Best Practices for Managing and Supporting a Remote Team
Written by: Hrishikesh Pardeshi, Founder at Flexiple, buildd & Remote Tools.
Last updated: Jan 19, 2023
Knowing the best practices you should embrace to manage and support your remote team as a company leader is essential. This article provides you with the best habits to help your remote employees become productive and efficient to continue providing your organization with the best virtual services. Start by setting expectations for the remote team early enough. After that, follow the tips provided below since they will guide you on managing and supporting your virtual team.
1. Design a Virtual Working Policy
It is equally important to have a policy for your remote team just like you would need one for those working from the office. It should include your expectations for the remote team and their conduct while working for the company. That helps them work environment to remain fair for all.
The rules you create for your team will enable every one of them to provide efficient, precise, and up-to-date services. Additionally, the policy will prevent confusion and surprises among the virtual team. Please find out how to prepare the best remote team policy to guide your virtual workers on what the organization expects.
2. Use a Single Project Management Software for All Remote team
You must have a centralized PM software for your virtual workforce to access the organization's tasks that they should work on. If your company provides healthcare services, ensure the best utilization management software for your team. The project management tool you choose for your organization should let you know how far your remote team provides various services.
You can use the project management platform to add comments or suggestions since it is centralized and accessible for all. Ensure that all organization employees use the PM software regularly for the success of company operations.
3. Communicate with Your Virtual Team Constantly
The way you communicate with your virtual team and how often you do it will contribute to the success of managing the team. Your team will not find joy in working for you if you only show up to tell them the mistakes they've made. That is why you need to communicate regularly, not only when things stop working as they should.
However, it doesn't mean that you should send too many messages to your employees each working day. The best thing would be setting periodic check-ins with your team. Remember to include the communication guidelines in the remote working policy and let everyone follow them.
4. Always Appreciate Your Virtual Team
Sometimes, virtual employees can feel lonely and isolated. Even though you may not join them to change that, you can provide them with the proper working conditions to feel warm as they provide virtual services. For example, you can appreciate your team members whenever possible. Recognizing your virtual team for the small and big wins makes them feel valued.
Always celebrate them for each achievement they make through e-mails or any other platform your organization uses. Mention the names of the people you want to appreciate. You may also reward employees through gifts, all-paid holidays, day-offs, among other ways. That will motivate and encourage them to provide better services for the company. It will also make the team feel part of the company's team even though they provide remote assistance.
5. Introduce Fun Activities for Your Remote Employees
Always have some fun with your team! Ask for suggestions from your virtual team about the fun activities you can incorporate between their working hours and implement some of them. You can create time to watch movies TV programs, discuss non-job matters, and others.
Encourage the employees to keep the discussions job-appropriate. They should avoid messages that they wouldn't be comfortable discussing in-house at the company office. That will make the team members enjoy working virtually and avoid boredom and routine.
6. Provide Your Workforce with Various Contact Options
While managing your remote employees, it is also essential to provide them with different options to contact other workers whenever the need arises. You may offer them platforms that would allow them to communicate through e-mails, telephone calls, video calls, messaging, among others.
It would be best to introduce video conferencing to your workers because it can be the best way for teams to communicate during meetings. You may introduce a different channel for your team to use when having a non-urgent issue. Provide your workers with various communication options to use during different situations.
7. Use the Virtual Working Strategy for Your Benefit
One benefit of virtual working is contracting people from different parts of the globe. Since the workers will not have to report physically to the office, it is not a must that they live close to the company premises. Use the benefit to hire hardworking, specialized, and qualified team members.
Remote work provides you with a better pool to find workers, which may give you team members with superior talent and skills. You can also enjoy having employees working for you during different times of the day.
8. Become Your Employees' Mentor
To succeed at managing remote workers, experts recommend that you try and be more of a mentor than a manager. While mentoring your team, please provide them with personal development tips and guidance.
That means teaching your team about the experiences you've had in the industry and following up on their progress. You may need to support them emotionally also. It could be best to make a conscious decision to lead them by example and be their best role model.
9. Encourage Members to Have Social Interactions
Although remote working has numerous benefits, one of its major drawbacks is workers experiencing social isolation. That can affect the employees' mental health, lowering their morale, productivity, absenteeism, and high employee turnover. The good thing is that you can encourage your virtual workers to interact through various communication channels.
Most companies select specific communication channels for their workers where they share entertaining stories such as time spent with their loved ones, among others. Employees may also use the platforms to plan for meet-ups, outings, and other social meetings during their free time.
10. Provide Your Team with Proper Equipment
Most remote team managers do not consider the workers' equipment to work as expected. Unfortunately, it can cause long-time problems, especially if the workers experience discomfort while working from their homes. It could also be challenging if the employees struggle to provide the best results expected by their seniors.
Generally, it would be best to consider providing your workers with the correct ergonomics. Ensure to provide your team with proper desks and chairs. They will give them appropriate support to reduce neck and back problems. Also, teach them how to position their monitor to work comfortably. Although managers may work on these issues in the office, it might be easy to ignore them in a remote working environment.
The Bottom Line
The above practices are the best to manage and support your virtual team. From them, you can learn that managing your remote team only needs a slight shift to your leadership technique. The tips will help you create a work environment that improves productivity and reduces the employee turnover rate. First, start by creating a remote working policy before utilizing the guidelines provided. Your team will love working with you and make your management work more effortless.