Embracing remote team management isn’t without its challenges. However, it can be a beautiful thing. If done correctly, telecommuting can lead to higher productivity without sacrificing quality. The work-life balance leads to happier employees. Happier employees stay longer and work more effectively. What’s the catch?
1. Communication Is Key
A key component of successful distributed teams is how they use remote business tools. If you aren’t communicating the needs of your company, nothing will get done. There are lots of options for digital communication. You can give employees work phones, but more modernized tools are on the rise.
You can use video calls, text chats, emails, and even virtual reality settings. These can make a virtual office feel more inclusive, especially with the use of emojis and breakout groups. These tools, however, need to be used effectively in order to work for your newly-remote team.
2. Transparency Is Necessary
In person, facial expressions and physical mannerisms can tell you what someone truly means. Oftentimes, however, in virtual environments, these nonverbal cues can become lost. Emojis and video calling can enhance the feeling of being face-to-face, but it isn’t 100 percent accurate. There will likely be advancements in augmented reality that allow employees to interact via avatars and their own body language. However, teams still need to adapt to a new form of communication.
Honesty is the key here. Let your team know that distributed communication can sometimes leave out crucial social cues. Give them examples like misconstrued texts in interpersonal relationships. They will relate with this phenomenon, and it will allow space for clarification.
3. Breaks Are Crucial
Similarly, make sure your team is clear about when they need to take a break. Remote work may seem like an eternal vacation, but that’s simply not the case. Telecommuting can feel like you are always “plugged in” and “on the clock”. However, everyone needs breaks.
Remember that just because your team is working from home, it doesn’t erase their workplace needs. Set specific hours for work time. Don’t expect employees to be available 24/7. Most importantly, just communicate.