Due to the global lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, so many employees and managers are working from home and are separated from each other while completing their jobs and duties remotely. If you are also managing a remote team for the first time, it might be difficult and scary to navigate and make sure all your employees are still productive, engaged, and flourishing. Fortunately, there are several tips and steps that managers can take on to improve employee engagement and productivity when working from home.
For remote team managers, understanding the common challenges like isolation and homies distractions to lack of in-person communication and lack of necessary tools and solutions. Then, the managers and remote team leaders can support their employees with regular online check-ins, virtual communication methods, social interactions, and emotional support, etc.
This piece of writing includes actions and tips that managers can assume for leading and managing teams effectively to get more done even if they are working from home.
Set expectations early and often proper guidelines, setting boundaries, and having a look at basic work instructions are some of the most important things that managers can do when setting out on tasks and projects. They should also be easily accessible to their employees and outline clear priorities, assigned tasks, and work goals, etc. A smart remote team manager should also outline each employee’s availability and make sure they can be contacted whenever required. This also helps remote workers maintain a better work-life balance.
Be organized and flexible
When you need to work with remote workers, allowing them flexible working hours helps a lot in maintaining work consistency. Having a well-built work plan is also a great idea to get all your employees on the same page. However, you must be open to adjust and alter the plan whenever needed. Asking your employees or team members for flexible working hours is also a great idea to allow them to work according to the best time when they are more productive.
Take advantage of technology
We are living in the digital era of life where everyone has been forced for digital transformation. Both small businesses and larger organizations are struggling hard to incorporate the latest technologies into their business processes and operations. You as a remote team manager can also utilize tools like Zoom, VoIP telefony (VoIP), Slack, and Microsoft Teams for better communication and collaboration. If all the available tech tools and solutions are adopted properly, it would be great to boost employee engagement, productivity, and most importantly ‘morale’.
Focus on outcomes
Increasing employee engagement and empowering them to perform well are the best-known practices to get more done. Clearly outline the work goals and desired outcomes. And then let your team utilize available sources and their expertise to reach those goals. Allow them to create their own plans of action as it can amazingly improve performance. During remote working, micromanaging employees is difficult. That’s why you should focus on outcomes instead of focusing on activities and let them know what you want them to accomplish.
When managing a group of employees working remotely, it is important for team leaders and managers to understand the challenges like stress, distractions, and anxiety of employees and empathize with their struggles. Offer real-time support and assistance whenever they need it and provide them with a smart solution to their remote working-related issues.
Increase recognition and celebrate success
As a remote team manager, keep looking for opportunities to recognize the efforts of your remote team members and celebrate the success in a way that would be in the workplace. You can host a video conference to celebrate project completion or publish a success video on your business website. It will replace the recognition that would have to take place in the annual employee awards or recognition that is cancelled due to the pandemic or any other reason.