Managing a team of people is not an easy feat. It can be made exponentially harder when the team is working remotely. In the last few years, both remote and hybrid working practices have become commonplace, and in doing so, it has posed some unique challenges for managers. Staff motivation can be affected, which can then, in turn, impact productivity. Luckily, we have put together a list of tips to help you.
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Remember to Set Your Expectations
The first thing you need to do when managing a team remotely is to outline your expectations to the team. You need to feel comfortable and confident in communicating what you expect from your team on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Obviously, you will expect them to fulfill their job role, but you need to think about how you monitor their working practices to ensure that they are doing so. When you have this framework in place, the staff are less likely to take liberties.
Communication is a Two-Way Street
Working remotely can be isolating. As a manager, you are probably more likely to feel comfortable reaching out to your team than they might be to reach out to you or each other. You need to do your best to encourage your team to communicate with you as well as each other to help to remove some of the distance and isolation associated with remote working. Think about how you can help to develop a good working dynamic within the team, which includes both working practices and the important social element too.
Formal Reviews & Progress Reports
When managing a remote team, it can also be beneficial to regularly schedule check-ins with your team both on an individual as well as a team basis. It allows you to build a rapport as well as see how the staff are getting on. It can help to provide you with an idea of who would be an ideal candidate for progression within the business and help you to monitor their progress overall. If a member of the team isn’t progressing as you would like, then you can have a conversation about why and what you can do to help.
Get to Grips with the Admin
Managing a team remotely is likely to entail a lot of admin, perhaps more than there would be when managing a team in person. You need to find the best tools to help you to keep track of the intricacies involved with management, like absence trackers, documentation distribution and the individual HR documents relating to each team member. It can often be beneficial to reach out to an HR consultancy firm like Citation, which can help you.
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The Bottom Line
Alternative working practices like hybrid or remote working is not likely to go anywhere any time soon; it offers too many benefits to business and staff alike. However, while it can be challenging to manage a team remotely, with the right strategies, it doesn’t have to be impossible. If you are new to management overall or managing a remote team specifically, you need to bear in mind that it is a learning opportunity. You can customise and rework techniques until you find the best approach for yourself and your management style.