How to Manage Remote Teams Effectively

How to Manage a High-Performing Virtual Team

As the world continues to suffer from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is paramount to stay at home. On the other side, stay-at-home orders prompted by COVID-19 are producing challenges for hiring managers - at a time when many companies are implementing remote work schemes for the first time.

Redefining Work Systems:

According to research by Global Workplace Analytics, it is said that before COVID-19, around 4.3 million employees who are 3.2% of the workforce were working from home. Some of the key findings of this research reveal:

●      Companies like Aha, Automatic Buffer, NationBuilder, and many more are successfully working as 100% remote companies.

●      It comes to know that 40% of employees find complexity to manage workload between personal and professional life.

●      As remote work increases, it affects indirectly the quality of work, efficiency, and productivity.

●      Many companies have observed a decline in their productivity from 70% to 40%.

According to another survey by The Workforce 2020, it is estimated approx. 83% of executives plan to expand the use of consultants in the coming next 3 years. Managers are finding it difficult to manage their employees or team members from different areas and receive their work status and feedback. The COVID-19 crisis has raised a challenge to create a corporate culture remotely. So, let’s look at some of the strategies which can assist you in overcoming the challenges of managing remote teams in these unprecedented times.

Strategies to manage a remote team

1) Define boundaries with remote employees

Remote employees or teams gradually need boundaries to define their professional and personal life. It is required to discuss work schedules with each employee by respecting their time and show them that as a manager, you care for their time. It is suggested that as a manager of the company, you need to build positive relationships with your teammates.

2) Take advantage of technology

As a manager, you should be focused to connect your team members. Communication tools are an easy and flexible way to keep employees engaged. Tools like Slack, Microsoft teams, zoom, google meet are more suitable for regular communication. Some of these tools are available without any cost.

3) Provide resources to the team members  

As a manager, you should confirm that every team member has the technology needed to complete their tasks. Maybe some of the team members do not have resources like laptops, software, mobile devices, internet connection with adequate bandwidth, or they are lagging with logistics. It is crucial to make sure that everything is being taken care of by the organization.

4) Be flexible with your employees

Specifically, in the current pandemic environment, your team is struggling a lot as they have to maintain a balance between work and family. So, it’s vital to trust your team and provide them the flexibility of working hours to complete their tasks.

5) Be clear with deliverables and deadlines

It is crucial for managers to give freedom to the team members to execute plans and strategies. Instead of micro-managing the employees, managers should provide detailed descriptions with examples and an idea of what the final result looks like in order to avoid any misunderstanding or miscommunication.

6) Work hours Overlap

This is important for teams working in different time zones to spend time together online for atleast 3-4 hours. Even if team members do not depend on each other, it is vital for everyone to come together to solve problems and collaborate creatively.

Conclusion:

As Confucius once said, “Study the past if you would define the future”. So it is crucial for organizations to do their homework before working with virtual teams. The COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the work practices in the future and inheriting virtual teams could be a potential strategy of the remote corporate culture. Hope these strategies help you in identifying and prioritizing talent strategies for your organization.

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