Managing a remote team for the first time can feel daunting, but plenty of resources and help are available to ensure you do the best job possible. You’ll need to understand the unique needs of a remote team and be willing to try out new technology to improve productivity across your department.
It can also help to get advice from other managers who have made a successful transition into remote work. They will be able to give you tips on what to do and what to avoid and help you manage the initial growing pains of a solely remote workplace.
Hold One-To-One Meetings Regularly
One-to-ones are even more important when working in a remote team. You won’t have the regular casual interactions that are common in a physical workplace, so having productive one-to-ones will be needed to help bridge the gap.
You could consider having one-to-ones on a monthly or six-weekly basis instead of the usual quarterly system. It is also a good idea to have a list of questions to go through with your team to help you understand how their experience is going with remote work.
Plan Department Get-Togethers – Virtually Or In Person
Having social interaction is critical for a happy and productive team. Socializing can have a significant impact on collaboration among the team, so consider hosting weekly meetups virtually. For instance, you could have remote after-work drinks on Fridays.
It is also a good idea to meet up in person whenever you can. This can be challenging if your team are spread out across the country or even globally, so it is worth talking to higher management to determine if there are funds to be used to cover transport and accommodation costs for anyone traveling in.
Fit Some Watercooler Chat Into Meetings
Keeping up to date on your team’s personal lives can be a great way to support them and help them feel like a valued member of the team. Being heard by management and showing an interest in their lives outside of working hours can be invaluable. Consider building extra time into any meeting to allow the participants to catch up and chat about their lives.
Learn To Run An Effective Virtual Meeting
Virtual meetings can be tricky to get right, but they are crucial for managing a remote team. You’ll need the proper setup and ensure that your team has all the equipment they need to log on for your meeting.
There are many ways to manage a remote meeting, and you may need to do some trial and improvement to figure out the right options for you and your team. Anchor AI’s guide to virtual meetings has a lot of helpful tips and advice to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Encourage The Use Of Video – But Don’t Demand
Video can be a helpful tool during team meetings, but not everyone will want to turn their cameras on at each meeting. Since remote workers typically work from their homes, it might sometimes be challenging to find the right background or setting for them to turn on their cameras. Let employees know it’s okay to keep cameras off but that you could appreciate it if they turn them on in a future meeting.
Offer Co-Working Space Funding
For people who live alone, remote work can be isolating. As a result, co-working spaces have become a popular option. Co-working allows employees of different organizations to work together, giving them some much-needed human interaction. Giving your employees an allowance to let them utilize co-working spaces can be a great way to help reduce loneliness and isolation in your team.
Make Use Of Emojis
So much of how we communicate with one another can be lost when talking virtually. When direct messaging, you won’t have the visual cues of body language and facial expressions to help you convey the message you want to send.
Emojis can be a great help to ensure that the correct tone is understood in your messages to your team. Typed words can often come across as aggressive or unfeeling when this is not the intention. Including some emojis can help ensure you express the sentiment properly.
Provide Support Options To Help Manage Mental Health
The importance of mental health in the workplace is a serious issue that many employers are coming to realize. Mental health support can help employees be more productive, increase retention and boost focus. As mentioned above, working from home can be challenging for mental health, so signposting your team members to the right services can be invaluable.
You should also encourage a healthy work-life balance, as working from home can blur the lines between work and leisure time. Ensure you stick to your hours as much as possible, avoiding unplanned overtime, to set a good example for your employees.