With more people working from home than ever, now is a great time to hone your remote management skills so that you can be an excellent virtual leader. Managing remote workers requires a different skill set than managing employees in an office. Give yourself the tools to master next-level remote management, and learn tips and tricks to succeed.
Tools for Remote Management
To effectively manage your employees while working remotely, you need the right tools. A team can’t communicate with each other if they don’t have the tools to do so. Ensure that everyone on your remote team has a quiet place to work, and access to fast internet. Once they have the basics, utilize online tools to stay in touch during the day. Apps like Slack, Zoom, Skype, and others help you maintain communication throughout your workday. You can also take advantage of phone calls, Face Time, and texts to stay up-to-date with your team. For non-urgent issues, utilize e-mail to keep everyone on the same page.
Communication skills are critical to remote work, both for a manager and an employee. When you are managing from afar, you must be able to communicate well with your team. You also need to have an understanding of how your team communicates, both within the team and as individuals. Understand your team member’s personality – what feels like a reassuring check-in to one employee might feel like micromanagement to another. You can understand the dynamics of your team and the personality traits of each member by taking our unbiased assessment.
Business News Daily suggests teaching your employees proactive communication skills. Schedule one-on-one and team meetings at regular intervals to check in with your team and stay on top of any issues that could arise.
Your company’s culture must be tailored to fit a remote work environment. Culture starts from the top – the key leaders in your company must determine the culture that you expect from the entire team. While working virtually, you have to relay the culture to the team as a whole and as individuals. Create a culture with team-building activities and call out excellent work during meetings so that your team members feel recognized.
Tips and Tricks
It starts with trust, according to Business Insider. You hired employees that you trust, and you can trust them to perform well while they’re working remotely. Encourage your team to be open and honest with each other, to further build that trust so that your team feels cohesive.
Zapier suggests protecting your employee’s priorities and work time. For example, encourage your employees to take breaks and enjoy time away from work. A happy employee is a productive and loyal employee. Set clear expectations for the length of the workday, and take into account that your employees may be in different time zones.
Recruiter recommends checking in with your employees regularly. Be sure to check-in on work-related tasks, but leave time to engage in small talk as well, just as you would in an office. Build in time for your team to have fun and get to know each other so that they can build a relationship outside of their work projects.
Check-in with your team in different ways, suggests Forbes. Try tools like Slack to instant message, or Zoom to meet face-to-face. An old-fashioned phone call can also help you get things accomplished in a remote environment. Utilize e-mail for issues that aren’t urgent, and texts for a more pressing matter.
Use the tools available to set yourself up for success while you manage a remote team. Continue to learn and build up your soft skills to master next-level remote management.