Are you ever feeling hard about managing your remote employees and virtual team or going to work remotely? This article is for you. Recent business trends seem to take remote work culture so emphatically that they are forming fully remote teams or hybrid companies.
Freelancers or individuals, startups or small teams and a portion of large enterprises are taking advantage of remote work. But in practical terms, they are facing many problems.
There are some similar challenges such as trusting employees, employee performance consistency, scheduling employees living in different time zones, etc.
In this article, we’re going to reveal some essential and practical tips to manage your remote employees.
Challenges for managing remote and virtual teams
Before going to share some exciting and effective tips, let’s focus on the challenges that come forward in remote work.
- Lack of employee performance measurement and engagement.
- Hard for building a team and workload management.
- Poor communication and higher stress level
- Missed deadlines, low productivity,
- Poorer work ethic and lack of accountability,
- Working from different time zone and locations,
Convey the goals and clear expectations
You have set a remote team with the most engaging professionals in your territory. Still, you may not get the expected result if your team remains unclear about their responsibilities, the purpose of the work, and setting the wrong priority level.
For a remote team, it’s always tough to manage expectations. You have to provide certain efforts to maintain a productive team.
- Provide an HR handbook and clear all the rules and regulations of your office.
- If possible, set extra ordinances for remote work such as imposing subsidies or a percentage of salary cut for irregular attendance.
- Let them inform the objectives, goals, and targets of any new project.
Set virtual office
Remote work is not about working on a computer sitting in a casual mood. Instead, it needs much more preparation which is no less in any part than an office setting. A virtual office also needs organizational and office management structure, sales and project management strategies, team management and collaboration, document management system, etc.
One more addition is that you don’t need to pay for the utility and infrastructure management. Hence it’s a very cost-effective system indeed.
Use proper apps and software
The outcome of remote work mostly depends on how you introduce and utilize apps and tools in your system. Where remote team management stands on the software, you should be careful to choose collaboration the apps and tools.
Identify the needs and purpose of using any app. Don’t hustle to use any random tool. Try to use fewer apps as much as you can.
Here are some of the examples of proper apps and software that can help you manage a remote team comprehensively.
Weje can be well-regarded as an online whiteboard, more specifically an all-in-one collaborative workspace where you can manage a vast amount of information without any hassle. You can use innovative features like brainstorming, mind mapping, kanban, and meeting notes. Marketers, writers, students, educators, and knowledge management addicts can use Weje to increase productivity and bring ease to their work.
Apploye is one of the most user-friendly time trackers on the market, with hundreds of functions at a substantially reduced price. Apploye includes extra features such as idle and Pomodoro timer in addition to basic features such as tracking staff activity and sophisticated features such as paying clients. By tracking people’s activity hours, URLs, and app usage, can instill a sense of accountability in employees.
Brosix is a renowned all-in-one secured instant messenger that accelerates team collaboration, productivity and real-time communication. The set-up process is remarkably quick, and it provides you with a package of unique features and tools that can optimize your work processes.
Trello is a project management tool that enables you to ensure proper team collaboration to organize Plans, Projects & More. It gives you the ultimate taste of effective team meetings, and you can prioritize projects in a flexible and rewarding manner.
Zoom is a popular video conferencing platform that provides companies with video telephony and online chatting facilities. You can use it To improve the team’s collaboration, work remotely in real-time, and enable seamless teleconferencing connection.
Provide Working Tools and Materials
Your work is not only based on the laptop and internet connection but also on a proper working setup. It affects both your professional life and mental health. A sound workstation may improve your productivity and focus.
In remote team management, the employers can provide some hardware. The materials you need mostly are –
- Laptop or desktop,
- Laptop stand
- Computer table
- A comfortable chair
- Microphone and Speaker
- A second screen or monitor
- Noise-canceling machine
- Blue light glasses
Set up a proper training system
Practically, remote work is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those who have shifted to remote work from the office. So, arrange a training system right after hiring someone. Help the employees to get habituated with the new norm. Measure their performance and give them enough time for self-development.
You can train up your new employees by the best performers in your office so that they can get the courage and motivation to adopt a remote working system.
Provides perks and motivation
A statistic shows that happy employees experience 31% higher productivity. But remote employees often feel less motivated and tedious. One of the main reasons is the lack of interaction with colleagues, loneliness and disregard.
It results in poor productivity and focus. Therefore, you must take care of your employees’ mental health. You can recognize their work and contribution. Nurture their creativity and cheer them up for every success. You may provide a gratuity for new ideas.
If anyone feels down, do listen to them, and try to solve the roadblocks. Increase communication and set up virtual meet-up programs.
Supervise regular Check-In
There should be a system of accountability for each of the organizations. Whether it is a small team or a large enterprise, employees must be accountable to their seniors. Also, the teams need continuous supervision.
On the other hand, managers and employers should provide a space where employees can share their issues and problems without hesitation. For that, you can schedule team meetings and individual meetings every once or twice a week.
Schedule daily activities
Planning daily activities is a sine qua non in remote team management. Take some time daily and let them send their daily plan, what they are going to work, meetings and other stuff. It’s better to introduce an agile project management program to manage the virtual team.
It will help to be consistent and on track for the team and individual.
Offer flexibility on work
Remote work is most famous for being flexible. Whether your employees work from home or maintain a remote office, you shouldn’t be worried about when they work. Instead, focus on activities, not work.
Sometimes flexibility shows some adverse effects, but you should find the best way to deal with it. You can make some concrete rules to get output on time but don’t bind employees in time. Check their output, productivity and engagement.
Track their performance and productivity
Performance Management continues to be an important cornerstone of the business and individual growth and development,” said Sameer Nagarajan, Head, Human Resources at Dabur International Ltd. Tracking employees’ activities is a crucial thing in remote work. Fortunately, you may get some dedicated time tracking apps to keep track of employees’ time, productivity and performance.
These apps will help you to get clear and transparent reports, automatic timesheets, and performance analytics.
Believe your employees
Research shows that employees working in high-trust companies have 50% higher productivity, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction, and 40% less burnout. Trust and belief is a matter that brings positivity and productivity. More specifically, a culture of workplace trust increases mutual respect, honesty and employee morale.
It’s okay if anyone lags behind his performance. Try to find the reason behind it rather than getting harsh and disrespectful. Give them feedback and support. This will make employees more engaged and belonged.
Remote work is fun if you overcome challenges. Better work-life balance, flexibility, low-cost management and job satisfaction make remote work more admissible.
We hope all of the tips will help you meet the issues you face. Make your remote team more productive and efficient.
Don’t forget to share your experience managing your virtual teams.