Many managers manage remote staff in 2023, which can be challenging. Remote work has been normalized since the pandemic, and most companies now have remote workers either full-time or as part of a hybrid model. It can be difficult to manage employees when you are not physically sharing space, so what can you do to ensure that you are getting the most out of your team and offering the best support possible? This post aims to provide several suggestions that should help you to improve your management of a remote team and overcome some of the challenges that can arise.
Provide High-Quality Remote Tools & Equipment
First, you must provide your team with everything they need to be productive while working remotely. This should include a range of remote work tools that will help them to stay connected and collaborate. This should include things like:
- Cloud platform
- Screen sharing tools
- Instant chat platforms
- Videoconferencing software
In addition, you should consider any equipment they might need to work at home. You could provide them with a budget to purchase their own equipment or supply your own home office equipment, so they can get set up and have everything they need to work comfortably from home.
One of the most important steps to take as a manager of a remote team is to outline your expectations of staff when working remotely. You need to have rules in place so that people know what they can and cannot do when working remotely. You want to make sure that your team can enjoy the benefits of remote work, but you also need to make sure that you can contact them when required. Therefore, you need to establish rules for remote workers and outline what is excepted of them.
Maintain Strong Communication
Maintaining strong communication is key. You want to ensure that you stay in close contact with your team throughout the day, but you also want to avoid micromanaging. This means that you need to get the right balance and learn about each member’s preferred way of staying in touch – some will prefer to maintain close contact with video calls throughout the day, while others will be happy to stay in contact via email. It is also important to check in with each team member regularly to see how they are doing and if they are facing any challenges. Remember that remote work can be isolating, so you want to ensure your team members are not struggling.
Trust Your Team
Many managers struggle to manage remote employees because they imagine that their employees are slacking off. It is easy to imagine when you are not physically sharing a space, but it is important to trust your team. When you trust that your team will be productive each day, it takes a lot of pressure off and allows you to focus on other key areas.
As mentioned, remote work can be isolating, so you need to find ways to unite your team. This can include informal video calls, collaborative projects, in-person social events, online forums, and newsletters, as just a few examples. Uniting your team will keep individual team members happy and engaged at work.
Don’t Neglect Cybersecurity
Finally, cybersecurity needs to be a priority when it comes to remote work. Cybercrime has been rife since the start of the pandemic, and the rise of remote work is a major reason why. Remote work can create vulnerabilities with so much business activity being carried out virtually, so your business must have a plan when it comes to working from home cyber security. 95% of attacks are a result of human error, so you need to provide training for your team and have best practices in place. This will include things like strong passwords and 2FA, encrypting your data, setting up a VPN, and learning to spot phishing attacks. You can consult with a team of experts to review your existing measures and strengthen your cybersecurity protection.
It is hoped that the information in this post will be useful for any manager finding themselves managing a remote team. Remote work can benefit the business and employees in a few different ways, but it can also present challenges and make life difficult for managers. With the information in this post, you should be able to manage your team effectively and overcome the challenges of remote work to reap the benefits, so it’s worth considering.