Working remotely used to be a topic to discuss to give your team greater work-life balance, with more companies moving in that direction, but it still wasn’t widely adopted. That is, it wasn’t until COVID-19 changed everything and forced all companies that could move to working from home. As a result, many employers found themselves in unfamiliar territory and trying to manage a team from a distance. If you’re in the same position, here are tips on how to best manage a fully remote team.
Focus on communication
From daily check-ins to team management software, the importance of staying connected through communication cannot be overstated. First and foremost, these are strange times, and you want to keep a pulse on how your people are. Nothing is normal, and it’s good to have a sense of where they are and how they’re handling everything.
Beyond the check-ins is the need to keep everyone engaged. Because you can’t simply walk to someone’s desk and email can be okay for certain conversations, a communication tool like Microsoft Teams or Slack can help you feel more connected despite being in different locations. They allow you to chat, have streams for project conversations, and share files directly.
While the goal may be standard work hours, the reality is that it may not be feasible for all team members. Whether they have children at home or other factors, you may have to let go of the idea that everyone is at their desk from 9-5. Because of this, the key is to focus on the outcomes instead of the time spent and what is being done. It may be a new style of management, but your goal is to make sure the work is being done well, not focus on when it’s happening. Trust and support your team.
Get them what they need
This may not be a forever solution for your company, but it is the reality for the foreseeable future. Even if you get the green light to return, your employees may not be comfortable, and the option may remain to stay at home. Either way, you want them to feel equipped to do their job, not just limp along until things are back to normal. Ask about what specific resources they need to do their jobs and get them what they need.
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