Remote work saw a huge spike in adoption at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many people have returned to working in person at least some of the time, it appears that increased remote and hybrid work environments are here to stay. Thus, if you are leading teams, you need to know how to manage remote workers. The following seven tips can help you be successful at this.
1. Manage Remote Workers With a Single Source of Facts
One of the most challenging aspects of remote work is the ease with which people can get onto different pages. When working in person, it is easy to take for granted the small interactions that help people to stay organized and in sync. Remote teams need to adapt to overcome losing those casual check-ins. Ideally, all knowledge that is relevant to your work should be stored in a single place. Office 365 is perfect for this. You can have Teams channels that include your chats, meetings and documentation all in one place.
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
In a similar vein, remote teams require a more concerted effort to communicate and touch base. Regular meetings, clear documentation and active chats can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
However, there is also such thing as communication overload. If you are pulling employees into meetings all day long, they may start to feel burned out. One of the best ways to balance these competing concerns is to create useful and thorough documentation. This allows people to find answers via passive communication rather than active.
3. Choose Channels and Stick to Them
There are many ways to communicate remotely. People can use phone, text messages, video calls, instant messaging, email and more. This can cause a lot of confusion. Typically, it is best to pick a couple of channels and stick to them.
For example, when you manage remote workers, you may decide to communicate via instant messaging and video. Avoiding using other forms of communication can help to simplify the remote environment. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to completely abandon other channels. However, you should aim to keep things simple and centralized whenever possible.
4. Get on the Same Page About Processes
Your processes and workflows help your team to get things done. When those processes are well-understood and easy to follow, people can be more productive. This is especially important in the remote setting.
You can manage a lot of this with good documentation of your processes and workflows. For example, you can create workflow maps, best-practice checklists, templates and other tools to help people work more efficiently and consistently.
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5. Foster a Culture of Comfort
Remote work can be stressful at times. This is especially true if the team culture has not fully adapted to being remote. If you want to effectively manage remote workers, you need to create a culture of comfort. This can start with literal comfort. Buying remote workers high-quality chairs and desks is a great option. Additionally, make a more intentional effort to encourage friendliness and casual conversation through work channels. It may help to start the first meeting of the day with a short check-in.
6. Never Micromanage
When managers are physically separate from their team members, it can be tempting to want to check in on every little detail. This is not a good idea. In fact, it can be the antithesis of creating a culture of comfort. Micromanaging tends to make people feel frustrated and uncomfortable.
Try to avoid this tendency and instead opt to trust team members. Most professionals want to produce good work. Empower them to do so rather than trying to oversee every little detail yourself.
7. Respect Boundaries
In a similar vein, it is important to respect your team members’ boundaries. When people neither arrive in the office nor leave, it may not seem like a big deal to send them late-night or early-morning messages. Perhaps you thought of something that needed to get done and just fired off a message. This can cause team members to become unhappy quickly. Instead, respect their downtime and only communicate about work during working hours.
Learn More About How To Manage Remote Workers
The above tips will help you to manage remote workers. It is also helpful to have the right tools. With the Microsoft Cloud, you can get more done while working remotely. Cloudficient can help you transition to Office 365 from your legacy systems. Learn more about our migration solutions today.
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.
If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.