Managing a remote team isn’t easy, but this is the reality for many businesses right now. Fortunately, there are ways to make the most of your remote teams and ensure your employees remain connected, motivated and productive. You’ll probably have to adjust your expectations and how work gets done, if you haven’t done so already.
Below are five tips for managing your teams while social distancing (be sure to also read our post on keeping your data safe while working remotely). This is a work in progress, and certainly something that we’re all getting used to, so be patient. It will take time to find your groove!
1. Reset Your Expectations
Most teams are used to working together in the same office, under the same working conditions. However, this isn’t possible when you have employees working from home. Rather than stressing you and your employees out, it’s better to reset your expectations.
For example, you may have to let go of how and when tasks are accomplished. As long as your teams are completing their work on time and according to your standards, it’s okay to grant them more flexibility with their days.
2. Keep in Touch Daily
Shorter communication cycles are more effective than long ones. Translation: You don’t need hours-long meetings to get your teams working productively. Simply keep in touch to get updates and let them know you’re available. We recommend checking in every day, at least once. Instant messaging is perfect for this. A quick group huddle over video also works well and keeps teams accountable.
3. Provide Continued Education
Keep your teams moving forward by providing them with educational tools, short lessons, workshops and more. Focus on shorter lessons that are under a half hour and easy to consume. You can then host a quick meeting or discussion about the relevance of the information and how it can be applied to your business operations.
4. Assign Buddies and Peer Coaches
For built-in support, consider assigning buddies and peer coaches to your teams. These leaders can provide your teams with mutual support and ensure that everyone is working toward their goals. You can also rotate this leadership role between several different people. If your employees haven’t had experience with this role, offer them some guidance on coaching.
5. Assess Stress Levels
At the end of the day, remember that we are all people navigating some very difficult times. Check in with your employees on a personal level and let them know that their well-being is your main concern. Opening up these lines of communication also allows for more honest feedback. To gather quantitative feedback, send out a survey or poll.
Here at Arkware, we know firsthand how challenging these times can be. We are here for our clients, just as they are for their own staff and customers. Let us know if we can help your business run more productively during COVID-19 with an upgraded database, cloud computing or software update.