In the age of COVID-19, chances are you’ve had to manage a remote team of people. You may even find yourself hiring new employees, only to have them start work from their home office. And while remote work is not an entirely new concept (it was around way before COVID), it may still feel new and awkward to you.
If you are raising your hand and saying, “Yes, yes! That’s me!” — we’re here to help you out. We have put together the top five tips to combat the challenge of managing remote teams.
- Set Expectations
Setting guidelines quickly is crucial. Make them clear and unambiguous to help manage the expectations of both you and your employee. It may include things like:
- Best methods/tools for communication. (Communication is a HUGE priority.)
- Time tracking.
- Necessary tools and software.
- What to do if a task can’t be met because of a family emergency or responsibility.
- Offer Support
The lack of face-to-face interaction and supervision between management and employees is a big concern for remote work. How do you know they are staying on task? Where do they go if they have a question and need support?
One solution is making a daily check-in call to maintain accountability. Also, make yourself available with an “open-door policy” for any questions and frustrations. Give your feedback but be sure to listen to theirs as well.
Let them know you are their biggest fan and are cheering them on!
- Stay Connected
Without a doubt, one of the biggest complaints of remote work is isolation and loneliness. Sitting at your home desk alone is not the same as coming in and out of the office and seeing your work family daily.
Socialize virtually by creating non-work-related spaces for “some virtual water-cooler” banter. Host virtual lunches. Hold remote team-building activities. Check-in with each remote worker on a relational, non-work-related level. Intentionally staying connected with your remote team makes a huge difference!
- Be Inclusive
If you have team members working remotely and team members still at the office or job site, be aware that remote workers may feel excluded. Always include your remote workers in the same events and communications you do for your “on-site” workers, especially when casting vision and making company-wide plans. Perhaps you could send them some company swag to have at their desk to keep them in the “company spirit”?
- Be Flexible
While organization is necessary for maintaining structure during this season of mandatory remote work, over-surveillance might communicate mistrust.
Remain flexible as employees continue to adjust to this style of work. Many now have the added weight of homeschooling and 24/7 childcare, making remote work autonomy a beautiful tool. Provided their work’s caliber remains on par, allow them to manage their workday how it works best for them.
We hope this helped you as you continue to manage your remote team. At Hamilton Connections, we believe in connecting – the right people to the right people. It’s our specialty. If you’re looking for some new team members (even remote ones), give us a call today! We’re looking forward to being your placement specialist!