When the pandemic came, around a quarter of the workforce in the US was already working from home. It may have been some of the time, but it wasn’t completely unfamiliar to a number of people. Companies learned quickly how to manage with a remote workforce, and there are many lessons to learn from them. In fact, as technology and other parts of industry evolve, remote working is here to stay.
What Makes Leading a Remote Workforce Difficult?
There are some challenges associated with leading a remote workforce. Some employees may have trouble adjusting or be less productive at home. That said, others may increase productivity and motivation with the flexibility of working from home.
These challenges are caused by feeling isolated, being distracted, not having supervision, and more. Leading remote teams requires that you help employees overcome these challenges. Take a look at ways that leaders can better manage remote teams.
- Schedule Check-Ins Every Day
The best way to overcome the potential for social isolation is by scheduling daily check-ins. The best way to do this is through video conferencing so that you have face to face interactions that are not possible when employees are working from home. Email, texts, and phone calls are not quite personal enough, and the daily check in by video conference helps.
- Communicate More
You should communicate even more when you are leading a remote team. If they were all gathered at the office, there would be small interactions throughout the day. When employees are working at home, they can become distracted or go in the wrong direction on a task. The best way to keep everyone engaged is to over-communicate. Make sure that the team is aware of what you expect, the desired outcome, and more.
- Embrace Technology
Technology is making it easier for people to work remotely, and there are many tools to help. You can host meetings in Zoom, get togethers in Google Hangouts, and collaborate through other tools. There are many different options out there to allow remote workers to collaborate and work together.
- Be Clear About Expectations
Make sure that your teams understand what you expect from them. They should know how frequently you expect them to check in, as well as your preferences for different types of communication. Let them know that you use video conferencing for the daily check-in, but you want them to use an IM if there is an urgent matter. In addition, they should know the best times to reach you and when they should be available.