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Tips on managing your remote team

You have a great team of people under your managerial eye. They’re dedicated, talented, and hard-working – and in a completely different building. Welcome to the new normal in the age of coronavirus, where managing remote employees is a skill you’ll rapidly need to learn.

Managers all over the globe are now being faced with a brand new challenge – managing an entire team remotely. If this marks your first time in a remote working environment, you’re probably wondering how to maintain productivity, whilst boosting morale in a tough time. To ensure you and your team remain on track throughout the coronavirus pandemic, here are our top tips on how to manage your remote team.

Provide communication technology options

Email alone is insufficient. Remote workers benefit from having a “richer” technology, such as video conferencing, that gives your team many of the visual cues that they would have if they were face-to-face. Video conferencing has many advantages; including helping reduce the sense of isolation among teams. There are other circumstances when quick collaboration is more important than visual detail. For these situations, provide mobile-enabled individual messaging functionality (like Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) which can be used for simpler, less formal conversations, as well as time-sensitive communication.

Set realistic expectations

Working from home can be tough for some people, especially if it’s their first time doing it. They may feel out of the loop, or that they’re lacking the direction they’d usually get daily in an office environment. Your role is to help combat this, by not only helping them to understand their tasks, duties, and deadlines, but also to make sure they know why they’re doing it. Make sure what you’re asking for is actually realistic. Working from home can blur people’s working hours, and cause them to work overtime without even realising it. Check that your team is on track by monitoring their progress regularly, making a note of any other work they may have acquired, and ensuring they have the time needed to complete their tasks.

Acknowledge the circumstances

Let’s face it; we’re living in unprecedented times. Everyone who is used to working amongst their team, in an office, is now being forced to work remotely. On top of that, the world is in a constant state of panic. Depending on the individual circumstances, this drastic switch in working environments might also mean that standard office hours and routines are a thing of the past. As a manager, it’s your job to be understanding of each individual situation, and help your colleagues devise a flexible timetable that works best for them.

While many companies are starting to grasp the advantages of working remotely, not everyone has considered the infrastructure they’ll need to actually sustain them. Nor do they know how to measure employee progress, enable smooth collaboration or build team relationships within a virtual space. We hope these tips help with managing your remote team successfully.

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