Things to Remember as a Remote Manager
Remote Manager Best Practices
Managing a new project is exciting but can be quite overwhelming. There are numerous things to cover such as a timeline, allocating tasks, budget and a whole lot more. And because there's a global pandemic right now, managers are obliged to let their team work from home. Add to the mix the current economic situation of the world, and you've got yourself a very challenging task at hand.
However, because of the advent of the digital freelance setup, it has become more bearable to handle a remote team. We are provided with a myriad of tools that we can use so everyone can remain productive even in the comfort of their own homes.
The key is in the collective perseverance of everyone in the team plus YOUR competence as the manager. To help you out, here are 5 best practices to jumpstart your project!
Clear Instructions & Transparent Expectations
Because your team will be physically working apart, you need to ensure that each meeting is clear even from the get-go. This will mostly cover and reflect on the output of each team member. Give clear instructions once you get the chance to hold a virtual meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Be clear about deadlines and let everyone know about each others' responsibilities so they can remind each other of lapses, just in case.
Schedule a Regular Team Huddle
One of the struggles of managing a remote work team opposed to an office setup is the difficulty to ask for updates. So make it a thing to meet virtually at the same time everyday to clue in everyone. This helps to ensure that whatever needs to be revamped may be taken care of and to bring your team up to speed. Also, it reminds them that you are watching their progress closely even if you're not together physically.
Empathize & Set Boundaries
Time zones will be different and you need a system to remind you that your time of productivity is not the same as everyone in the team. Don't just randomly call or even chat with anyone without considering that they've already logged out of work. It's hard enough that everyone has to work at home so respect the family time or alone time of your employees.
Cultural Diversity is a Plus
Different cultures working on a project seems like a struggle. But if you really think about it, it actually puts your business on a global advantage. Each member from another part of the world, who is currently living a different culture, offers a fresh perspective.
It pays to remind your team that working with culturally diverse people adds to their personal aptitudes and makes your team even more impressive.
Communicate in Creative Ways
The internet is one of the best things going on for anyone right now because of the pandemic. It's amazing but it will never compare to face-to-face interactions so you have get creative. Because if there's one thing that you need to be consisted on, it's your communication with your team. And no, we're not only referring to messaging apps. We're talking about remote work tools.
There are several web based programs that will aid in timely updates. So you don't need to keep on calling or pinging everyone -- that would just kill productivity. Develop a system of updates that everyone can access instead. Try Trello or Monday - they're free!
Important: DEVELOP A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH TEAM MEMBER
It's complicated to build a rapport online especially that most meetings will be held by group. So make it your goal to reach out to your team individually so you can know more about them without exceeding boundaries. I mean, you don't want to seem creepy, right? This is all just in the interest of knowing them better so you have a better grasp of their work ethics. If you develop a better relationship with them, they'll feel more at ease in their job and give you better outputs.