Jul 14, 2021
As we enter a new working world, it is anticipated that businesses will increasingly turn to a new hybrid model that seamlessly blends office work with remote working capabilities.
The acceleration of remote working caused by the pandemic has meant that firms have invested heavily in new technologies that enable efficient working scenarios, regardless of where you are based.
But if you manage a team, this new hybrid model of working can be increasingly complex for man-management. After all, how can you reward hard work and dedication if you cannot physically monitor how your teams are working?
Similarly, if you have a staff member who isn’t pulling their weight, how can you approach this?
According to research firm Gartner, ‘By 2030, the demand for remote work will increase by 30% due to Generation Z fully entering the workforce’.
If this prediction is accurate, then we have less than 10 years for businesses to learn how to implement effective management techniques for remote teams.
You may be highly effective when supervising a team face-to-face, but managing a remote team can be far more complicated.
There are numerous advantages of remote working, but you should be aware that it isn’t for everyone. Some workers will naturally flourish while working from home, and others will find it harder to focus.
As a manager, you will need to spend far more time considering the individual needs of your employees and finding creative solutions to help them work effectively.
For example, some remote workers may not physically have the space to work productively from home. They may struggle with an internet connection or may have outdated devices that are slow to run. They may live on their own and struggle with the social isolation that arises from remote working.
It’s your job as a manager to identify these issues and find ways to overcome them.
You also need to think about providing adequate supervision and learning how to recognize and reward those working hard.
Motivation is more important than ever for remote teams, so you need to consider how to facilitate effective teamwork and collaboration.
Here are some practical tips that could help you to manage your remote team effectively.
Communication is crucial for managing remote teams.
When you work in an office, you can take for granted how easy it is to ask questions or find out the information we need quickly.
However, when working remotely, this can be much harder to facilitate.
You must set clear expectations about how you expect staff to operate and use your communication skills to ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals.
You can trust what your employees are working on in the office because you can physically see what staff are doing.
However, remote working is different. It may be tempting to start micromanaging your employees in a bid to confirm that work is taking place, but this will likely backfire.
Instead of focusing on every single aspect, focus more on what achievements are being accomplished and how these achievements align with your business strategy.
Good management is about knowing how to inspire employees and knowing when they need additional support.
Use video conferencing software to check up on your staff – much miscommunication can occur via email or phone.
You should use video capabilities to assess that person’s body language and demeanour. This will give you more insight into how that person is truly feeling.
Daily check-ins will allow you to show that you are there for them as and when they need you.
In the office, you may repeatedly say ‘Thanks’ or ‘Well done’ or ‘Good job’, but it is even more important to remember to do this with your remote workers.
You must recognize and reward those working hard because one of the most common problems remote workers face are feelings of isolation and fear of missing out.
Show that you have noticed their achievements and give as much positive feedback as you can.
An essential part of teamwork is learning how to work with others, this can be particularly difficult when working remotely.
You need to encourage as much social interaction as possible to build camaraderie and team-ethos.
Why not encourage virtual happy hours or team bonding where everyone can feel that they are still part of a cohesive team and have people they can rely upon?
As remote working (or hybrid working) becomes more mainstream, employers no longer have an excuse to delay implementing this in their workplaces.
Instead, they need to lead by example and demonstrate why they are a good employer.
They need to show that they understand the challenges of remote working and that they can still offer exceptional motivation, inspiration, recognition, and rewards to those who are continually working to the best of their ability even if they are not physically in the office.