Remote work is more common than ever before, and although it presents unique opportunities, it also creates a new set of challenges for managers. Leading a remote team requires you to change how you communicate, set expectations, and get work done. Even if you’re using the best payroll software or the latest leadership techniques, remotely managing your team can present numerous logistical issues. With that in mind, here are five brilliant tips to help you master the delicate art of management:
1. Prioritize Your Communication
Communication is an essential part of managing a team of any size, but it’s especially critical during remote work. When your workers only get to interact with you through Zoom meetings or direct messages, it’s crucial to make your expectations crystal clear for every project and effectively communicate your goals. It would be best if you always took the time to get feedback on whether you’re using easily-understandable language and conveying your expectations concisely.
2. Set Time Aside For Meetings
Since remote workers won’t have the opportunity to casually interact with each other the way they would in a physical office, you should plan to have regular and consistent meetings with your team. Frequent meetings will not only allow your employees to socialize and avoid isolation, but they will also help your team stay focused on your overarching goals and objectives for each project.
Studies show that employees who have friends at their organization feel more motivated to succeed, so you’ll reap plenty of benefits in strengthening your remote culture. Encouraging (but not insisting on) home-based happy-hour drinks and other virtual get-togethers can be helpful for strengthening these bonds.
3. Avoid Micromanaging At All Costs
You might be tempted to keep a close eye on all your employees’ work as they’re operating remotely. However, you should resist this urge. Employees typically hate feeling as if their every move is being tracked or scrutinized and prefer to have some control over their work processes.
Frequent one-on-one check-ins, allowing employees to express their concerns and receive feedback on their work, are a significantly better alternative to micromanaging. If you’re concerned about attendance and efficiency, time and attendance software for small businesses can help you keep track of things without micromanaging.
4. Build Personal Relationships Whenever Possible
Isolation has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s best to do everything in your power to forge personal relationships with your team members and help them feel connected. Be sure to have plenty of one-on-one meetings with your workers and to set time aside for some casual small talk. Simple conversations about hobbies and family can go a long way toward helping your employees feel engaged with your business.
5. Provide Flexibility
Remote employees will work in a wide variety of circumstances. One staff member might be living at home with family, juggling personal and professional responsibilities. Another might be living alone and feeling isolated. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to give your employees the freedom to complete their projects in the ways that work best for them and their situation. Rather than dictate the exact process you expect from your staff, you should instead emphasize the final product and let them determine their preferred way to get there.
Managing a remote workforce presents unique challenges compared to in-person leadership, but it can still be a deeply fulfilling experience for you and your staff. As long as you give your team the support they need during these times, you can set your organization up for success, even in challenging circumstances.