As the number of businesses offering telecommuting options continues to grow as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, companies are faced with a reduced need for a traditional office environment. Workers in many industries around the world are increasingly preferring to work from their home offices or even their kitchen tables due to the additional comfort, flexibility, and cost savings that it provides.
Since the COVID19 pandemic, the benefits of working from home for both employers and employees have been undeniable, with many employees reporting less stress and a better work-life balance as a result, which has had a positive impact on companies in terms of results and productivity. But what does this mean for managers who are also working remotely?
Without the traditional office setting, some managers might find that it is challenging to engage their employees and ensure that projects stay on track. The good news is that with the right tools and strategies, managing teams remotely does not have to be difficult. Here are some tips to keep in mind to get better results from managing a remote team.
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In a remote working setting, it can be easy for managers to forget to keep in touch with co-workers who are not sharing an office space, especially if there are no urgent due dates or deadlines coming up. If you are currently managing a team remotely, you will see a difference if you take the time to connect with your employees every day, even if it’s just to say hello and ask how they are.
Maintaining regular and frequent communication with your employees is the best way to establish a strong connection with them and keep the lines of communication open while ensuring that they know you are approachable. Chat services are an ideal way to do this since email can sometimes feel formal and impersonal.
Use Remote Working Apps to Become a Better Remote Manager
There are lots of different apps out there that are designed to help you connect with and better manage teams of employees who are working remotely from different locations. For example, a task manager app can be a great tool for helping you and your remote employees get a clearer understanding of all the tasks that need to be completed, how far along they are in terms of progress, who is working on which part of each task, and how much they have got through. Project management apps and tools can also be an ideal option for many remote teams; take the time to research the different options and find one that works well for you and your team.
Make an Effort to Meet in Person
Depending on where your team members are located, this could be something that’s fairly easy for you to organize, while in some cases it might be impossible. If you are managing a team that used to all work together in an office environment and everybody lives in the local area, then it’s a good idea to schedule regular meetings and get-togethers to give everybody a chance to socialize and get out of the house.
You might want to consider using the office or a local co-working space to meet up one day of the week while working remotely the rest of the time. But remember that it doesn’t always have to be about work, either – arranging for everybody to meet up to have some fun by getting drinks, going for coffee, or taking part in activities together can be a great way to blow off some steam and improve the relationship between members of the team. This can be very useful for teams that have taken on new members of staff since switching to remote working, as it gives the new hires a chance to better get to know the people that they are working with.
Create an Office at Home
When you work remotely, it can be all too easy for the lines between work and home to get blurred and you might end up working while sitting in bed in the morning or on your sofa. Finding a place to work where you can focus on engaging your team and what needs to be done can be a bit of a struggle when you do not have a traditional office to go to every morning, so consider creating a home office to add some more structure to your working day.
Use a spare bedroom or another available space in your homes like a corner of your garage, a conservatory, or a useable attic or loft space. Make sure that your office area is not intrusive to the rest of the home and similarly, that you’re not going to be distracted by the rest of your home while you are working in there. Keep your office well-maintained and organized.
Show Your Team You Care
When managing a remote team, small gestures of appreciation can sometimes go the longest way when it comes to letting your team know that you care and value them and the work that they do. Something as simple as sending a card for their birthday or Christmas can be a great way to let them know that you are thinking about them.
Go out of your way to thank team members who have been working hard recently and share the result of their work with them; remember that while working at home, employees might not always hear about everything that they would while in the office so it’s a good idea to provide everybody with regular updates on progress. Check-in with people personally, too, to get an idea of how they are feeling and coping and to let them know that you are always there if they need support.
Today, managers are adjusting from working in an office environment to managing teams remotely. If you are in this situation, getting the right strategies in place will help you create an effective and engaging remote work environment.