daily video conference to have daily stand-ups.  

When you organize daily stand-ups, you will understand employees’ problems and grievances and resolve any misunderstanding among employees and employers. 

Daily Stand-ups are a great way to keep team members connected, and it is an excellent way of team building. If there are any roadblocks or problems on your project’s path, by communicating with your team members, you can resolve them. 

There are some dos’ and don’t that you need to follow while organizing daily stand-ups:

Dos’ of Virtual Stand Up

  1. Use proper communication tools that have good audio and video quality. You should encourage every employee to use the same communication to keep everyone on the same page.
  2. Encourage employees to turn on their cameras when they are on stand-up. 
  3. Have some greeting sessions and some formal and informal talk while waiting for the meeting to start.
  4. Prepare meeting agenda to clear meeting purposes. Preparing an agenda will also help you to remind the topic you want to discuss on the stand-ups.
  5. You should mute your audio when you are not talking. While working from home, some background noises like your roommate or family members might be taking. Likewise, if you live near city areas or airports, noise from vehicles or planes can disturb other team members. 

Don’t of Virtual Stand Up.

  1. Don’t do multiple tasks at once. For example, when you are attending daily stand-ups, do not open another window and start working. 
  2. Don’t add too many members to the stand-ups. You need to add only a few team people in the stand-up.
  3. Don’t join the stand-up late, thinking the meeting has not started. You should join the meeting 2 to 5 minutes before the mentioned time. 

Have One to One Communication

When working remotely, employees may feel isolated and lonely. Whenever employees have some work difficulties, they will not have anyone around to share. 

You should organize one-to-one meetings from time to time and stay in touch with your team members. When you have one-to-one communication, you will get to know your employees in a better way. 

In one-to-one communication, you should keep reminding employees about the organizational goal. You should also motivate employees whenever they ever feel distracted from their work. 

Likewise, if you want to point out any individual work error, you should talk about their errors in one-to-one communication. You can also discuss your expectations from employees, and it also helps you understand employees’ expectations from the organization.

When you have one-to-one communication, you should not only keep your point of view; you should also listen to your employees’ point of view. You should listen to employees’ work issues and grievances. 

Listen to Employees Grievance

A grievance is the dissatisfaction of employees towards their work or toward their employers. Any employee can have grievances towards their work due to any work-related reasons. 

Employees’ grievances can bring severe problems in organizations like frequent absenteeism, employee turnover rate, poor work performance, indiscipline, and more.

To reduce employees’ grievances, you should have frequent communication with employees, listen to their grievances. You should encourage employees to communicate about their dissatisfaction and their expectations.

One thing you should make sure of is that you should not delay solving employees’ grievances. When you keep delaying to solve employees’ grievances, it will negatively impact both employees and employers.

Keep Track of Employees Work Performance

timetracko- managing remote teams
timeTracko

When employees work from the office, you can keep an update of employees’ work performance. You can instantly review their work and provide them feedback about their work. 

While working remotely, employees might procrastinate their work, and in the worst case, they might delay their work. When such cases happen, your project might be delayed, creating a negative image of your organization. 

Use project management tools like Trello, Asana, Wrike, and more. You can also use time tracking apps like timeTracko, TimeDoctor, Monitask, which will provide an accurate picture of your employees’ work performance during their work hours. 

When employees know their work performance is being tracked, they start to perform well, which boosts their work performance. 

You can also create a project road map that helps employees stay focused on their projects and complete their work before the timeline. You can also use Google Sheet to create employees’ project timelines. 

Give Priority to Outcomes

As a manager, you should give importance to the work outcomes more than the employees’ work activities.

Onsite employees have specified rules like specified work schedules, no gossiping while working, wear a specific uniform while working, no food on the work desk, and more. 

Likewise, they may also have a rule like doing work in specific procedures, using particular tools. 

However, remote employees have the freedom to manage their work schedules and make their work rules for working. Most of the time, they do not have to follow a specific work system like they do in the office. 

When your employees work remotely, it can be difficult for you to monitor every step of employees’ work. It can be time-consuming, the work process can be chaotic. 

Instead of focusing on how employees are working, you should analyze if employees are completing their tasks on time or not. You should analyze employees’ work quality and the time they take to complete their work.

Likewise, you should determine employees’ total time worked by employees and if they complete work or time or not. 

Organize Fun Events Virtually

virtual lunch- managing remote teams
Virtual Christmas Lunch

Remote working can enhance employees’ productivity; however, sometimes, working alone can be tiresome and uninteresting. Employees will have no one around with whom they can communicate. 

As a manager, to make work more fun while working remotely, you can organize fun events. You can organize some fun competitions like singing competitions, cook-offs, or some fun games.

You can organize these games and competitions during some festival seasons like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, July 4th, and more. 

Organizing fun events for remote allows remote employees to interact with employees. It also helps employees to reduce their work pressure and energizes employees to perform better. 

It is also a better way for team building, an excellent way to start a conversation, and creates a friendly environment. It creates a positive work environment and helps to boost employees’ morale. 

Organizing games and events which are related to work will help employees to learn management and other skills which are needed for work.

Organize Get Together At Least Once A Year 

If you have lots of work to do, and organizing events frequently is not possible, then you can organize events at least once a year. Remote working means employees will not see their colleagues every time, and they can feel isolated. 

As a manager, you should organize a get-together at least once a year. Employees will be able to know their colleagues better when you organize a get-together. 

You can either organize a virtual get-together if your employees’ lives are far from each other. Or if everyone stays in the same city but works remotely, you can manage get-together in person.  

Get-together helps to improve communication and can work as an ice breaker among employees. Employees will feel a sense of togetherness when you organize a get-together. 

It is better to organize a get-together in some special events or festival seasons like Christmas, New year, Thanks Giving, etc.

Conclusion

To sum up, better management of remote teams depends on how well you manage them and how disciplined your remote team is.

Sometimes, even if you put all your effort into leading and managing remote teams in a better way, if your team members do not follow you, you may fail to manage your remote team.

Therefore, you should make sure that your teammates are disciplined enough and are willing to follow you.

For better management of remote teams and effective leadership, you can follow the tips mentioned above. 

Also, I would love to know the tips and tricks you are using for managing remote teams. Please mention them in the comment section below. 

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