Updated: Dec 10, 2021
Leading a remote team has become an essential management skill in 2021. With a large portion of the workforce replacing their offices with their homes due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it's become a priority to maintain the satisfaction of these employees while working remotely.
In this switch, employees got the chance to choose their preferred workspace, depending on what level of comfort they wanted. Such a work setup also incurs fewer expenses but, a remote worker also needs to be highly committed, well-organized, independent, flexible and have good communication skills to make it all work out.
When leading remote teams, the following aspects are the ones to bear in mind if you want to excel at it.
Set clear expectations and stick to them
You need to set very clear goals and expectations for your team members and make sure that everyone is on the same page with your expectations from them.
Make your expectations and goals as straightforward as possible but be flexible and open to changes as they are bound to happen. What’s crucial is that both you and your team stick to these and in doing so, you as a leader will make your employees feel satisfied after working remotely at their computers the whole day.
Working from home is very different from working at the office and it's clear there will be different challenges. One of them is more distractions. In reality, these are practically inevitable in a remote work environment so it's critical this should be acknowledged.
Show your staff that it’s acceptable for them to play a bit with their children or pets, or check their messages and social media accounts. Ordering them to remove these completely is pointless, and a little distraction can actually be helpful in preventing burnout.
Check on each of your members
Checking on each of your members is an easy task for small remote teams. Even if you have a bigger team, by turning to global PEO solutions and outsourcing certain services, you will be able to find time to talk to your employees one-on-one, and this is crucial. Not all your members will need closer supervision, but all of them must know there is reliable support if they should need it.
Unnecessary and frequent calls may make your staff think that you are intrusive but after some trial and error, you’ll be able to determine the right scheduling of your meetings as your management skills improve.
Take advantage of technology
With proper tools and technology, remote teams will achieve success and easily maximize their productivity. Start by ensuring they have functional computers for day-to-day work to be more efficient.
Also, have your IT team check that their equipment is fully functional and secure. You should also ensure you have an open channel of communication between the IT team and your remote staff so they can get immediate help with any issue arising or their equipment breaking down.
Remove language barriers
A remote team is quite often comprised of people from different sides of the globe, speaking different languages. With this in mind, learning another language might be a plus that will let you communicate with your team more effectively. Now you can find plenty of online courses to help you master another language. You might also need to have something translated from time to time. Luckily, now there are professional translation and interpreting services that can process your requests rapidly, connecting you to the world and offering 24/7 support.
Encourage your members to be independent
A healthy work-life balance is an essential ingredient of working remotely. Encourage your members to take breaks, try working outdoors or not neglect their hobbies during off time. This can help them feel more independent and boost their confidence and efficiency.
Virtual staff members need to understand that it’s their decision how they balance their work and personal life. When you succeed in instilling a sense of independence in them, you automatically help them enhance and improve their work-life balance.
Remote teams’ management is not one-size-fits-all
Since each employee is an individual, they naturally have different personalities, traits, skills, and attributes. This means it’s only natural to expect that a previously effective method might not work for everyone. If you want to be a successful leader, you have to acknowledge these differences in their needs and habits.
Some members might require more attention than others but if you focus just on them, you will not create a productive and functioning work environment. Instead, create an environment where everyone is equally appreciated by offering rewards and recognition to your remote workers.
When managing a remote team, you need to understand that the outcome is more significant than the volume of work done. This means you simply need to trust your team to deliver premium outsourcing services to your clients.
Hopefully, these tips can help you excel in leading your virtual staff more effectively and successfully. When you make your remote team feel they have all they need to work, not only will everyone have better performance, but they will also enjoy the work itself and all the benefits of working from home.