Remote work has become the norm now and is also likely to stay for longer. The toughest challenge that you’ll face as a leader of your team or organization is how to keep everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. In other words, your job is to ensure that everyone collaborates successfully from diverse locations and keep the job happening.
Here are 5 ideas that can help you bring the best out of your team members by making them collaborate well and succeed well.
1. Keep it personal.
Remote work can come across very impersonal. Your team would miss the in-person discussions and other nuances that emerge in conversations you had with them in regular office days. You need to bring a personal touch to your online meetings and online collaborations.
Whether it’s cracking jokes or motivating conversations that make everyone feel engaged and valued for their contribution – there are many things you can do to make your team feel as if they are sitting right next to you instead of feeling isolated and confused about how to reach out to you.
2. Keep it professional.
This advice seems to go against the first one, but it absolutely makes sense. If you keep eating into your team’s personal or family time, you may not get the focus you expect from them.
Know the right time to back off. Set clear goals, define your deadlines, and be available for discussions. Otherwise, you might be seen as intruding into their style of work and peace.
Be clear about the workflows and ensure everyone else too understands the same.
Start with cutting the length of your meeting time when you can.
3. Provide the required training.
A lot of tools you may be using to track the status of a task or a project might be new to the team. Ensure that everyone understands how the tool is to be used. Or else, the tool you have brought in to solve your problems might end up creating more problems.
Specify when you would like the cameras to be on. Make a list of similar technical to-dos for work.
4. Provide feedback.
Since most interactions are online and most collaboration happens online on documents, your team may never understand how they are doing. What looks like progress to them may not be progress to you.
As a manager or a leader, you have the data or the big picture to see what’s working well in the system and what’s not. Ensure you keep it transparent by sharing it all with your team members.
5. Become agile.
Every day is a new challenge. What worked in one situation may not work in another. So, your responsibility is to respond to new situations in terms they require. Whether your deadline has got changed at the last moment or whether someone has become unavailable at a short notice, you must be willing to still make it work with the resources you have.
Just as you faced challenges of resources in offline work, you’ll face changes in the remote word model too. You need to internalize the fact that your dynamism matters a lot here in adapting to new challenges.
These 5 ideas are broad ways of getting started with remote team management and are known to be basic to any organizational structure. Tell us what ideas and methods you’ve been using successfully to get the best out of your team.