The remote work trend has been rapidly growing over the past few years and is expected to continue in 2023. As a result, managing remote teams has become an increasingly important challenge for many organizations. We have gathered ten helpful tips on how to manage remote workers in 2023 to take your project management skills to the next level. These tips will help you navigate the unique challenges of managing remote teams and ensure they are productive, engaged, and motivated. By adopting these best practices, you can maximize the benefits of remote work and keep your team on track for success in 2023.
10 tips for managing remote employees effectively
Define expectations and responsibilities
One of the central topics you should thrash out from the moment you start working with remote teams is what you expect from your subordinates. Alongside that stands the question of distributing responsibilities among your coworkers and setting healthy boundaries. You should clearly establish your working schedule and define the time convenient for the outreach. It is important that this rule works both ways, meaning that you also shouldn't bother them in their personal time. As the head manager, you also must be clear about your expectations and make sure your team's alacrity coincides. For example, if you have pressing deadlines, they might be expected to work longer on certain days.
Set regular check-ins and touchpoints for communication
Another helpful suggestion for effective remote team management is conducting regular online meetings. This is primarily done to keep track of the progress and workflow efficiency, but one more vital aspect it brings forward is the ability to brainstorm solutions collectively.
The greatest disadvantage of managing remote employees is the need for face-to-face interaction, which may create barriers to smooth communication. You can often run into minor misunderstandings and poor cohesion when things get out of hand. Organize regular check-ins to avoid issues based on disinformation and lack of comprehension.
Provide the necessary tools and resources
With the right tools in place, leading a remote team is relatively easy. Interactive platforms like Zoom, Google Meets, Miro Board, and many others are specifically designed for holding team meetings. If you are too busy to carve out some time for the video conference or the time zone difference forces you into a rigid framework, you can switch to messaging tools. This option is more time-consuming as it takes longer for your team members to respond, but it still offers good opportunities for keeping in touch.
Apart from excellent remote people management experience, a good CEO should have practical leadership skills. A true leader is not someone with power and authority but a person who can raise the team spirit and guide them towards a common goal. In a remote work environment, where team members are physically isolated from each other, it is even more crucial to make an effort to encourage collaboration.
Foster a supportive company culture
Best practices for managing remote teams include nurturing a supportive atmosphere among the workers, regardless of each person's capabilities and level of expertise. Instead of making punishments and emphasizing flaws, you should teach your team to embrace mistakes and regard them as a lesson for the future. An excellent way to celebrate new accomplishments is to establish a reward system and praise workers for their notable wins. When managing a remote workforce, remember that some people are more reticent than others and may be highly sensitive to criticism. In this case, you should use different approaches.
Flexibility is a crucial factor in remote team management, as it allows for adapting different working styles and accommodating life circumstances that can impact employees' schedules and productivity. By providing flexible work arrangements, remote team managers can help employees find a work-life balance, which leads to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress levels. Given the unstable times, flexibility is practiced in many companies and is highly valued in the fast-changing digital world. If you want to manage remote teams successfully, give your employees a sense of freedom, and you will see how eagerly they commit.
Ensure accountability and productivity
Monitoring workflow efficiency is among other tips for managing remote staff. Productivity is important because it helps ensure that the team can meet its goals and deliver results promptly and effectively. With remote teams, monitoring progress and ensuring work is being completed as expected can be more difficult. So, it's essential to have systems in place to track productivity and provide support where needed.
Accountability is also crucial in remote work environments because it helps establish trust and responsibility among team members. When everyone is accountable for their work and the work of the team as a whole, it creates a more focused and productive work environment and helps prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications.
Provide opportunities for career advancement
Managing remote workers offers an untapped source of opportunities for personal growth for CEOs and employees alike. Supervising a team helps managers enhance their leadership and organizational skills, while staff benefits from the company by investing in their self-development and accessing training sessions.
To make the cooperation mutually beneficial, you have to switch from a money-centered mindset to a growth one. This is mostly about your attitude to your coworkers. If you exploit them only as a workforce to gain profit, it's unlikely that they will stay with you in the long run. But, if you recognize their potential and strive to unlock it, you have more chances for retention. Give them room for creativity and autonomy, and reward excellent performance with pay raises and promotions.
Promote work-life balance
Managing remote teams' best practices, alongside the abovementioned tips, involves time to unplug. To ensure everyone stays energetic and well-rested, managers should encourage workers to go offline during weekends and late evenings and devote time to themselves and their families. It is essential to achieve a work-life balance to prevent burnout or falling into chronic fatigue. Remote work can blur the boundaries between work and personal life, making it more difficult for employees to disconnect and recharge.
