Having trouble with managing remote teams? These few tips can help you out
April 29, 2020
Nothing in our lifetime has disrupted social life like the Coronavirus pandemic. All over the world, the virus continues to take its toll, and companies, teams and firms all over the world have had to adjust their modus operandi.
That's right. If your work can be done from home, you've probably been asked to start working from the confines of your house. This can be an especially difficult situation, particularly if you're the leader of a team that has to work together. Managers all over the world have been forced into situat ions where they would have to lead teams remotely. This is something that has never happened on such a large scale, and unsurprisingly, managers have found it difficult to adjust.
It's hard enough being a team member receiving virtual instructions. Imagine being the manager giving those instructions and having to coordinate the efforts of others too as well.
But thankfully, there are a few tips that can help you coordinate your team better.
Lower Your Expectations
First off, accept that you will not be as productive as you would have been in the regular office setting. Accept that your team members/workers won't be as productive as well. That will most certainly help you deal with whatever is coming.
This means that you will have to become more flexible, relax some rules on deadlines, and you may have to occasionally pick quality over quantity (that is quality of work over volume).
Stay In Touch
Well, this looks like the put one foot in front of the other rule, but it's important. Research says that contacting people frequently builds communication and makes it easier to sustain engagement.
This means that you must always make sure that your employees are checking in. Don't allow 12 hours go by without getting feedback about a task. You may even set a model of checking in. Maybe every 5 hours, workers are mandated to touch base. This will make it easier to track the progress of tasks and would build effective communication.
Make Use Of The Buddy System
It will be very hard for you to keep track of people all by yourself. If you have to speak to everyone individually to know what they are up to and whether they are in track, you'll most likely have a difficult time. Asides that, since you're in a position of authority, workers may find it very difficult to relate easily to you.
That's why it's best to assign buddies. A. buddy system means that each worker would have an extra pair of eyes watching over them. They would also have a different (and perhaps more effective method) of staying accountable.
This model of shared leadership will provide a layer of support and checks that will not only boost emotional connection but productivity as well.
Pick Up Emotional Cues In Voice And Tone
When you don't speak face to face, it's easy to misinterpret the tone and mood of people. Virtual communication (if not done through video calls) may make it difficult for managers to truly understand what their employees are saying.
So you now have to rely on proxies like voice, tone and other signs in text messages to understand the mental state of your employees. You should pay attention to the pattern of written communication (what sort of words are used, how they are used and how the individual is used to communicating), and also rate, volume and pitch of voice conversation.
This is a period that has made a lot of people anxious about the future. Your job as a manager is to drain them of that anxiety and instil them with optimism. Fearful workers won't get a lot of work done, so you need to make sure that your workers are hopeful and motivated.
Be Mindful Of Stress Levels
Human beings are not machines. That means they cannot work for an unlimited amount of time. That means that a plethora of emotional issues may interfere with proper functioning. That means that they have a breaking point.
As a leader and manager, you must constantly gauge stress levels and ensure that your workers are not buckling under the weight of stress. Some workers may be feeling stressed because they are working in unideal situations. Ask them to set up a home office with ergonomic furniture like a standing desk. The Electric Height Adjustable Desk EN1 - 55" & 60" would no doubt be a great choice in the promotion of maximum productivity.
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