In reprisal for COVID-19, lockdown is activated all across the world. Many businesses and institutes have implemented the “Work-from-home” policy for their employees to work remotely. It became hard for companies to ensure a level of preparation due to the rapidly changing situations. As a result of this, they are facing some serious challenges of managing remote employees that play a central role in the performance of a business.
Furthermore, the managers and team leaders are employing effective ways to keep the team connected to mitigate the risk of business suffer from COVID-19. A remote working environment has become a trend now. It is hard to determine when the pandemic will be over. Consequently, it is crucial to take into consideration the techniques that can keep the team productivity and business revenue unaffected.
Challenges of Remote Work
The team leaders and mentors need to understand the factors that contribute to a successful remote working culture. Amid the pandemic crisis, businesses are already suffering much when it comes to generating revenue. It is the responsibility of team leaders to take a disciplined approach towards managing team, productivity, and performance while in a remote working environment. Below are some common challenges of remote work faced by businesses and employees.
1. Lack of Interaction
In a remote environment, interaction is one of the most serious issues that actually reduces the productivity of employees. Some workers work efficiently in team collaboration. Due to a lack of face-to-face interaction among the team, their productivity starts diminishing. Similarly, the performance management for remote workers becomes difficult for managers and team leaders.
2. Starting with Something New
During remote work, it is very tough to keep following the latest trends. Starting with something new becomes challenging for the employees. Lack of communication with coworkers makes the work even worse. This problem directly affects the performance of a business.
3. Distractions at Home
Undoubtedly, this is an issue that everyone faces in remote work. In an unplanned transition, employees are no matter what, distracted by activities at home. It is hard to maintain a working atmosphere at home that ultimately affects the work.
4. Dealing with NewComers
The hirings in the remote environment are tough for both the newcomers and the managers. Sometimes, even a simple concept seems bulky. The newcomer has never interacted with the team members that make their understanding and communication very weak at the start.
How to Manage a Remote Team?
Considering the challenges businesses are facing with respect to team management, business productivity, and employee performance, the following are some techniques that act as a toolkit for managing remote workers.
1. Structured Check-ins
It is critically important to make a routine of a daily call with employees. It could be a team meeting or a one-on-one call by the team leader. If the work of employees is highly dependant on each other, a collaborative session could be conducted to share tasks, details, and strategies to keep the whole team on one page. The routine would make the call predictable for the whole team.
2. Effective Communication and Collaboration
Businesses can take advantage of high-end technology to ensure effective communication and collaboration among team members. Through advanced communication channels, meetings could be conducted to assign tasks to each team member and help them know about every other person and the tasks on which he is working.
3. Video Meetings
Video meetings are preferred as compared to voice calls. This will ensure that team members are keeping discipline while working in a remote environment. Seamless audio/video conferencing software such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc. can be used in virtual work. Through video meetings, team members can convey the message in a better way and agree on the action points till the next meeting.
Engage with them even other than the routine tasks and share the problems you are facing in remote work. With this, team members would be able to acknowledge how’s everyone doing and how they can cope up with the disturbed routine efficiently.
4. Remote Team Management Tools
“How to be a remote manager?”, a most common question by team leaders and managers. In this digitally advanced world, the leaders can use remote team management software and tools to manage the tasks, assign tasks and their priority, track the completed tasks, monitor employees and their performance in an efficient way.
Moreover, managers can establish some Rules of Engagement (ROEs). Working in a remote environment becomes satisfying when certain rules are followed for activities. For instance, a different communication channel could be used in case of any emergency or urgent task. Similarly, a time could be defined every day to discuss progress on a specific project. A disciplined approach will keep the employees engaged and active during office hours.
5. Focus on Outcomes
Stringent planning and execution amid the hard times help empower the employees. Set the goals, stages, and desired outcomes. This will enhance creativity and ownership among employees. Focus more on the results instead of the processes. Lean on online tools and collaborate multiple times in a day to take updates from each team member. Also, give flexibility to your employees such that they could complete the work in their own way.
6. Mentorship and Engagement
Managing remote team’s best practices involve mentorship and engagement. It is critically important to assist employees in being productive in remote work. Most importantly, give regular feedback to your employees and appreciate them for the exceptional work they have done. Acknowledgment plays a vital role in keeping the team engaged and proficient in the remote working environment.
To sum up, remote work management can be ensured by employing vigilant techniques that keep the performance of business unaffected during work-from-home. Team leaders and managers can follow these tips to engage their team remotely and yield the desired results.