Managing a team in itself is a difficult task. Different types of characters, cultural influences, and perceptions affect the way people interact and collaborate with each other. As a manager, you need to find the balance of listening, the proper language to use, providing the necessary support and the approach of delegating tasks to your employees. This task might be even more challenging when managing remote teams. There is a lot that can go wrong.
In this article we’ll elaborate 5 mistakes and how to avoid them when managing remote teams:
1. Dropping the ball on regular meetings
Having independent employees is a great thing. They get the work done and you don’t have to worry about falling behind on projects and tasks. However, there is always need for an update on work progress. Having regular meetings is a must in order to keep track of how work is going and what the obstacles a remote team member is facing as well as crucial points where you can provide assistance.
In today’s day and age, there are many ways you can stay in touch with remote teams. Using video conferencing equipment, free messaging platforms and gadgets are by far the most suitable options as they offer the advantage of meetings that feel like being physically present in the same office, having a face-to-face meeting. So, make sure to schedule regular meetings with remote teams, even if just for a simple “Hello”.
On the other hand, there are managers who feel the need to know everything their employees are doing. When employees are at the office, this is rather simple as you can stay on top of everyone and exhibit micromanagement. For remote teams, this is a more difficult thing to do as these teams are not in the same space as the managers. Another thing to better avoid is the manager’s tendency to check in way too often with their employees. This creates an unpleasant situation causing the employees not to feel at ease, brings frustration and leads to unnecessary stress.
Take into consideration the act of allowing independence for your remote employees as well as how often you get in touch with them. Having clear-set rules about the methods of reporting, how often and when is really important to get quality results while at the same time avoiding the need for micromanagement altogether.
3. Not building a collaborative culture
Remote teams can often feel left out and isolated because of working by themselves in all projects. For that reason, it is important to build an effective collaborative culture between in-house and remote teams.
Encouraging the development of such philosophy within a company leads to more effective teams and successfully enclosed projects. You can provide the space for remote workers to join meetings held at the office through video communication even if these meetings may seem somewhat insignificant to them. It will still contribute to keeping everyone updated on the latest developments within the company, provide room for their input and experience in solving obstacles.
This way remote teams will feel appreciated while you develop a collaborative culture where all employees have a sense of being included and important to the overall development of the company.
4. Not focusing on important matters
The main concern of each manager is to create sustainable progress where goals and targets are met. Trusting employees and validating their work through online collaboration tools will lead to a more effective progress and a more productive working bond. It should not matter where the employee is working from as long as they provide quality advancement in their work and the company’s performance remains in high standards.
5. Relying extensively on e-mail
Relying on e-mail as a communication means between your remote teams is a necessity. But, relying too much on the e-mail does not allow space for verbal elaboration and feedback to tasks. Therefore, making use of other communication tools, such as video calls, is a great way to allow your employees to open discussions as well as to freely express their opinion and concerns verbally. Being on the same page is crucial for successful work when a remote worker.
It is highly important for managers to keep track of what their team is doing, regardless of whether the team isin the office or working remotely. It is also essential to avoid making the above-mentioned mistakes while managing remote workers as it can lead to a decrease in motivation, unnecessary stress and frustration. To spare yourself from such distress, make sure you hire professionals who are not looking to override the system.
Build social culture between teams and offer proper tools to collaborate. Investing in good video conferencing equipment that allows teams to communicate properly is something you will be thankful for. And above all, make sure you lead your team into focusing on what is important.