Having an actual, traditional office can be difficult to manage with toxic personalities, interoffice drama and of course burnt out and tired employees that are unproductive. So, having a remote team should be a breeze, right?
Well, in many ways it certainly can be much easier but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t without its challenges. You’re simply swapping one problem for another in many cases.
Now that COVID-19 has raged around the world, many office managers are finding themselves with an impromptu remote team. And it may be this way for some time to come with or without COVID-19.
How to manage them to make sure that the work is getting done and the company is in good shape is going to depend on having a solid plan. In this article, I will go over several things to keep in mind with your remote team.
Help Them Feel Like Part of a Team
Isolation is the biggest challenge to overcome for many remote workers. It is very easy to feel alone in the wilderness and not part of a team. This kills productivity and motivation very quickly. It pays to use some techniques to keep them engaged and feeling like they are on a successful team.
Start with holding some casual video meetings that function like an after hours event that could have happened if they all worked in a regular office. If you have a theme for the meeting it helps to break the ice much easier and get people feeling loose. Something like a theme of “what would you do if you won the lottery” type of question.
Next is to reward them for going above and beyond with their work. Coming in ahead of schedule on a project or if they found a way to save the company some money should be rewarded with prepaid Visa gift cards or something similar that they can use even though they are remote.
Don’t Rely on Just Email Communication
Emails are very dry, formal and often lack any type of human connection to them. This can create problems as we mentioned in the last section. Find different ways to communicate to make sure that everybody is connected. Emails are great for a mass message that the whole team will be reading.
One on one messages should be done by a messaging app and should even include audio or video when possible.
Give Access to Information
There is a lot of software out there to use to have a means for all employees to be able to download the documents and information they need to do their work effectively. Make sure to have a system in which this can happen so they are not all going to the same person looking for them to provide it.
It’s all time wasted when they have to send a message asking if anybody knows how they can get a hold of a specific document or contract that they need to do their job. Having a centralized system makes it easy and also more secure for them to get what they need.