Maintain an open-door policy
Remote team management tips include maintaining open-door policies to foster transparency, trust, and effective communication. Those are important for building sustainable relationships within the group and achieving project goals. This also increases team members' job satisfaction and boosts their sense of belonging to the organization. However, it's crucial to ensure that the policy is consistently applied and that team members feel comfortable reaching out to their managers and colleagues for support and feedback. Given the number of people you might be managing at the same time remotely, it can take a lot of work to give sufficient attention to everyone. Eventually, workers who remained out of your sight might need help completing tasks or understanding certain work specifics. Your task as a manager is to pinpoint the problem at once and help employees address it without pressure.
Challenges of managing remote teams
Now you know how to manage remote employees and can finally put this knowledge into practice. There are potential stumbling blocks, though, that can significantly complicate matters. So let's look at what challenges you may encounter when managing remote staff.
Lack of face-to-face interaction
It is much more comfortable to mull over ideas when you gather on the premises and see each other eye-to-eye. Compared to in-person meetings, online ones do not give you enough floor for sharing opinions and effectively introducing new solutions. In addition, people sometimes tend to neglect online conferences because of skipped notifications, insufficient urgency, or other pursuits they are preoccupied with. It ends up in pointless excuses and the further need to reiterate all the information several times to make sure everyone understands it. The solution is to leave your employees manageable with a few meetings, ensure everyone gets timely notifications about them, and stick strictly to the point during online conferences.
Some employees are experiencing trouble switching off due to accumulated tasks or demanding working conditions. They ultimately risk having severe burnout, which requires a rest period for recovery or even a psychologist's intrusion. If you notice your employees burning the midnight oil, immediately take action and put them in the right direction.
Sometimes the problem lies not in the worker's aspirations but in the highly challenging environment that causes pressure. Try to reevaluate their working schedule and stretch the task completion for longer, if possible.
Building trust among team members
The trust issue is common among average organizations that need help understanding what keeps them from getting ahead. If you are sure you are doing everything right but are still far from a desirable success, there must be something wrong with your team's trust. Here are the vivid signs that you don't trust your colleagues:
You don't delegate important tasks for fear of poor completion
You always double-check tasks done by your subordinates
Your team members don't collaborate and barely talk to each other
Your employees are silent about their problems and rarely turn to you for explanations
It is better not to wait until your team falls into deep mistrust, but if you are already at this stage, one thing that might help you restore your trusting relationship is an outing or remote team-building activities.
Balancing autonomy with supervision
Balancing autonomy and supervision with a remote team can be challenging. There is a need to balance providing enough freedom for team members to work independently and ensuring they have enough guidance and support to succeed. Finding a healthy balance with a remote team requires careful planning, effective communication, and a willingness to adapt and change as needed. With the right strategies and tools, however, it is possible to create a successful remote team that is productive, efficient, and engaged.
We genuinely hope these tips for managing remote teams will help reestablish your team values in 2023 and build a robust base for nurturing meaningful and trusting work relations. Now that you know how to lead a remote team, you can refurbish your working environment and make it work for your business aims.
Dworkz is a compelling choice for data-driven B2B SaaS companies when creating unique and eye-appealing designs. Our company specializes in UI/UX design and development, and with our experience, we have a lot to bring to the table. Dworkz's portfolio counts numerous successful cases, which took us one step further on the way to our shared goal — being the number-one company in the design field.
Take Kantola as an example. The company creates high-quality videos for workplaces and provides training platforms to ensure compliance. Kantola needed to upgrade their LMS's UI and enhance their management process without forfeiting existing functionality. Also, they aimed to make customer support less time-consuming.
Here is how we helped them: we divided the participants into groups, thus giving managers leverage over learning programs. By concealing repetitious controls, we reduced UI clutter and made them visible only when necessary. We also facilitated the process of developing training courses and the management of enterprises' many training facilities. Over 16,000 of Kantola's clients gave good feedback about how simple it is to provide training and retrieve information when the revised LMS was released.
Want to achieve the same or even better results? Contact Dworkz and learn how your business success can skyrocket from our partnership!
How would you manage a remote team?
There are several tips on how to manage a remote team: define expectations and responsibilities, set regular check-ins and touchpoints for communication, provide the necessary tools and resources, and others
What is the importance of managing a remote team?
Managing a remote team is crucial because it allows businesses to access a wider talent pool and reduce overhead costs. Remote work also provides employees with greater flexibility and work-life balance.
What are the challenges of managing remote teams?
Managing employees who work from home presents unique challenges, such as a lack of face-to-face interaction, maintaining team cohesion, burnout, building trust among team members and the employer, etc. Effective management ensures the team is engaged and committed to business objectives.