Right now, telecommuting or remote working has become more than a trend. As a result, team leads, managers, colleagues and clients find themselves struggling to navigate the world of working from home.
Honestly, if it’s the first time you’ve ever had to do so and didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, it can be intimidating and overwhelming.
Managing a remote team comes with its own set of challenges from performance and communication to collaboration, building rapport, workload and time management. So, what’s the trick? What do businesses need to be ready for the realities of distributed and virtual interactions?
Here’s a list of tips that will help you set yourself up for success:
Have a Check-in
Whether with employees or colleagues, these meetings should be one-on-one and face-to-face via video. The purpose is simple – set the agenda, provide the feedback and offer resources your team needs to be productive and efficient. Alternatively, renting office space from a business center can help provide a temporary, professional space with distance for in person meetings.
Effective communication on a regular basis is the building block of any strong team. If you’re used to working in an office environment, one of the hardest things about working from home is loneliness and isolation. Knowledge sharing, company news and team bonding between colleagues can fall to the wayside if you’re only using virtual messaging platforms.
Take Advantage of Technology
Keeping everyone connected is easier than ever these days. While email and text message might be short term solutions, tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Meetup are far better suited for collaboration and communication.
Simple tasks like keeping on top of project updates or working on a document together can be tricky when you work remotely. Without a true office environment, using tools like Monday, Timely and Trello can improve project and resource management, KPI tracking, invoicing and prioritizing tasks.
Focus on Outcomes, Not Activity
It’s not possible to manage every aspect of the work done by a remote team. Moreover, you shouldn’t be trying to manage every aspect of everyone’s work, especially when your team and colleagues are situated in different locations. Instead of focusing on activity or hours worked, focus on outcomes and completed projects.
It’s important to understand that everyone has a lot going on right now. That’s not an excuse for laziness or procrastination. But it is a reason to reconsider what productivity really looks like. Punching a clock for 8 hours is out. For many people, regular work hours are probably as well. Instead, trust your team and colleagues. Give them freedom and flexibility to get work done on a schedule that helps them be the most productive.
If you are managing a team remotely, try incorporating some of these strategies to be more successful overall. Additionally, consider utilizing a professional business center. Shared office spaces offer casual hire programs to non-members or basic virtual plans with access to boardrooms. It’s important to have regular check-ins and consistent communication with your colleagues and teams. Renting office space or having a virtual plan could be just the thing to help you focus on your business and the people who help it develop and grow.