Remote working is becoming increasingly adopted by organisations across the globe - whether that takes the form of an entire team based out of the office, or the chance to work from home a day or two per week. It also serves as a key element of employer branding, with many candidates now preferring the flexibility associated with remote working.
When you manage a team of remote workers, keeping everyone aligned with the business’ goals, as well as motivated to achieve them, can be a challenge in this kind of environment. However, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you’re making your team’s lives easier and helping them maintain their enthusiasm for their work.
Tools to aid remote working
When you’re managing a team of remote workers - or even if a single member of the team is away for the day - one of the most important things to factor in is that you’ll need to make use of a number of tools to ensure everyone is kept up to date with what’s going on, as well as to collaborate with each other on various projects.
Since numbers of remote workers are rising, technology enabling better communication and collaboration has emerged. With the Harvard Business Review finding that 91 percent of employees say “communication issues can drag executives down”, it’s an essential element of maintaining high standards. There are now plenty of tools available to managers looking to enhance their team’s performance.
If you require a space to share files, discuss them and organise events or projects, you’ll need a tool like Slack. It provides a virtual workspace and centralises communication, so everyone involved can see what’s being posted. You can implement separate channels so only the relevant people are included, as well as have a general platform, where the whole team or company can get involved.
Tracking projects’ progress is vital to ensuring a cohesive remote working experience, so it’s vital to introduce a tool that can do this. One of the most well-known project management tools, Trello allows you to post cards with the various stages of certain projects, as well as move and adjust them as elements change and develop.
When your team is not in one centralised location, it’s important to ensure members can still work closely with each other. This is why it’s key to provide them with a document editor like G Suite, which allows everyone shared into a document to edit it simultaneously. This makes for effective collaboration.
Motivating team members
You should still maintain face time with your team, so don’t let meetings go the way of your office space. Let your workers see each other regularly to discuss work, or even for a period of socialising. According to Stella Garber, Atlassian product marketing lead, meetings are crucial for “reminding everyone that they are on a team”.
When your team is remote, you should also ensure you’re making a point of giving consistent feedback, particularly when it’s positive. This makes them feel appreciated, which can then boost their motivation, encouraging them to work on common company goals. However, it’s essential to avoid micromanaging, or your workers will feel like they’re not being trusted to get their jobs done.
Your employees will have different styles of working, so ensure you’re consulting with your workers about how often they want to dial into a meeting. Keeping them involved in decisions about how the team operates is a key component of remote worker motivation.
Managing a team of remote workers well is a matter of ensuring cohesive communication is maintained and done effectively. Making use of the right technology is as important as gauging your employees’ opinions on the issues affecting your daily working lives, so ensure you’re looking into what will best serve your organisation.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 18th April 2018
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