“The way we work has been changing over the years, but since the outbreak of the coronavirus, change has come quickly and drastically. People who never had the option of working from home suddenly found it to be the only option. Offices who never bought into working from home had to adapt and prepare their teams to work remotely, and everyone had to learn quickly. For managers who have never had to oversee a team working remotely, this can prove to be a challenging time. And, going forward, the reality is that the future of work is likely to be much more flexible and remote. This means that managers need to prepare and learn how to manage remote working teams.
Read on for tips and advice for managing remote working teams.
When we’re working in an office environment, it’s easy to speak to colleagues, have meetings and innovation sessions as often as we need. Most teams speak daily about their workload, urgent tasks, and speak up when they need support or have questions.
It’s key that these things continue when working remotely. It’s easy to feel a little bit isolated when working from home everyday but making use of video call software and chat platforms to stay in touch with your team consistently. It’s useful to get the whole team together on a video call daily to talk through any issues, concerns, areas where team members need support, and just to keep in touch.
Still Make Room for One-to-Ones
As a manager, it’s important that your team still feels they are able to speak to you one on one. On top of daily team video calls, it’s also a good idea to schedule regular catch up sessions with individual team members. This allows you to speak in detail about projects, clients, issues, or anything the team member is concerned about.
It also allows you to check in with everyone, make sure they are coping well and find out if they need any additional support.
Things don’t always go according to plan in the office, and this is even more true when people are working from home. Internet connections can go awry, equipment can stop working properly, and there are endless potential disruptions when working from home. It’s important to be flexible and understanding with teams working remote who might be dealing with any number of these issues.
Have back up plans
In the event that something does go wrong, it’s important to have backup plans. If an employee knows what they should do if they lose internet connectivity or have issues with their computer or other equipment, it’s easier and will take less time to get back on track. This might mean having internet dongles available to your team if their home WiFi goes down, or a few spare laptops in case you need to get one to an employee.
It’s not possible to prepare for every scenario, but by having a few contingency plans in place for any issues you can foresee, it helps the team work a lot better.
Overall, it’s important to continue to offer leadership to your remote team, be available and encourage the whole team to communicate consistently and effectively. Taking advantage of technology will make a huge difference in keeping your team working together on an ongoing basis. “
By: Richard Edwards
Published: 29th June 2020