The emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic has led to many drastic changes that have impacted the lives of many around the world. One change is the enablement of working from home. As the numbers of infected grew, companies started to encourage employees to work from home in order to practice social distancing. As months passed, millions of workers have set up home offices. Considering how the disease is still spreading across the world, it has become clear that this new normal will continue.
5 Principals to Manage a Remote Team
Working from home has posed new challenges to the managers. One of the biggest from them is probably the task of managing remote teams. To do this, new skills and strategies will be required. As everyone knows how remote workforces will shape the business landscape in the future, it is important to focus on developing and employing them. Here are five certain principles that will help you manage a remote team.
#1. Scheduling Fixed Check-Ins
For a remote team to function, it is important for the workers to have a stable internet connection. I am a user of Spectrum and have found their service to be extremely efficient whilst working from home. If you want to know if they offer internet connection in your area, search for the Spectrum service area map. Once you are subscribed to a good network, it is important for you to convey the fixed check-in time to your team members. This will help them ensure that they are on time.
It will take you some time in tweaking the check-in schedule in terms of scheduling, frequency, and gathering participants. However, once it is set up, it will provide temporal touch-points around which your team members can structure their own activities reliably. Also, not monitoring your team members or engaging them in conferences will reflect your trust in them. It will give the workers a feeling of independence.
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To manage your teams effectively, you will need to get your hands on the right tools. Zoom is an option that you can consider along with Team Viewer. The utilization of such tools will help you save time and would generate better results.
#2. Set Expectations
When employees are asked to work from home then they might not be able to perform as productively as they used to from the office. The reason? A lack of structure. You can however provide this structure by establishing expectations for every team member. You can do this by answering the following questions
- What do your team members need to do?
- When should they be done with the task?
- When do your team members need to be reachable?
- Whom do they report?
- Who should they contact in case if they have any issues?
If the questions above are answered then this will provide a framework to the workers in which they can thrive.
#3. Foster Team Spirit and Social Interaction
One of the things that employees miss the most while working from home is social interaction. It is also important for fostering team spirit. You can take care of this issue by making different channels for social interaction such as creating a WhatsApp group for non-work topics. You can then encourage employees to interact with each other. This will build a friendly atmosphere where everyone will feel free to share their thoughts or stories. You can even have virtual lunches with the team members.
#4. Choose the Right Team Collaboration Tool
Selecting the right team collaboration tool is important for the employees and teams that are working remotely. Why? Well, this is because it will help one to easily perform different actions such as schedule, assign, and track tasks, make video or voice calls, produce reports, share files, and message individually or in groups. There are different collaboration tools that you can consider like Slack, Basecamp, Trello, and Asana. Choosing the right team collaboration tool depends upon the size of your team, the nature of the tasks, and the budget you have.
Considering how the world is still going through a pandemic, it might be hard for some workforces to adapt to a specific platform. Hence, employees should be given complete freedom to work on the platform of their choice. Doing this will not only increase their productivity but will also decrease the downtime significantly.
#5. Promote a Healthy Work-life Balance
It is not easy for employees who are working from home to strike a balance between their professional and private life. Therefore, it is important for managers to help their team members achieve that balance. At the same, they have to ensure that the workers are fit both physically and mentally. A crucial step to achieve this is to safeguard personal time. These means do discourage workers from doing anything work-related during their free time. You can also set definitive limits on when members need to be reachable.
Managing work balance while working from home can be a bit difficult. This is because you might be asked to work more than usual. However, this should not be supported. There should be a fixed time allotted for work and for your leisure activities.
During the times of Corona, many businesses have supported work from home to ensure the safety of employees. The managers now work with remote teams to get the tasks done. Before getting started with work from home, please make sure that you are subscribed to a strong internet network such as Spectrum internet. Will remote working continue to flourish in the future? Guess only time will tell!