Managing or working in a team remotely for the first time? I can help! Ask me Anything!
I have managed teams and worked remotely for over ten years. In that time a lot of things have changed. Largely due to technology advances, we are now able to work remotely easier and more efficient than ever before. This makes the experience of remote management not only possible but effective. I would like to make it clear that while remote teams can thrive, there is nothing that can replace face to face meetings when possible. Obviously that is not a consideration during the pandemic, however, when we are able to get back to our "new normal", please consider budgeting for an in person team meeting.
There is so much concern on all of our shoulders during this time, it is important to keep spirits up and encourage your team. There are many ways to keep morale up, keep your team motivated and productive.
The biggest challenge to overcome, in my opinion, is communication to your team. You will want to communicate more than you think you need to. If your team is used to seeing you and their co-workers in the hallways or popping into your office with a quick question, this new environment is going to seem cut off and even lonely. Make an effort to reach out to each individual on your team on a regular basis. During the first meeting, let them know you are still available to them as always. Help your team recognize that they can be successful working from home. That means ensuring they have a desk to work at, network connection, someone to help with their children, (if necessary) making sure they have access to all documents and information they will need to do their job, etc.
This allows you an opportunity to connect one on one with each one individually. They know that you are committed to their goals as much as they are.
Take advantage of the technology available to host daily or weekly team video chats, to keep the team communicating together as well as update you on progress of individual work. Use products like Slack or Microsoft Teams to allow your team to collaborate effectively.
Finally, be patient with your team and yourself as you all get used to this new world. It is going to require you to be flexible, perhaps creating new process flows and instructions to ensure efficiency. Let this be a time to learn and grow for all of you, you may be happily surprised at the outcomes.
After over ten years managing and working with teams remotely, I can answer any questions you have...ask me anything!