Thanks to technology, it’s been easier to work remotely than before. However, working remotely can be challenging for both managers and employees. Different types of problems arise when managing a team that you don’t always see face-to-face.
In this article, we’ll look at some of these challenges and how you can overcome them.
Communication is key to any successful project or business relationship. When you manage a remote team, communication becomes even more important because there are fewer opportunities to interact with your team members. As a manager, you’ll need to find ways to keep everyone on the same page.
If you manage a remote team, you may want to set up regular meetings via video chat or phone calls with your team members. This will help ensure that the team is informed about what’s happening within the company. It will also allow you to receive feedback from them to build a learning and development culture.
Collaboration is another challenge that comes along with managing a remote team. If you’ve ever worked remotely, you know that collaboration isn’t easy. Fortunately, many different tools available today make it possible to collaborate online. Some of those include:
- Slack – Slack is one of the most widely used platforms for collaboration. You can use it to communicate with your team members, share files, and create channels to discuss specific topics.
- Google Docs – Google Docs allows users to edit documents together in real-time. It’s great for collaborating on projects, such as writing a report or creating a presentation.
- Asana – Asana is another tool that makes it easy to track tasks and organize projects. You can also assign tasks to team members so they can follow through on them.
3. Tracking Productivity
Tracking productivity is another challenge that arises when you manage a remote team. Since you won’t be seeing your team members every day, it can be hard to gauge how much work they’re doing. To solve this problem, you’ll need to implement systems that help you keep tabs on your team’s progress.
One way to do this is by setting aside specific times during the week to review each person’s activity. For example, you could schedule weekly reviews. During these sessions, you can ask employees questions and provide feedback. By doing this regularly, you’ll be able to see how your team is progressing.
4. Managing Expectations
Managing expectations is another challenge that comes with leading a remote team. Since your team members aren’t physically present, it can be easy for them to feel like you’re not paying attention to them.
To combat this problem, you should communicate clearly with your team members. Make sure that they understand exactly what you expect from them. Encourage them to ask questions when they’re unsure of something. Additionally, if you notice someone isn’t meeting expectations, let them know immediately so they can correct the situation.
5. Company Security
Security is always a concern when working remotely. While you don’t have to worry about physical security, you and your team still need to take precautions to protect yourself against cyber threats. Educating your team on cybersecurity best practices and how to avoid phishing scams and malware attacks is important.
One way to ensure security is to require employees to install antivirus software on all company devices. Another option is to use two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. 2FA adds an extra layer of protection by requiring your user to enter a second piece of information besides their password. These simple steps will help prevent hackers from gaining access to sensitive data.
6. Company Culture
Another challenge with managing a remote team is establishing a culture within your organization. When you hire people who live far away, it becomes harder to establish a sense of community. This means that you may find it difficult to foster a collaborative environment.
To overcome this issue, you’ll want to encourage online team-building efforts. For instance, you can host virtual happy hours once per quarter to give your team members a chance to connect. You can also set up a private Slack channel where everyone can have casual conversations. These activities are fun yet simple ways to get to know one another while helping build camaraderie.
7. Celebrating Success
When you lead a remote team, it can be challenging to recognize success. After all, you won’t be around to celebrate big accomplishments with your team. However, there are ways to ensure you don’t miss any major milestones.
One way to overcome this challenge is by holding quarterly celebrations to share successes with your team. You can also send regular emails highlighting achievements and encouraging your team to reach new goals.
The Bottom Line
Managing a remote team can be challenging, but it shouldn’t be impossible. By recognizing these challenges and taking steps to overcome them, you can effectively manage a remote team. In the long run, you and your team will be able to achieve more success.