Working remotely is becoming more widely adopted by businesses around the globe, especially among those looking to bridge the communication gap between staff and management as well as helping to keep employees motivated by the prospect of working from wherever they like.
But for managers facing the new trend, who might find it difficult to imagine a world without an office complete with Business Workstations or being able to monitor their team’s progress, it’s difficult to know exactly how to go about managing remote workers. Without training it’s difficult, when suddenly faced with the prospect of a team leaving to work wherever, to know how to keep a business running smoothly. In this article we hope to offer a few practical suggestions.
Compassion and Understanding
The first key thing a great manager needs to cultivate in this time of upheaval is the ability to be compassionate and understanding toward their team and their employees desire to work remotely with greater freedom. Being able to look at the situation through the eyes of your team members is absolutely critical when it comes to good management in general, not just in the case of remote working.
Adopting this is a major keystone in your framework might seem counter intuitive to most strategic management plans but it is one, no less, that will help you remain respected and popular among your team, as well as giving them their own sense of autonomy and further motivating them. Training your members to adopt the same approach when it comes to dealing with customers is another great move also. Focus on sharing experiences rather than dry business-related things.
Check In Regularly
Having a software system in place that enables you to remain in contact with your workers and track and monitor their progress in terms of tasks is pretty important when it comes to managing people remotely. Better than that though is the ability to actually check in with them personally when you can, whether through Skype or arranged online hang-outs where you can hash things out voice-to-voice and communicate with body language to be precise and clear about your intentions.
Taking a personal approach to checking in with your employees, not just discussing all matters business related, might also help keep morale up and understanding and compassion at a maximum. As a manager you might want to engage your team and talk to them about their passions and interests outside of work. That’s the type of behaviour that really helps build a remarkable team.
Management of remote teams gets a whole lot easier the more you can facilitate interaction between people. Things that could help with that include implementing a WhatApp group that connects all employees or possibly even an online forum or other instant messaging application where your team can interact, ask questions and check in on what’s happening in and around the business and their daily lives.
Furthermore, when you do find yourself in the same physical locations, it’s a great idea to make the effort to meet up with people involved in your business in person. Whether that’s at a cafe, restaurant or other location, interacting in this way is always going to be more personal than any remote method.
Managing a team remotely might seem like an intimidating task but take all things pointers on board and hopefully you’ll build an ever greater team than you already have.