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12 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Managing Remote Teams

Doing regular team meetings is a good call for managing remote employees, but it’s not enough. Your team members need to interact with each other spontaneously and independently, and to get to know each other as people, not just co-workers. I’ll go through 12 tips for how to keep remote workers productive—and happy. Striking a work-life balance is important for all remote workers. Remote work becomes more efficient and satisfying when managers set expectations for the frequency, means, and ideal timing of communication for their teams. Good communication tops the to-do list when managing remote teams.

Fighting these interruptions is pointless because they are healthy and unavoidable. If you use Microsoft Teams internally, create an onboarding team for your new hire, prepare all the required tasks, resources and other information they might need to successfully onboard. Try nBold’s Onboarding template to structure and streamline this process.

Managing a Remote Team

If you’d like to learn more about how to manage a remote team in the most optimal way, connect with a talent advisor at Warren Averett Staffing & Recruiting. We help employers assess the right remote or hybrid strategies for their organizations and provide recruiting services to find the right hires for your company. If you’re trying to figure out how to manage a remote team, it’s important to understand what obstacles you might face.

Give Team Access To The Same Collaboration Tools

When learning how to manage a remote team, team leaders must recognize elements and issues that make remote work environments more demanding. If managers don’t understand these challenges, their highest-performing employees’ productivity, engagement, and mental health could suffer. Having one source of truth is critical to keep the team management of remote project management moving ahead without costly delays. If teams are working on one set of data and project managers have another there’s trouble on the horizon.

In fact, if your team has just started working remotely, you might need to schedule extra check-ins until the team members have adapted successfully to the new routine. Then scale back based on what works for your team and the given workload. Before we get to the remote management strategies, let’s see some key challenges faced by leaders and their team members when adapting to this new way of working. This creates an opportunity for managers to evolve their approach to remote work. Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

We found that managing a remote team is easier when you use a smaller amount of tools and use them well. At the end of the day, you want to be productive and efficient without giving your team technology overload. Without a doubt, engaging in difficult conversations with employees can be uncomfortable in any setting. But in an environment in which a manager and subordinate may rarely, if ever, interact in person, both parties are vulnerable to misunderstandings.

Team-building can happen, but it might be harder and take longer. As you might have guessed, each positive for remote project management can also be thought of as a negative. For instance, productivity can suffer when teams work from home. There are distractions that are just not in an office, like the dishes, kids and so on. Building and sustaining a community is crucial to maintaining an engaged remote workforce.

Focus On Communication

Managing remote teams demands a fundamental shift in your team’s approach to work reports and general strategy, which project management solutions may help you with. But this requires establishing trust that balances the need to hold staff accountable while also being empathetic. Here are common mistakes you need to avoid when managing remote teams.

It might not get done as fast as usual, but it could provide the interaction your employees need to feel engaged. Regular and informative communication is the lifeblood of a workforce. For remote or hybrid teams, a bit of overcommunication works even better. Schedule regular calls with project teams to evaluate progress on their goals. The fact is that leading remote teams looks different for each company—it all depends on the culture and remote work approach. For instance, your travel budget may increase if remote workers in other states need to travel to the main office once a quarter or more.

If you can’t trust them, ask yourself why you hired them in the first place or what happened that caused you to lose trust in them. Successful managers can identify the strengths, weaknesses and needs of the individuals who work for them. They then leverage that information to nurture and motivate each individual employee. That same insight and management style must be applied to how they work remotely. Check out our catalog of free exclusive trainings to learn all the ins and outs of your business.

If so, establish messaging and email as the preferred channels for most everyday communication needs. Consider setting up a short one-on-one meeting once or twice a week with everyone on your team. Be sure your team knows you’re available outside of that time, too, if anything comes up. As a manager who knows how to manage a remote team, always remember to celebrate both individual and collective successes.

Best Remote Project Management Tools

As we say in the Navy SEAL teams, “Calm is contagious.” But guess what? This may seem like overkill, but for managers and teams new to remote working, this is key. Remote team management doesn’t require you to know everything about every aspect of your organization. Still, you should know what each team member is expected to do, what challenges they face, and what their responsibilities are. When you don’t have these answers, it’s impossible to demonstrate leadership or empathy.

And that you’re in touch with their concerns, needs, and suggestions. This app keeps projects and tasks organized, allows managers to see progress on specific tickets, and provides a central hub for all workflow activities. In Asana, managers can assign tickets to individuals, attach documents and share notes, and add due dates. Collaborators can comment on tickets and add dependencies to show what work needs to be completed before the ticket is finalized. Asana helps teams communicate transparently and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

  • To understand the tips in this article, let’s start by looking at some of the problems they seek to solve.
  • Some of the remote team management strategies we have covered may already be familiar to you, while others will need you to go out of your comfort zone.
  • As a manager, you should be careful not to assign too much work or to impose too tight deadlines.
  • Your employees should view you as a coach – someone who wants to help them succeed – not as an adversary.
  • These presentations, called Pecha Kuchas, give us a sense of people’s culture, personality and interests.

