When you’re managing a team spread across the globe, finding ways to keep everyone on the same page is important.
Challenges in Managing a Remote Team
Remote work arrangements are becoming increasingly common, and with good reason—they allow companies to get more out of their talent. But it’s not without its challenges. It’s hard to stay on the same page when your team is scattered across different time zones, and you have less chance to ask for clarification as you go along.
Disordered Employee Performance
The biggest challenge of managing a remote team is making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to understanding the company’s priorities, vision, and goals. Managing a remote team means you need to coordinate schedules, stay on track with projects, and make sure everyone feels included.
One of the most prominent challenges managers face with a remote team is retaining employees. It’s much harder to get to know your colleagues when you’re not all in the same place, and it’s easier for people to be swept away by an opportunity that seems like a better fit for them.
Remote employees are especially vulnerable to data security breaches since they don’t have the same physical security measures to prevent them (i.e., locked doors and security cameras). Also, if your remote employees use public computers for their work (often the case), it’s easy for someone else to access your data.
Managing a remote team means you need to oversee projects and see to it that everything is done according to schedule. This can be an extra challenge in a remote setup because you don’t have your employees inside the office where they are expected to work and produce an output.
These challenges are just that – challenges. There is a solution to each of them.
Tips For Leading and Managing Your Remote Team
If you’re leading a team that’s physically separated from you and your central office, it can quickly feel like you’re losing some of your control as a manager. Your employees are working on their own time, in their own space, with very few reliable indicators of how they’re doing or what they’re producing.
Despite this apparent lack of connection, there are plenty of ways for you to stay connected with your remote workers. Here are a few tips for staying in the loop, managing your remote team effectively, and making sure everyone is working smoothly:
Communication is vital for any business, but communication is even more important for remote teams. No matter how well you think you communicate with your team, there will be times when another person’s tone can come across differently than intended. Business owners check in frequently and ask questions until they know everyone understands what your expectation of them is.
In the same way that a bad manager can negatively impact office workers, a bad manager can make remote workers feel disengaged and unproductive. A good leader will find ways for employees to feel like they are part of the group, even if they aren’t physically present in the office.
Give Regular Feedbacks
Regular feedback is the key to effective leadership with a remote team. It allows you to give assessments and helps your staff to improve themselves.
Asking for feedback from your team can be uncomfortable for some managers, but it’s an excellent way to get an idea about their experience working with you and give you an insight into what they like and don’t like.
Feedback is also essential because it shows that you’re paying attention to all aspects of the project, not just the result. Take time every week or month to check in on your team, ask about their progress and give them positive and constructive feedback.
Providing flexibility is a great way to help employees work more effectively. Your employees will be more productive if they work in an environment that matches their personalities. You will have a higher success rate with your team if you help everyone feel comfortable and free to suggest new ideas.
As we grow, we must build ways for people to work when and where they feel most productive and create an environment that feels like home.
Set Clear Goals And Expectations
Setting clear goals will help the team identify more with their tasks and ideas because they will be more invested in the outcome. Make sure that your team knows their expectations of them. Remind them of their responsibilities regarding collaboration, communication, and deadlines.
When you give people clear goals and guidelines, they’ll know the most important tasks and work on those while they’re at work. If they ever have problems or questions, they know exactly who to talk to—you. So don’t feel you need to look over their shoulder all the time. It is to ensure they’re getting things done correctly; instead, communicate your needs clearly and frequently, then step back and let them do their jobs.
Establish Work-Life Balance
It’s essential to ensure that your employees have a healthy work-life balance, that their personal lives don’t suffer because of their work, and to retain the best employees. It helps ensure that your employees are happy and productive.
Work-life balance is a crucial component of any successful project and company. To maintain a healthy work environment, managers must be proactive in setting up a work-life balance for their team members. With a remote team, it’s even more important because you don’t get to see each other every day at the office.
In a Nutshell
Admittedly, managing remote workers is a challenging process. But if you can get over the initial hurdles and work through some initial kinks, you can form a cohesive and dedicated remote team. Remember: communication is vital.
Ditch the email chains, schedule weekly check-ins, have regular meetings to discuss project progress, and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding what’s expected from each team member. With these tips in mind, you should be able to find ways to make remote work meet your needs and those of your team.