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Mastering Remote Team Management: Essential Tips for Success

by Arthur Zuckerman

After COVID, the world has adopted a new concept of remote work. Although a vast majority never thought that remote work could be a successful idea, things have changed, and numerous companies have adopted the idea of remote work since it is more cost-effective and productive, both for employees and companies.

Research by Mercer proves that before the pandemic, only 1 in 30 companies allowed their staff to work remotely. According to Forbes, 12.7% of full-time employees have been working from home since 2023, and 28.2% follow the hybrid model. However, many companies are still struggling to effectively adopt remote work.

In this article, we will help you understand how to manage remote work effectively.

Why Is Remote Work Considered Beneficial?

As per FlexJobs’ research in 2022, 84 percent of individuals feel happier in remote and hybrid work models, whereas 48 percent of individuals said they maintain a healthy work-life balance. Furthermore, 54 percent said they have suitable emotional support. Remote work is significant due to its numerous advantages for both employers and employees:

  • Expenses decrease because employers won’t have to cover costs such as rent, furniture, equipment, utilities, and office supplies.
  • According to research conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, 6 out of 10 employers cited reduced expenses as a major benefit of telecommuting.
  • Similarly, employees don’t need to commute daily for work, saving both time and money.
  • Productivity increases for both employees and employers as they don’t have to contend with office politics.
  • They can work happily from the comfort of their homes, according to their preferences.
  • Sometimes, appealing job opportunities aren’t available in your area, and employers struggle to find the perfect candidate.
  • Remote work eliminates such limitations, allowing business owners to easily find a perfect fit for the role.
  • Those seeking the best opportunities can consider remote positions offered by companies in other states or countries.
  • Health is true wealth and a key reason for remote work becoming the norm.
  • When you work remotely, you can avoid crowded buses or trains.
  • The less interaction with numerous individuals, the lower the risk of exposure to contagious diseases.

What Challenges are Expected While Working Remotely?

Managing a remote team is tricky because you all are in different places. Coordination can be problematic, especially when all team members are in different time zones.

Some managers may find difficulty in trusting their employees because they can’t see them working. 28% of remote workers do not go out enough and overwork, and 19% work across different time zones, which sometimes seems difficult.

Also, employees struggle with a lack of motivation for work since working from home might be distracting, as we have family members at home, and this might not be as disciplined as offices. Trouble communicating can also arise because, in some regions, there is limited technology, while some are very advanced. However, don’t worry; every problem has a solution, and remote work can still be proven successful despite having lots of challenges.

How To Effectively Manage Remote Workers?

An employer with a knack for managing remote workers can prevent companies from facing unique challenges, as employees aren’t together in a physical office. But everything is possible when you have a solid plan and communicate effectively; your business can overcome every obstacle.

There is no perfect strategy for managing remote workers, but following these standard guidelines will help all businesses planning to shift to remote work or currently doing so.

Be Kind Towards Your Employees

Your employees are your family, so identify their strengths, weaknesses, and what they need. Ultimately, managers can use that information to motivate employees and find ways to deal with them. That management style and insight apply to remote employees too.

“If you’ve got 12 team members, that’s 12 different sets of needs you have to meet,” Adam Hickman, Content Manager at Gallup and author of “Studies at Remote Workplaces,” said. “If you want performance, make sure they are engaged.”

The same applies to the hours your employees agree to work. If an employee is an early riser, let them work in the morning; if another is productive at night, allow them to work at night. Your priority must be appreciating your employees, providing timely work, and being kind to them.

Remember That Remote Work Isn’t Cheaper

It is a common misconception among business leaders that remote work cuts office space costs by 50% and must reduce their expenses by 50%. Most probably, they believe that they must pay employees less since they aren’t going to travel every day to the office.

CIPHR surveyed in 2021, which indicated that 68% of British businesses were considering pay cuts for employees who plan to work remotely. When employees work remotely, they’re responsible for paying for internet, electricity, and finding ways to stay productive.

Furthermore, they may have to travel once or twice a year from another province or state for an important company event. So, what you save by allowing employees to work remotely, invest that in upgrading software or getting additional hardware. Never devalue your employees to save money.

Provide Flexibility

No doubt, in remote work, employees may work in different time zones. It is requisite to understand the employees’ timings and make sure they are comfortable working within your hours.

Otherwise, providing flexibility can be another great solution. Each employee deserves a relaxed environment, so let them know there’s no harm in emailing you to inform you that they have been out for a short walk with their pet.

Communicate Regularly

Communicating regularly is significant when you are working remotely. Scheduling regular calls with your project teams to evaluate progress and discuss future goals is important.

Put in extra effort to stay connected with your remote employees and get updates regarding the department. You must develop ways to increase remote employee engagement. As a leader, you must adjust your priorities and remain available to answer your team’s questions and comments.

Video calls are a better option, and online celebrations, such as virtual anniversary parties and birthday celebrations, can strengthen the bond. Applications like Slack can help you stay in touch with each employee individually throughout the day.

Use The Latest Technology

If you want your remote team to be successful, you need to be efficient enough to utilize the latest tools. Employers can use hardware asset management software to keep track of laptops or PCs used by their workers. 

Additionally, you can use Slack for messaging and video conferencing. Consider using tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Provide a reliable internet connection or offer extra compensation so they can work in a co-working space.

Building Trust is Significant 

Regular communication is undoubtedly essential, but your employees must also feel that you believe in their hard work, just as you would when they work at your company’s office. This includes maintaining productivity and keeping similar hours to their colleagues who work from the office.

If you message your remote workers every hour asking about their work and how they manage it, they will feel like you don’t trust them.

Remote employees work effectively, and it works wonders when they have a manager who trusts them. Your trust, support, and direction will help your remote employees do a good job, and they will feel connected to the company and the team.

Final Thoughts

Managing remote work effectively is not child’s play. It requires specific skills and techniques, and once you master them, you can succeed long-term. Trust yourself and your employees and discover the power of collaboration and effective communication. Plan in advance, be available when you claim to be, and try out what works best for you.

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