August 13, 2021 Mahnoor Afzal

In addition to personal connection, remote employees need to feel a professional connection to their organization through collaboration. Some collaboration happens in scheduled meetings or formal brainstorming sessions, but much of it comes during organic, casual conversations that spring up outside of formal meetings. This kind of informal communication is linked to increased productivity within a group—but it’s the kind of communication that can be harder for remote employees to participate in. Whether your organization has five or five hundred remote workers, it’s important to learn how to manage them effectively and prevent disengagement. “Zoom fatigue.” While video calls may address the lack of direct interaction, spending hours in virtual team meetings can be just as detrimental. The term “Zoom fatigue” was coined several months into the pandemic to describe the negative impacts of continuous video use.

  • Supporting remote employees at every stage is also essential for efficient teamwork and morale.
  • A big worry is that if a team can’t jump into the conference room to hash out an idea, innovation will come to a halt.
  • Signup takes just a few minutes, and you’ll be set up with a virtual business number too.
  • Given the lack of visibility in a remote environment, improve your monitoring techniques and relationships with direct reports.
  • Here are three of the big ones, provided by Adam Hickman, a content manager at Gallup and the author of studies on remote workforces.

If you’re just moving to a remote model for the first time, or even if it is an ongoing process, gathering feedback is essential to make sure that it’s working well for your team. It’s fine to have informal chats before the meeting starts but establish some ground rules. In a physical environment, relationships are more easily established and maintained, but some managers struggle to achieve this when staff are working from home. If you micromanage, these are issues you may not overcome without changing your own management style.

Employees, whether they’re remote or on-site, are happier and more productive when they feel valued. An additional option could be pairing new hires with a “mentor” for the first year, someone they can learn from, trust, and feel comfortable enough to approach with questions. Using nBold Collaboration Templates, you can structure your work processes more clearly.

Virtual Team Management Can Be Challenging Here Are The Best Practices You Can Put To Practice To Manage Remote Teams

Doing so may seem challenging, but it’s doable with the right strategies and tools. At the start of the pandemic, over 7 in 10 employers reported struggling to adapt to remote work. The way employees engage with their colleagues and managers inevitably changes when working remotely.

Managers need to be aware of how remote work may create feelings of isolation among team members. Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission.

In fact, our research found that 82.9% believe that not all video meetings require video. Accept that a remote worker’s schedule may differ but that they will still get work done. Allowing your team the autonomy to work when it suits them best, has proven to show greater quality and productivity. For instance, if you supply meals to your co-located employees, find a way to extend that benefit to your remote workers. If remote workers have flexible hours, find a way you can extend this benefit to co-located employees.

They also shouldn’t be managing their to-do list in Slack, as notes can easily get lost or forgotten there. When you consider people for remote work, be sure you have full confidence in their accountability, work ethic, and skills. Focus on hiring or granting transitions to remote for people you trust can handle it. The better you work to live and exemplify this culture of ownership, the more accountable your team members will be as well.

While it’s true that managing remote employees has its own set of challenges, most of them can be easily (and cost-effectively) rectified by the organization. Your remote workers have the potential for incredible productivity, creativity, innovation, and performance. But if your organization doesn’t learn how to manage remote employees, they will likely take their skills and expertise somewhere else. Note, again, do not have meetings for the sake of meetings, but be sure communication is open, honest, and frequent. Invest in a collaborative approach and create the right environment for each remote employee to maximize their productivity. You will find that remote employees are often the most productive, happiest and efficient members of your team.

Managing remote employees

When communicating with a remote team, you can’t take a one size fits all approach. Some may need daily contact, while others only need to connect once a week or when a particular issue arises. The distraction of working from a home environment is often one of management’s main concerns with remote work. Household chores, deliveries, and childcare can interrupt an employee’s work day, affecting their engagement.

If so, establish messaging and email as the preferred channels for most everyday communication needs. Consider setting up a short one-on-one meeting once or twice a week with everyone on your team. Be sure your team knows you’re available outside of that time, too, if anything comes up. “Show employees that you plan to look out for them for the long haul,” says Kropp. Companies spend years building a set of values that describes how much they care about their employees, and how it’s important for them to create great lives and experiences for them.

