Managing a team, remote or otherwise, is never easy. There is no out-of-the-box solution when it comes to managing diverse groups of people across different time zones and cultures. However, getting it right is crucial.
The structure of today’s workplace is more flexible than it has ever been, in no small part due to our experiences during the Cornonavirus pandemic, which necessitated the swift adoption of new ways of working. Remote or hybrid working has now become the norm and we are gradually shifting away from the traditional 9 to 5 office-based model.
As members of remote teams have little or no physical interaction, a manager must ensure that people are happy and comfortable with each other in order for the team to function at an optimal level.
We have compiled 5 tips for successfully managing remote teams:-
- Maintaining Communication: Communication is key when managing a remote team. It may seem obvious, but a lack of communication can affect the whole team’s ability to work together successfully. A survey from ConnectSolution said that 30 percent of remote team members feel they accomplished more while working at home and experienced 82 percent lower stress levels.
Not maintaining good communication can lead to huge problems. According to the Harvard Business Review, “remote workers feel shunned and left out.” In this scenario a team becomes dysfunctional and their work is affected as a result. It is a manager’s responsibility to keep the whole team connected. Look after your team’s well-being, create a collaborative and respectful working environment and it will be much more productive as a result.
- Setting Priorities: One of the mistakes managers make is not setting clear priorities for their team. Everyone needs to understand their role to avoid confusion. There maybe a lot going on but the clearer everyone is on what they need to be doing the more focused the team will be as a whole.
A manager must ensure that all team members have access to the training and resources that they need to perform their role.
- Using Connectivity Tools: the modern world thrives on connectivity. According to the Harvard Business Review, 87 per cent of remote team members feel more connected when using common connectivity tools. We may not always feel like doing video conferences or audio calls to keep up with the team, but it is essential to maintain effective communication . Zoom, Slack, Skype, Google Hangout and many more tools are easily accessible and make staying connected a breeze.
There is, of course, the business side of things and the personal side of things. As a manager, you should care for your remote team, and it should go both ways. But without a means to ensure constant communication and availability, it is hard to keep a remote team motivated.
- Embracing Flexibility: Let’s face it, remote teams flourish when they are truly diverse. But managing a team across various countries and time zones can be a big challenge.
A good manager needs to find ways to get around the issue of different time zones to ensure that everyone on the team has the opportunity to be involved. Meetings should be timed so the majority can be included most of the time and possibly repeated to ensure everyone can participate and be kept up to date effectively. Be creative to find ways around the time-zone issue.
- Embracing Cultural Differences: It goes without saying that embracing cultural differences is important to any company. A great book called “The Culture Map” by Erin Meyer discusses this topic in greater detail. If you’re a remote team manager and want to get better at your craft, we recommend reading it.
You should always be looking for personal and professional opportunities to raise your game when it comes to managing remote teams . These are just 5 ideas which we hope you will find useful.
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