Business

7 Tips for Managing a Remote Team

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

In today’s modern world, more and more people are working remotely, which means that increasing numbers of people are managing remote teams! If you have found, for the first time, that you are working with virtual colleagues, this blog post is here to help.

In this article, we are going to discuss how to successfully run a fully operational remote team, ensuring that you keep team morale high even when you can’t get to the office. Here are some of our best suggestions!

Check in with everyone each morning

You don’t necessarily need to have a morning meeting – lots of people think that these are a waste of time anyway – but it’s a good idea to check in with all of your employees each morning. This could be on a big group chat, such as Slack.

Ask everyone a fun question – for example, what they got up to at the weekend, or if anyone watched anything good on TV the night before. Try to get a good dialogue going – and then note your objectives for the day. Of course, if you have specific goals for individuals, you can speak to them one on one.

Schedule a weekly catch up

Although you might not want to jump on a Zoom call every day as it can be draining, you should at least speak to your team online once a week. Video call helps you to get to know colleagues better – which, in turn, will help them have a stronger work ethic.

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The weekly catch-up can be both about business and personal things – try to make it a bit of both, as it’s a good idea to use this time to get to know your team. If you make it last on a Friday, you could even invite everyone to have a virtual beer!

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Understand cultural differences

If you are hiring a global team with people from all over the world, it isn’t surprising that you’ll encounter cultural differences. For example, some cultures have a much more laid-back style of work, whereas others are very strict.

If you have certain particulars that must happen (for example, if everybody must be at work by 9 am), make sure that you stress these and note that they are very important for working at your company.

It’s also important, however, to maintain a level of flexibility. For example, if you hire someone from China, you should expect them to want to have priority for time off at Lunar New Year. They may be happy to work over other holidays, so this could help you out as well!

When hiring people from other cultures, have a productive chat with them about when they expect to have time off and their thoughts about work.

Try team building activities

Team building activities are a fundamental part of any workplace – and the good thing is you can do them virtually as well!

A virtual team building activity could include online games, tiny campfire, a virtual campfire with smore making and scary stories, an online murder mystery, or even a tournament – for example, an online blackjack tournament!

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Doing something like this will help your colleagues get to know each other and improve your workplace rapport – plus, it’ll be a fun night for everybody involved!

Offer flexible hours

Many remote workers enjoy the flexibility. You can help them by offering flexible or semi-flexible hours. For example, you could say that everybody needs to be working by 10 am, but they can start earlier if they want as long as they do eight hours.

If your employees have children of school age, you could even encourage them to have breaks in their day for the school run, as long as they work a little more in the evening.

You’ll find that your employees are very grateful to you for giving them the chance to have a more flexible life, and it’s likely that they will work even harder when they are in the office!

Make sure that everyone has what they need to work

Some of your employees might not have top-range computers – if that is the case and your business can afford it, consider buying one for them. Equally, you should try to ensure that everybody has a quiet, comfortable place to work. If they don’t, speak to them about renting office space in their city.

If you look after your employees, you’ll find that you encourage their work ethic – they will be more committed to their job and will subsequently work harder!

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Understand when people need time off

Working remotely has its pros and cons, and one of the cons is definitely that it’s harder to explain why someone might need time off.

For example, somebody might have a health condition that they have hospital appointments for. In the non-remote world, they may feel comfortable pulling their boss aside and explaining their condition. However, this might feel a bit too daunting in the virtual world, especially if they don’t know you that well yet.

If somebody does need time off, try to be compassionate and allow it. Equally, try to make sure that they know that they can speak to you if necessary. Chances are, they will speak to you about any issues when the time is right, as long as you make yourself seem friendly and approachable.

Managing a remote team can seem daunting, but with the right tips and tricks, you’ll be able to have a positive and healthy experience. The most important thing is to make sure that you get to know your employees personally and try to encourage them to socialize with the team as a whole and individually.

Try to remain caring and compassionate, and make sure that you understand when people need time off or have issues in the workplace. If you have any problems, keep going – managing remote teams gets easier over time!

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