Fortunately, the following tips can help you manage your remote team:
Define Clear KPIs
As the pandemic forced employees who used to go to office-based companies to work from home, you need to ensure that everyone stays productive despite the different setup. It helps to set clear expectations and Key Productivity Indicators (KPIs) for the team to meet daily or weekly. Implement strict work processes and define targets. This will also help remote workers stay focused despite the distractions when they work from home.
Even if you’re far from each other, you might not feel the distance when the team members communicate regularly. Set up weekly huddles, daily check-ins, and more lines of communication to ensure your accessibility.
Organize video conferences to lessen your workers’ feeling of being isolated. Reading visual cues is critical in meetings about complex projects or sensitive issues. However, a group chat on messaging apps may work best for quick collaboration, especially on time-sensitive projects.
It also helps to set expectations on the timing, tool to use, and frequency of communication. You could tell your remote workers about the best time of the day to contact you, how they can reach you during an emergency, and such.
Find the Right Digital Tools to Ensure Smooth Workflow
Staying ahead of deadlines for projects can be overwhelming, especially when managing business remotely. There are plenty of digital tools to help you organize tasks, stay up-to-date on the progress of various projects, and keep your remote workers accountable for their assigned tasks. You can use Asana, Basecamp, Trello, Skype, Slack, and Google Drive, among others. These tools support collaboration, project management, and quick conversations.
Now that you work from home, you should keep the team spirit alive and the motivation strong. Otherwise, the feeling of isolation and the temptation to slack off might grow stronger than ever. You could give incentives, for one. It could be a subsidy on an ergonomic chair or Internet connection, a free training program, or even a vacation stipend. It could also be something as simple as a cake or a restaurant coupon on their birthday. Do something to make your remote workers feel valued.
Don’t be stingy in your commendations. Recognize your employees for their achievements. These can go a long way in making them feel confident in their work and helping them stay motivated.
Promote Remote Socializing
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the lack of social life. Some of your remote workers might feel lonely from the lack of office banter, especially when they’re used to an office-based setup. You can remedy this, though, by setting up a messaging channel for the team, where they can ask questions, talk casually, and even exchange jokes. Allowing them some free time for chitchat can make them feel like they are right next to each other instead of working remotely.
The toughest challenge in remotely managing a business is trusting that everyone is working hard. You have ensured open lines of communication, established KPIs, offer motivation through incentives, and promoted socialization online.
Now, you need to trust that will all these in place, your remote team will be hard at work and deliver results even if you can’t see them in person. This is an important element in managing your remote team effectively.
A remote work setup shouldn’t cause reduced productivity. Following the tips above can help you succeed in running your business remotely despite the distance in this new work environment.