Boost Productivity With These 7 Remote Team Management Best Practices For 2023
Long-distance relationships can be difficult. This applies to our personal and professional lives. If you’re the one managing the team, it can even be more so.
In this article, we’ll be going through seven remote team management best practices. But to fully understand these strategies, we need to learn the basics.
What Is Remote Work?
Working remotely simply means not working in a physical office together with your workmates. It could also be called “work-from-home”.
However, working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working at home. You can work anywhere you want to just as long as you can do your tasks effectively.
There are a lot of mixed reactions when we say “remote work”. Some managers love it while others think it negatively affects productivity.
On that note, here are five of the most prominent challenges managers face with remote work.
Challenges Of Remote Work
If you manage a remote team, anything can wrong and you can’t be there personally to assess and work out the situation. Before creating your team, consider:
- Hiring the right people: You can hire people from all around the world. With so many options, hiring the right people can be difficult.
- Time Zones: Hiring globally can be challenging due to time zone differences. Scheduling your team’s hours should be considered carefully to ensure productivity.
- Unclear tasks: Your remote team is set for failure if you don’t delegate tasks clearly. This should be looked into right at the start of the onboarding process.
- Tracking key performance indicators: Tracking your team’s performance can be difficult since you’re not with them personally. The right tools can help with this issue.
- Lack of cohesion within the team: A lack of cohesiveness creates communication issues, distrust, and coordination issues.
7 Remote Work Best Practices For 2023
Working remotely has its setbacks. But applying the following best practices ensures that these issues get resolved fast.
Set clear ground rules
You can’t monitor your remote team as effectively compared to an in-house setting. Your remote team can pretty much do whatever they want with their time.
Setting clear ground rules establishes the type of working environment expected from your team. Some examples of ground rules include:
- Team members must join meetings on time.
- After highlighting an issue, you need to offer a solution.
- Everyone must join the scheduled weekly meetings.
- Virtual meetings are limited to 1 hour.
- You need to inform management if you can’t work on a particular day.
Find the right communication channel
Setting ground rules is only effective when you have the right communication channels. The tools you use must be accessible, intuitive, and helps optimize your team’s communication. Make sure to double-check with your team if you can use your home phone service or if you need to use a company-provided communication channel.
You have email, messaging, video conferencing, and more. There are tons of available tools online you can use for these channels. Popular examples are Slack and Gomada.
Conduct Virtual Team Building Activities
Team building helps your team become more cohesive. But since you’re working remotely, you’ll be limited to conducting virtual team-building activities.
These activities can be used to get your team to know each other better, encourage collaboration, and improve communication. Here are some activities you can try:
- Ridiculous Debates: Split your remote team into two groups—pros and cons. Each group has to debate about a ridiculous topic like “Who would win? A Moose or a Camel”.
- Mad Libs: This is a classic game that a lot of people used to play in their childhood. Have your team make up a story, each one has to add a word until it’s finished.
- Trivia & Quizzes: Creating a trivia or quiz can show your team’s competitive side. You can split your team into smaller groups so they can help each other out.
Set clear expectations
Setting well-defined and realistic expectations can be a challenge for both remote and in-house. You can start by defining a project’s scope, delegating tasks to members, and setting due dates.
Managers can also set clear expectations for the standard quality of deliverables. More importantly, you need to set a clear goal that everyone should strive for.
Schedule a consistent 1:1 meeting with your team
Working in an office setting allows you to communicate with your team at a personal level. You can catch up about your lives outside of work, hang out, and more.
These are often lost in a virtual and remote working environment. That’s why it’s important to schedule a 1:1 meeting consistently with your team members. Some of the benefits of 1:1 include:
- Improve performance
- Drive development
- Build trust
- Increase team agility
According to a study from Gallop, team members who consistently have 1:1 meetings with managers are three times more likely to be engaged at work.
Make yourself approachable
Instead of striking fear to keep your remote team in line, you need to be approachable. This will make your 1:1 meetings more effective, conversational, and authentic.
Remote managers need to be pillars of support for their teams. But, it’s also important to hold yourself and your team members accountable.
Prioritize onboarding for new team members
Statistics from Click Onboarding suggest 69% of employees are likely to stay in a company for three years if they have a good onboarding experience.
According to Apollo Technical, poor onboarding results in one-third of new employees quitting after six months. We don’t want this to happen.
What we do want is to have new team members engaged. Forbes cites that 87% of engaged team members are less likely to leave the company.
Working remotely allows your team a more balanced work-life relationship. According to a Stanford study, remote working setups can even increase productivity by 13%.
But before jumping headfirst into a remote work set-up for your team, consider the following:
- Make sure to set clear ground rules that everybody on your team, even managers, should follow.
- Set clear and defined expectations by delegating tasks effectively, establishing deadlines, and quality of deliverables.
- You can improve communication and engagement by conducting virtual team-building activities.
- Schedule team meetings consistently and have 1:1 meetings.
- Great onboarding impacts the longevity of new employees and increases work engagement.