Businesses in every industry are shifting to remote work environments to cut down on costs, attract talent over large geographic areas, and provide employees with more flexibility. Although there are many benefits to remote work, it can pose challenges for managers. As the pandemic continues it can be difficult to lead a team at a distance. However, there are steps that managers can take to control potential problems and effectively lead a company remotely.
Managers should make regular contact a priority to effectively lead a company remotely. Communication is a challenge for remote teams. It is easy for team members to feel disconnected and for messages to get lost. Daily contact with each team member can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and feels connected to the company. Personal contact can include a short virtual meeting, or companies can rely on messaging software to talk to the team each day. As long as every employee receives personal interaction, it can help manage communication issues. There are a number of online tools available to make checking in easy. Check out platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and Slack.
A part of what makes remote work so appealing to many is the ability for employees to balance their family and personal commitments with work commitments. As employees often have home distractions, it is best to focus on goals rather than work during specific hours. Leaders should set goals and deadlines for employees to meet. Managers need to relay the reasons for the targets and check-in on employee progress. The emphasis on goal-setting over work hours gives employees more freedom to decide how much time they need to commit to individual projects. It also provides managers a basis to hold employees accountable for their work without being overbearing.
TOOLS AND SOFTWARE
A leader can only be successful with managing a remote team when employees have adequate tools to do the job. Managers who want to be effective should be willing to invest to make sure that employees have what they need. Team members working remotely need a strong internet connection and appropriate hardware, such as a computer, to work in a virtual environment. Managers also need to decide the types of software that will help team members succeed virtually as well. Video conferencing software, messaging services, and any software they made need to access company databases are essential for remote work.
A remote work environment does present challenges to managers. It takes a dedicated leader to make sure that a team maintains productivity in a virtual working environment. These tips can help any manager lead a company remotely.