Basics of Remote Team Management

The world that we are living and working in now requires a new set of business skills. One is learning and mastering the unique art of working from home. Another is an even more finite skill of managing teams from the home office. If you’re a manager, you’ve probably already had a panic attack about how you’re going to manage and lead your team remotely. It’s hard enough when you’re in the traditional office setting.

Here are a few basic tips to effectively manage and lead your remote team.

  1. Use technology. Get a great video-based communication program and require everyone to know how to use it. Tools like ZOOM and Skype and GoToMeeting and others are available and are very effective.
  2. Set regular meeting times. Require your team to be in the virtual meeting. I suggest doing this daily to start with. I can already hear some of you saying that this is overkill. Cool it, It’s not. Do a daily meeting in the beginning just to establish the habit and skill of remote communication, then cut back as is appropriate. Never do less than once a week though.
  3. Keep the team busy. Set clear expectations and even clearer metrics. Hold the team to new standards of accountability. Remember, they’re not in the office. Some will be disciplined, and others won’t. Your daily and weekly accountability requirements will help them be and remain focused on the task. These metrics should also help eliminate many distractions.
  4. Establish clearer goals. If you have clear team goals be sure to emphasize them. If you don’t have clear team goals, create them now. These will be important to help keep your team moving in the same direction.
  5. Communicate more. This does not mean that you should schedule an excessive number of virtual meetings. Create your plan and stick to it. But a great opportunity exists to educate, train and motivate through email messages. Communicate wins by team members. Attach a motivational video or do a 1-minute video of your own to share some information. Whatever it is, take the opportunity to remain visible and let the team know that you’re there.
  6. Business as usual. Try anything that will remind your now remote team that no matter where they are at or where their leaders are at, it is still business as usual, it’s just different. Work must continue and goals must be met.

It is incredibly important for us to adapt and accept the “new world” realities of how we must now do business. The harsh fact is that if you continue to do business the way you’ve always done business then you may soon be out of business!  Good luck!

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