Tips to Managing a Remote Team
Working from home is becoming increasingly popular
By: The De Lacy Executive Recruitment Team
Whether your team works in an office every day or entirely works remotely, building relationships with your employees is imperative to the success of your business. Nowadays, building relationships can be challenging, but as a supervisor, it's important to take time to really get to know each member of your team.
Building relationships allows you to understand several things about your remote employees:
- Understand their work habits - working from home allows greater flexibility for employees when it comes to their working schedule.
- Know their preferred method of communication - some employees prefer email messages, while others prefer face-to-face (virtually of course) interaction so that they can talk through tasks and challenges.
- Know what your employees are best at - getting to know your employees gives you a better understanding of the tasks that they excel at, while also learning about the task they may be struggling with.
Get to know your employees on a personal basis as well. Make sure to ask and stay up-to-date on their hobbies, family, and accomplishments to keep building that positive relationship.
Don't forget to share with them as well - relationships are a two-way street!
As technology continues to be integrated into our daily lives, both work and personal, it's important to utilise technology to stay connected and check in on your remote team members. Try to connect with your employees at least once per week to see how they are doing, what they are working on, or if there is anything you can do to assist them.
It's important to check on your remote employees regularly, after all, they require the same amount of attention as employees in the office.
This can be as simple as sending a message, giving them a call, or using video conferencing applications like Skype or Microsoft Teams to meet with them virtually face-to-face.
Staying in touch has never been easier - but everyone is different. As explained above, people have a preferred method of communication so work with your team members to determine what type of communication works best for them and yourself.
Hold in-person meetings
There are many ways to connect with your remote employees as mentioned above, but it's still important to sometimes get them in the office. As we return to normal, and in-person meetings become possible again, consider scheduled in-person meetings. Whether it's quarterly one-on-one meetings, business unit meetings, or company-wide meetings, bringing remote employees into the office will strengthen their connection to both the company and co-workers.
Invite them to in-office get-togethers with the team to celebrate achievements, holidays, and birthdays, and to participate in activities to further build that connection.
Setting expectations and communicating these expectations are essential for gauging the productivity of remote employees.
A challenge with managing a remote team is having employees with different work schedules, which could create some lapses in productivity when one employee can't reach the other because their flexible schedules don't align. A great workaround is to set core company hours where all employees are expected to be available.
We have included some requirements that should be established prior to a team member working remotely:
- Availability - discuss individual and core work hours
- Communication - discuss what tools will be utilized and the preferred method of communication
- Job requirements - discuss what is required by the employee and how it contributes to company success
- Deadlines - discuss the various deadlines required for the role
- Meetings - discuss and set regularly scheduled meetings
As always, if you have any questions about managing a remote team, reach out to us at De Lacy Executive Recruitment.