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February 07, 2023

How To Manage a Team Remotely

Remote working has seen a huge boost in recent years, with many companies fully embracing the idea that employees can work from anywhere in the world. In some cases, businesses have closed their offices completely.

New hybrid work setups have their advantages and disadvantages, and the requirement of adaptability for managers has developed for overseeing a team remotely. Understanding different home working conditions, scheduling across different time zones and maintaining strong employee wellbeing conditions are all considerations that managers more than ever are having to take.

Creating a positive working environment for your team whilst balancing some of the challenges of working in locations is a new management skill. Below we breakdown some ways to put this into practice with the best ways to do remote working.

Setting Clear Boundaries

Working remotely can often feel like the boundaries of your working hours and personal time become blurred. This results from the idea that with flexible working hours you should be readily available at all times.

In reality, it is important to set a clear set of boundaries which will allow your employees to work flexibly without it impacting on the performance of the team. Be clear about what your expectations are for your team’s output and any required deadlines, and also when setting timeframes and response times for emails.

A benefit of remote working means in theory your work can be done from anywhere. That being said, make sure your team communicates to you where they are working from and have this agreed upon. This will help prevent scheduling meetings at inconvenient times, and prevent unexpected difficulties in contacting team members. Communication is key in agreeing ways of effective remote working, therefore make sure your peers are sharing information as needed.

Trust is vital in remote working.

Employee Wellbeing

Having empathy for your team and their working environment is an important management skill. Each of your team members will have a different home setting and understanding these circumstances will be crucial in managing the performance of your team. They might be experiencing isolation or distractions at home.

Take time to listen to any concerns and struggles that your team is experiencing in their work set up. Schedule meetings with those who report to you as an informal opportunity to discuss any issues. This will help prevent any difficulties coming to light at a point when it is too late to resolve easily.

Find out if there are resources that your team requires in order to work effectively away from an office, such as new laptops, headsets or WiFi (News - Alert) boosters. Investing in these tools can be beneficial in improving your team’s work conditions.

Team Bonding

Creating opportunities for your team to meet and bond is an essential part of growing your team’s morale and retaining employees.

Your company's approach to office working will determine your ability to coordinate in person meetings. If you have a hybrid working pattern, it could be beneficial to enforce certain days the whole team will be in the office.

If your company is fully remote there are still other ways to get this valuable time together. If possible, coordinate to have a team offsite. This will allow colleagues to spend time together and develop in person relationships that can be so important for team performance. These company offsites can also be used to host in depth company reviews and planning sessions.

Regardless of how you go about getting your team together, it is essential that these opportunities are inclusive and that there are ways to dial in for those who cannot attend in person.

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