Managing a remote team is no easy feat. From hiring your remote team to training and allowing the members to work on their own, many issues can arise. Since you and your team are not physically together, relaying messages on time, communicating when problems occur, and other challenges can stop your team from working productively and effectively.
Not everyone can manage a remote team effectively. Some leaders prefer seeing their staff work. They enjoy interactions in real life instead of merely communicating via emails, chats, and video conferences.
The pandemic may have accelerated the need for other companies to allow their teams to work remotely. But that does not necessarily mean all their now remote workers are thriving. Research shows that many employees dislike working remotely.
These unprecedented times may have left some teams with no choice but to embrace remote work. But that does not necessarily mean that remote team managers can only work with what they have for their operations to push through. Learning the best practices of managing a remote team is one good way to ensure your team still gets to perform its best even if they are working from the comforts of their home.
One of the best ways you can improve the performance of your own remote team is to learn from the mistakes of other remote team managers. The following cites four common remote team management regrets and what you can do to avoid each one.
Embracing the Same Technology Used in a Traditional Office Setting
Technology will always be a remote team’s best friend. With the right tools and applications, you can effectively manage your team, communicate effectively, solve issues, and even allow your team to function as expected. But then, many are skimping on the right technology.
Some team leaders think the old technology they used back in their traditional office is more than enough for their remote team. This is especially true when managing the same people who have been working on the same tasks. But in reality, the only way to make a remote team work is by embracing change.
For instance, remote workers can’t simply use their company-provided equipment to store pertinent data. They require a reliable cloud server to save files, organize data, and share documents with other team members and managers. This will ensure the safety of your company data in case of equipment loss, data breach, and even cyber-attacks.
The same goes for investing in the right communication tool to make collaborations easy and seamless. The last thing you want is for your remote team to waste their time trying to reach you when they should be working on essential tasks. With practical communication tools, your and your team can effectively collaborate no matter the time or date.
Failure to Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Many remote team leaders fail to set clear expectations and discuss smart goals with their members. This results in confusion, lack of understanding, and failure to achieve projected results on time. It is never enough to assume your remote team members should already know what they need to do, how to do their tasks, and how the company expects them to perform.
Remote manager or not, you should always make it a point that you let your members know about your expectations. They should be aware of the team’s goals and how you plan on achieving each one. It is time that you stop assuming and start communicating with your team.
Leaders must ensure everyone knows about company policies involving remote team workers. Don’t wait for issues to worsen when there are many ways and opportunities to resolve each one. There’s a thin line between trusting your team to know what they ought to know and micromanaging every move they make.
Fostering a Controlling Culture
Many team leaders can’t help but hold on to their old leadership style to micromanage their members. Your staff may have migrated remotely. But if you are unwilling to let them go and do their responsibilities without micromanaging them, you can easily turn off your best talents and stress out your team.
Stop micromanaging your remote team. This is the only way for you to make your members feel like you trust them enough to do the job they are hired to do. Micromanaging in and outside of the office reduces employee satisfaction and decreases their morale.
A controlling leadership style also puts additional stress on yourself. Remember that you built your team with the sole purpose of each one fulfilling different roles. Focus on your responsibilities, improve communication, and encourage your members to take ownership of the projects you assign to them.
Remote team managers have a big responsibility on their shoulders. But that does not mean it is an impossible thing to do. Avoiding these usual mistakes many remote team managers committed will give you a better idea of effectively managing your own remote team.