If not, you’ll want to adopt a video conference platform as well as an easy-to-use messaging tool. Be sure to clearly communicate which platforms you expect your team to use to ensure everyone is on the same page. Here are a couple of tips for ensuring everyone on your team is being heard and getting the necessary face time with their manager while working remotely. It’s also important for you as a manager to provide a way for employees to discuss any issues they aren’t comfortable discussing in group settings. For example, random video calls may be quite jarring if employees aren’t expecting them.

In a remote situation, almost everything is shared via written communication. Communication is one of the most important parts of a remote team. Even though my co-founders, Bryan and Mike, and I lived in the same city, we had different schedules and were bootstrapping Zapier on the side of our day jobs and school. We worked on Zapier in every spare moment we each had, but those moments didn’t magically line up at the same time where we could work in the same room, so, by necessity, we became a remote team. Simple tasks like keeping on top of project updates or working on a document together can be tricky when you work remotely.

That’s why it’s important to build connections with employees, said Bales, the Replicon VP. ​Stay-at-home orders prompted by COVID-19 are creating a challenge for managers—including those in HR—at a time when many companies are implementing telework policies for the first time. Nearly three-fourths of employers are finding it difficult to adapt to telework as a way of doing business, according to recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management . There are very real professional and personal benefits unlocked by remote work. Identify the benefits you can find with working remotely and help your team members do the same. Whether you are new to remote work or have been at it for a while, everyone will respond to it differently.

How To Stay Focused When Everything Feels Stressful And Overwhelming

For how to do this, check out tips for effectively onboarding remote employees. You may be worried about shifting to manage your remote teams. You can also build personal time into meetings, allowing for 5-10 minutes at the beginning or end of meetings for everyone to give a personal update. The big upside of using video conferencing for these ideas is that it naturally leads to more impromptu, unplanned conversations that can often lead to the best ideas from your team members. When working with a remote development team, team members have an incredible amount of freedom to work. But how do we know if people are doing work and going to deliver the tasks on time?

Managing a Remote Team

I would hold off on this as long as possible, though, when you’re a small team. Remote work stops working when you can’t trust the person on the other end of the line. If you continually find yourself worrying what someone is doing, then you are spending brain cycles focusing on something other than the product or customers. These items are used to deliver advertising that is more relevant to you and your interests. They may also be used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement and measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Advertising networks usually place them with the website operator’s permission.

Knowing the potential challenges you’re likely to face when managing a remote or hybrid work force means you can better equip yourself to deal with them quickly and efficiently. Scheduling meetings can be tough because it is really difficult to choose a time that is convenient for all teams and for yourself. Each of the tips above fall into the category of simple but not easy. And you’ll be more equipped with the battle gear necessary for navigating the murky waters of change. You, as a manager, need to approve of the occasional distractions. Show your coworkers you’re okay with a bit of Twitter surfing or dog-playing time.

Remember, Remote Doesnt Mean Cheaper

One of your most important duties is to ensure that there are well-documented procedures in place for damn-near everything. Ensure that all employees know where to find these documents , and then use them. Similarly boundaries need to be set around working hours and methods of communication. If you can have physical workshops, use them to troubleshoot issues with your model.

To truly manage and engage remote teams, you should be ready to work harder than ever, which brings us to the next section. Plus, it doesn’t help that you are now supposed to deal with a lot of new virtual tools, communication methods, and remote work policies. It can be harder to share ideas and collaborate when you don’t work at the same time or run into each other in the hallway. This is compounded when everyone on your team is juggling both the personal and professional requirements of this crisis. Many employees struggle with reduced access to managerial support and communication in a remote environment.

Opt For Shorter Meetings

Slack is where we talk about work, while Async is where we share work with the rest of the team. Meaningful interaction is crucial to every team, but it’s obviously hard to bond Managing a Remote Team with your colleagues if you never actually meet them. Organizations that foster an inclusive virtual environment are the ones that get the best out of every team member.

Tips And Tricks For Managing A Remote Team

As you would expect from the name, a fully remote team is one in which everyone is working from home or in separate offices across the region or even different time zones. While there are collaboration tools that connect people, some contend that collaboration is always better when teams are physically in the same room. Text, chat and other messaging tools lack nuance and can often be confusing.

Cultivating a sense of independence in your remote team isn’t as easy as saying “be independent.” Here are a couple of tips you can use. While the journey may be the destination in some instances, the destination for your remote team is their endwork. Let the work they’re doing speak for itself rather than obsessing over how they get the work done. Do you want to limit video calls for your sake and the sake of your team?

Learn from our 60-minute free online leadership training event, personally taught by our CEO, Claire Lew. This section is just a basic guide to get you started, and learn more about what these tools have to offer. Gallup discovered that the most notable engagement increase appeared when employees worked 3-4 days out of a typical 5-day workweek. • The right hardware, software, and information resources to execute their responsibility effectively. Remote employees who feel confident and included will feel more engaged with their work and teammates.