As many organizations have learned over the last year, remote teams offer a lot of benefits. Not only do they tend to have higher levels of productivity, but you also save time on the commute, avoid office distractions, and have the flexibility to work the hours during which they feel most productive. Not to mention, you can hire talent from anywhere and have customers around the globe. Of course, managing a remote team does require its own unique approach. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Communicate, communicate, communicate
It is always best to err on the side of over-communication when you are working remotely. That means establishing how to keep in touch with your team, when they can reach out to other team members, and how frequently they need to communicate. From the beginning, it is necessary to clearly define which modes of communication work for what – video conferences for team meetings and messaging platforms for quick contact, etc.
It is also essential to define standard availability hours, which are mandatory, and when all team members are available. Holding frequent check-ins and one-on-one communication will also encourage socialization between employees and facilitate smoother collaboration. Transparency is extremely important and will help generate and build mutual respect amongst all employees.
Take advantage of technology to help you manage a remote team
Use the many different platforms available to communicate, track time, and assign tasks. Get feedback from your team regarding their expectations and which resources they need to have at their disposal. Making intelligent use of collaboration tools and roadmaps allows everyone to have clearly stated tasks and understand the reasoning behind them.
Explaining how you will measure success and offering details regarding scope and deadline will help everyone stay focused on the outcome rather than the activity. Ultimately, it is about acknowledging the yield and quality of the final product, rather than how much your team has done or how many hours they have worked.
Be flexible and exhibit empathy
Likewise, it is worth reconsidering what productivity means and realizing that your team might already have a lot on their plate. Regular working hours are no longer a big thing, and everyone has times that work better for them. Trust your team and give them the freedom and flexibility to get work done on schedule.
Work on understanding your employees and why they do what they do. Offer emotional support when needed, and listen to employees’ anxieties and concerns.
Mentor more than manage
Most importantly, it is vital to remain mindful of employees’ differences and how they like to work – avoiding a “one size fits all” framework. Especially when working remotely, putting in the effort to acknowledge good work, give praise, and provide valuable feedback matters. These small contributions help prevent burnout and allows you to build and maintain positive online relationships.
Creating an atmosphere where people feel valued will help promote dynamic collaboration and ensure the most critical factor of all — that people actually enjoy the work they’re doing.
How we do it at GANDT
The beautiful thing about being part of a team is that each one is unique. At GANDT, we use G Suite products and Notion for project management and note-taking. We also take regular ‘coffee breaks’ to check in with one another, share ideas, and just enjoy each other’s company. It is all about finding what works for your organization.
Stay tuned for a post later this week from one of our leading project managers, Greet Gleixner, on the top remote-working apps that can help your business succeed.