Tips on Managing Remote Teams

With remote working still the norm for many businesses, this can put extra strain on managers and team leaders. It isn’t always easy knowing how to manage teams in different locations, without being able to meet face to face. We’ve already talked about what you need to work from home, and how to upgrade your home office. Now we want to help managers and team leaders. We’ve together a guide for busy managers managing staff remotely, to help them plan their days and get the most out of their staff.

Managing remote teams tip 1: Check in regularly

Worried about employees feeling isolated? Make sure to have regular check ins. At ACUTEC each department has daily catchups to discuss general wellbeing, priorities for the day and any areas of concern. For busy managers, you can even automate the process if you simply haven’t got the time. You can use apps to ask your team what they’re doing that day, what they did yesterday etc. We’d only recommend this on occasion rather than every day, as it loses some of the personal touch.

Managing remote teams tip 2: Make the most of technology

Successful remote teams know that they can reach their manager easily. While phone calls and emails are useful, they aren’t always the most practical. Especially if the manager is in and out of meetings all day. Communication tools like Microsoft Teams are a great way to keep in touch, as it offers multiple methods of communication. Instant messages are ideal for quick requests and questions, and are easier for busy managers to deal with than long email threads!

Managing remote teams tip 3: Manage expectations

Managing remote staff is very different from managing when you’re all in the same room. Everybody’s situation is different, some staff might have more responsibilities at home than others, and as a result might need to work more flexibly. Working a strict 9-5 isn’t always possible at home, so you need to manage your expectations of when staff are working. Parents might need time away in the day, but could work later in the evening. Its important that everyone is open, honest and trusting that they will get their work done.

Managing remote teams tip 4: Focus on outcomes, not activity

Its important that you and your staff have clear targets and deadlines to get their work done. Managing remote teams can make it harder to take a back seat for your team’s day to day activities, but you should focus on the end result, rather than the steps they take to get there. As long as they’re doing good quality work on time, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Managing remote teams tip 5: Team building

Team building games for remote workers are a great way to keep everyone’s morale up. They don’t have to be too complicated or time consuming – quizzes are always popular, or why not do a daily ‘who’s got the best lunch’ competition? Team building games for remote workers are a great idea when you have new starters – they’re nice ice breakers and a good way to start getting to know the rest of the team.

Managing staff remotely can take some getting used to, and as long as everyone communicates, it shouldn’t have too great of an impact on day to day work. If you’d like to learn more about some technology to make working from home easier, get in touch with ACUTEC today.

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