Over 70% of employed adults are now working from home. Once the COVID-19 outbreak is no longer an issue, more than half of America wants to keep working from home, too.
Are you trying to manage a remote team? You’re not alone. However, many managers are concerned about their team’s productivity and efficiency.
How do you know your team is working as efficiently at home as they would at the office?
Here are six tips that can help you manage your remote employees. With these tips, you can maximize your team’s productivity without micromanaging.
Give your business the boost it needs with these six simple tips today.
1. Set Remote Working Guidelines
First, set up an official “working from home” policy for your remote team. This policy will highlight your company’s best practices and expectations for your workers. Drafting this document will keep everyone on the same page.
First, consider how your team will work remotely. How do you expect each person to do their job from home? Do they need new tools?
Will they adopt new strategies?
Consider each member of your team when drafting these guidelines. After all, someone in your billing department might have an easier time than someone in HR. A member of your HR team needs to interview, train, and meet with new employees.
When drafting your work from home policy, ask yourself:
- How will each team member complete their work?
- Who will manage each remote employee?
- Do we require further training for management?
- How will the team collaborate?
- What tools and resources do we need to work more efficiently?
- How will this change our company culture?
Schedule a meeting with your legal, finance, and HR managers. They might have insights you’ll need when drafting this policy.
Your remote work guidelines will ensure every member of your remote team is on the same page.
2. Catch Up Regularly
In order to manage your remote workforce, take the time to catch up with each team member regularly. Catching up will give you the chance to gauge their emotional states.
It’s still important to build a rapport with your remote employees. Otherwise, they might feel like they can’t talk to you. If they’re struggling, they might not admit it.
Ask your remote employees how they’re doing. Do they have any concerns about working remotely?
Find fun ways to convey emotion, too. Your remote workforce is likely relying on non-verbal forms of communication. Using email and chat 24/7 can make messages seem passive-aggressive sometimes, even if it’s not intentional.
Use fun gifs and emojis to better convey emotions. Don’t forget to praise your team members when they do a good job, too.
You can schedule group chats or video conferences once a week.
3. Avoid Micromanaging
If you want to improve your team’s productivity, make sure to give them greater autonomy. Don’t constantly send your team members messages, asking about their work. These messages could steal time from their day.
You’re stealing their focus and affecting their productivity, too.
Instead, you’ll need to adjust your management style. Start by trusting your employees. Giving your remote team greater autonomy could improve their job satisfaction.
In fact, greater autonomy is associated with greater productivity, too.
You don’t need to micromanage your team. Instead, create SMART goals to keep everyone on the same page.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, results-driven, and timely.
What do you want your employees to accomplish this year? Establish goals that are clear and concise. For example, maybe you want your marketing team to boost traffic to your product pages by 20% before the end of the month.
Once you establish SMART goals, determine how you’ll track your team’s progress. Establish key performance indicators and benchmarks.
Establishing SMART goals will give your team an aim. They’ll have a goal to focus on, which could help them ignore distractions.
4. Reduce Video Conferences
Many teams are using Google Meetings, Slack, and Zoom to communicate with their remote workforce. Unfortunately, too many video conferences can steal time from their day. Your team could start experiencing Zoom fatigue, too.
You don’t need a video conference for every conversation. Instead, try to limit how often your team has a meeting. Consider sending documents and presentations instead.
Reducing how often you have meetings will help your remote team remain productive.
5. Schedule One-on-Ones
Remember, it can help to check in with your remote employees from time to time. It’s also important to remember that each member of your team is an individual. They all have their own responsibilities and goals.
Schedule one-on-one meetings with members of your team. Dedicate at least 30 minutes a week to each person.
Giving them a chance to speak privately can help you find small problems before they can become big ones.
Is there a problem with the work-from-home model you’ve established? Give your team members a chance to speak.
Avoid canceling these one-on-one meetings if you can. Otherwise, your team might think you don’t value their opinions.
At the same time, it’s important to consider everyone’s schedules. Do you have team members who work in a different time zone? Keep that in mind when scheduling meetings.
6. Use the Right Tools
Help your remote workforce improve their productivity by equipping them with the right tools. What tools do they need to complete their work?
You might want to consider a program like Asana or Wrike. These project management programs will help your team remain organized. You can track their progress with every project to ensure they’re meeting their goals.
How are you communicating? Are you nurturing your leads, too? You might need a CRM like Salesforce.
Consider SAFe for teams as well.
Equipping your team with the right tools will ensure they can complete their tasks without roadblocks. Otherwise, they might waste valuable time looking for workarounds.
Give Efficiency a Boost: 6 Tips for Managing Your Remote Team
Don’t let working from home impact your team’s productivity. Instead, use these six tips for managing your remote team. With these tips, you can keep your remote workforce running better than ever!
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