Conclusion: Managing Remote Teams Like A Pro

Use a good task management or project management system so everyone knows where they are and what they have to do. Company and customer data and Managing Remote Teams information are valuable currencies to your business. And many of your workers need to access that information to do their jobs properly.

Managing remote employees

More and more, global organizations expect geographically dispersed teams to deliver high performance and innovation. But cultural differences often lead to radically different perspectives — and it’s up to team leaders to bridge those differences. Why “Balance” Is a Faulty Metaphor Most people say they feel pressed for time and want better work and life balance. This gives you and your team member more time to get acclimated to working remotely, without compounding it by them struggling with the tasks they have been asked to do. On the other hand, you may already be making new hires remotely, or you’re a founder building your first remote company.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Remote Work?

This gives your team members the chance to address any issues they might be afraid to bring up in group meetings, or don’t want to discuss via email for fear of being misunderstood. If you’re already having virtual meetings with individual workers, use them to ask if they feel current processes work well. As a manager, you should be careful not to assign too much work or to impose too tight deadlines.

Managing remote employees

Children running about, pets making noise, people coming to the door… If your team can’t get together in a physical workspace, implement fun games and exercises that they can all participate in. It helps them retain a feeling of team and is also great for morale. We don’t care where work is done, or where, as long as it meets our standards and customers and other team members are not being inconvenienced by a lack of communication. This calls on you to be deliberate when it comes to providing feedback and provide it often and clearly.

Tips For Prioritizing Outcomes With Remote Work:

Make it a point to have a discussion that gives you a learning about their personality. A remote team is a group of professionals from various time zones, diverse skills and different culture working together on a unified project. Each teammate working from a separate location, living in different cities, and working across time and space. Working remotely is one thing and managing a remote team is another challenge.

Managing remote employees

That same insight and management style must be applied to how they work remotely. Actualize Consulting in Reston, Va., is recognizing its employees with videos that celebrate workers’ contributions, said Kerry Wekelo, the organization’s chief operating officer. The videos, which will appear on the company website, replace the recognition that would have taken place at the company’s annual retreat, which was canceled because of the pandemic.

Share Calendars

Yet, we do that every day with chat and email with your remote team members. Add on top of all of those benefits, according to one study by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom, remote work offers a tangible boost to productivity even when those employees are only partly remote. Remote work flexibility greatly enhances efficiency and employee engagement. This can be especially true , if they have an option to mix their schedules with remote and on-site work. Make sure your team knows they can come to you with feedback surrounding the current remote work support they’re receiving. Managers can also arrange in-person retreats/events that allow employees to engage with each other in a casual setting.

Bigger tasks can especially benefit from this as it not only makes things easier but can also help you collect data for future planning. Set a schedule for regular conference calls on progress or problems. This also includes individuals being able to contact you if needed. Have a good understanding of what needs done, whether a single project or a series of ongoing tasks. Every person has their own preferences for how they absorb new information.

Remote employees are at a clear disadvantage when it comes to sharing and bouncing ideas off their team members. KISSmetrics did a summit once a year when I was there, and many fully-remote companies like Buffer actually travel as a team to exotic places like South Africa. Pick a time that always works for you for your remote 1 on 1s and make them sacred on your calendar. They’ll probably agree if you ask, but that’s more about a power dynamic you have as their manager than they really didn’t want to talk. There is always more to talk about even when your team members sit next to you. One of the fastest ways to build resentment on your team is regularly canceling one on ones.

Check out this episode of the ‘Creating High Performing Teams’ podcast. Regular human interaction can be easy to take for granted, until you don’t have an office full of people to be around every day. In fact, Pre-COVID, over 4.3 million employees (3.2% of the workforce) were already working from home at least half the time according to Global Workplace Analytics. That’s not to say that Yahoo! was doing it wrong, or that productivity was the issue—certainly the organizational transformation Marissa Mayer sought required a sea change in business practices. Sun Microsystems found that employees spend two-thirds of the time they save by not commuting doing work for the company.

So, you need to find ways to compensate for the loss of the non-verbal part of communication. It can be too easy to jump on Facebook to see what the latest gossip with Bob and Marcie is. If you’re working from home, there are many potential distractions that can interrupt your workflow.


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