October 27

13 Tips For Managing a Remote Team For Your Business

Managing a remote team doesn't have to be a headache. Here are a few tips for simplifying your remote team management.

 

 

Many of us are in the position to where some of our employees are working remotely for the foreseeable future.

While having a remote team does have a lot of benefits, you will need to manage and communicate with these employees in a different way than you would if they came to your business every single day.

Check out these 13 tips for managing a remote team for your business.

 

 

Getting the Most From Your Remote Team

#1. Establish Boundaries Right Away

Many remote workers have the misconceptions that they will have to work less than they would if they were commuting to an office every day.

While there may be perks like being able to wear casual attire and being able to eat at home for lunch, their tasks still need to get done as if they were coming to your business.

Communicate this with them, and let them know that there will still be strict deadlines. It’s a good idea to create a schedule for each employee.

Write out what each of their tasks are and when they should have them completed by.

Just keep in mind that you do need to be flexible and value their input if they feel that something needs to be changed.

You can still have boundaries and take your team’s needs into consideration.

 

#2. Let Them Know Your Expectations As Soon As Possible

Your employees are more prone to fail or disappoint you if they don’t know what your expectations are. You need to talk about this at the very start.

Be clear as to what you expect out of them. They should know what the consequences are for finishing a task past a deadline, taking extended periods for lunch without prior approval or being late to meetings.

Make sure that they have a clear understanding as to what they need to do if they have to take time off or if they need to communicate to you about a deadline that they are having difficulty meeting.

 

#3. Utilize Video-conferencing Software

It’s difficult for remote employees to feel connected to one another if they don’t actually see each other in person. This is why video-conferencing software is very beneficial.

Your entire team will be able to see and interact with each other.

Platforms like Zoom and Skype provide a fairly affordable interface that many businesses use.

If you do need to communicate with your employees through text or emails on occasion, keep in mind that emojis go a long way.

They will help keep employees from mistaking your tone in the written word.

 

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#4. Become A Better Communicator

In order to best manage your remote team, you will need to know how to communicate with them. This may not come easy to you, but that’s okay!

There are numerous ways that you can learn how to communicate better with them.

Take a remote class on communication skills. Through this class you can learn things about how to open up the dialogue in meetings, being concise in your instructions and how to set the right tone in written communications.

It also wouldn’t hurt to offer your team a training on communication as well.

By learning to communicate more effectively with your remote team, you will lessen the chance of having to deal with a lot of unnecessary issues.

 

#5. Be Available To Help Them When Problems Arises

Despite your best efforts, you will find that problems arise at some point. You can keep this from ruining an entire day by being available to deal with them.

Your team should never feel like they are in it alone.

If you act bothered by them when they reach out to you, there’s a good chance that they won’t communicate with you when they are having a problem.

They may just try to handle it on their own and will usually end up making the situation worse.

 

#6. Make Sure Your Team Has The Hardware And Software That They Need In Order To Get The Job Done

Your team probably wants to do a good job, but they may be struggling simply because they don’t have the tools to do so.

It’s imperative that you provide them with the hardware and software that they need to get the job done.

They shouldn’t have to pay for these items in order to work remotely for your business. You really need to make sure that you purchase items that will work best for your business.

Don’t purchase outdated software or computers just because they are cheap. Chances are that your team will struggle using them, and they will have a difficult time trying to complete their daily tasks.

 

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#7. Incorporate Team Bonding Into Some Of Your Meetings

Many individuals struggle with working remotely because they feel alone. They don’t have someone that’s right there next to them they can talk to if they need help.

By incorporating activities into some of your meetings that highlight team bonding, you can help each individual feel as if they are actually on a team.

Start every meeting by having each member answer a specific question that will allow others to get to know them on a personal level.

You can ask questions such as what’s their favorite food or place they’ve traveled to or what’s the most adventurous thing that they’ve ever done.

If your team is local, you should schedule an outing with them. Meet for dinner on a monthly basis, or schedule a team retreat once a year.

 

#8. Allow For Small Talk

You will probably have to have a lot of meetings with your remote team. However, you shouldn’t always be rushing through them in order to get them over with as quickly as possible.

Allow some time for some small talk as it’s a great way to get to know your team.

You can actually find out a lot of great information during this time as everyone will start to feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts.

 

#9. Connect With Your Team Individually

All of your team members need to feel as if you care about them individually. This can be difficult to do when your team is working remotely.

It’s crucial that you spend some time trying to connect with them on an individual level. This can simply be via a phone conversation every few weeks.

This is a great time to get their feedback about what they think is working and any changes that they feel need to be made.

If there is some sort of problem, your employees are more likely to confide in you when they are talking one-on-one with you rather in a group chat.

You can also share your feedback about their performance with them as well. Just make sure that you don’t only share negative information.

It’s important that you highlight some of their personal strengths so that they won’t feel as if they are failing at their entire job.

You can also improve the morale of your team by writing them handwritten letters on occasion and mailing them to them.

You can use this as an opportunity to praise them in some way and to let them know how valuable they are to your business.

 

 

#10. Offer Them Incentives

Your employees will work harder if they feel like there is some sort of incentive that they can gain.

There are all sorts of things that you can offer your employees for doing things like constantly logging into work on time, meeting a deadline or not taking off any days.

Incentives can include things like gift certificates, a paid hour of personal time off or a monetary bonus.

In order for incentives to work, they have to be something that your employees actually want to get.

It’s a good idea to let your employees know about the incentives and what they need to do to earn them.

If you don’t have a lot of money right now to spend on incentives, you can do things like praising an employee during a team meeting or sending them a thoughtful email.

 

13 Tips For Managing a Remote Team For Your Business 3

 

#11. Have Meetings That Are Only About Brainstorming

Your team probably has a lot of great ideas, but you will never know about them if you don’t give them the opportunity to tell them to you. This is why you need to have brainstorming meetings.

Give everyone a chance to speak. Don’t shoot down their ideas just because you think they won’t work.

Even if you know you won’t implement something that an employee thinks is a good idea, you can still be tactful with your response.

You may find that your team has some creative solutions to problems that you are facing, or they are able to come up with ways to complete certain tasks in a more efficient manner.

 

#12. Be Realistic With What You Expect Out Of Them

You may have the misconception that your team can do more than they are actually able to just because they are working from home.

When figuring out deadlines for tasks and projects, you need to make sure that the deadlines are consistent to what they would be if your team had to actually come into your business.

You don’t want to have unrealistic expectations that your team simply can’t meet.

If you are finding that they are consistently having issues with the same task, you need to figure out why it isn’t working and how to go about fixing it.


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#13. Avoid The Urge To Micromanage

You may be tempted to try to micromanage your team because you aren’t able to stand over their shoulders and watch their every move. However, this just isn’t realistic.

You need to train your employees how to correctly complete their tasks from the beginning, and trust that they will do them the right way until they prove otherwise.

While you should check in on them regularly, you also need to give them the opportunity to succeed on their own without micromanaging their every move.

 

So What’s Next?

Are you looking to simplify the management of your remote teams for your business? Check out this platform that has all the tools you need to reduce the hassle of managing your remote teams.

 

 


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