Managing a remote team can be challenging, especially if you have never done it before. It’s fairly easy to make sure everyone on your team is on the same page when you’re working in the same building. But how can you maintain a sense of cohesiveness and accountability when your team members are working from different remote locations? Here are some steps you can take to become the best remote manager you can be.
Develop a Sense of Unity
It’s easy to feel disjointed and out of touch when you don’t ever see your team in person. When it comes to managing remotely, it’s essential to develop a sense of unity. You can do this by keeping things fun and lighthearted with virtual office parties complete with custom Zoom virtual background options. You can also create contests and games that employees can participate in over email or through intranet software.
It’s possible to add virtual background in teams so everyone appears to be in the same location, even when you’re spread out all over the state (or the globe!) The more you can do to promote a sense of unity, the more engaged and involved each member of your team will be.
It’s easy to let employees slack off when you can’t see what they’re doing at any given time. But if you want your team to function efficiently and get things done by the relevant deadlines, you need to make sure you promote accountability. You can maintain accountability by scheduling regular project update meetings to make sure the ball doesn’t get dropped by any member of your team.
If you let employees know what to expect in advance (for example, that you’ll have a project update meeting every Friday at noon), they won’t be taken by surprise. They’ll quickly learn that even though they aren’t in the office, they are still expected to take accountability for their various responsibilities.
It’s exceptionally easy to lose your sense of professionalism when you work from home. Unfortunately, getting into sloppy habits can take a toll on any employee’s productivity. To help your team remain professional and productive, expect a certain level of professionalism with any Zoom call you hold. Let employees know they should dress professionally and be well-groomed for such calls. Setting clear expectations will help you avoid having employees show up on the call in their pajamas.
Another way to encourage professionalism during calls is to encourage each employee to use branded Zoom backgrounds. Seeing your company’s brand on display during your calls will help each member of the team stay focused and remember who they are working for (even if they are physically located miles away from headquarters).
Keep Communication Lines Open
Finally, remember to keep communication lines open. It’s easy to feel like you’re on your own island when you’re working remotely. To stay engaged and cooperative with other departments, it’s important to maintain open and frequent communication. While you don’t want to over-schedule meetings, it’s a good idea to have at least one meeting per week to check in with your team and make sure everyone feels supported and capable of doing their jobs as expected.