Employers and employees, managers, and workers were habituated to working under the same roof, meeting in a routine, following the standard 9-5 same office schedule. Gone are those days, These are some tips that will help you in Remote Management.
Gone are the days when maintaining interpersonal relationships between the employers and the employees were comparatively easy and hence, overlooked very often.
COVID-19 has agitated us to work remotely and earn money from home, to work from our comfy couches, to look after and run the company through your laptops,
To Remotely manage the smooth working of an organization from your home desk.
From small vendors to multinational companies, did anyone ever think of the time where the official relationships will become a matter over screen,
Where the supervision via screens will become more than necessary.
This era is a fast pace, where our little brain has developed the tools and techniques, where an employer can supervise his team of employees from anywhere and everywhere.
Separated by distance, united by the internet!
To get the work done effectively and efficiently managers will have to take definite measures and cope up with the fast pacing technologies that consume our entire day while discharging motivation and direction to the employees at the same time!
I felt overwhelmed with the idea of managing the team through video calls and replying to the slack of messages which was easily done in person pre-COVID.
Now the times are changing!
It has really become necessary for everyone to possess the skills of a remote manager to efficiently look upon and sneak peek into the workings of the subordinates at any level of organization.
Unique and New Challenges of Remote Management
1. Communication barriers with remote teams
The biggest issue faced by almost every management is communication with the remote workers’ employees and guiding them through every step of the procedure in the respective regard.
Problems tend to pile up with the teams when communication is not timely and effective.
Both the employers and the employees are required to hold the thread of communication for the desired quality work.
The employers need to supervise and assist the employees since there is no other way the employers can communicate outside of the virtual connectivity.
- Employer and the employee must be all ears and not zoned out or dozed off while exchanging ideas in regards to the problems and the solutions thereof.
- Keep a track of the activities and routes of the employees to ensure that the workings of the management by using remote management tools.
- Consistent monitoring and tracking and consistent sharing of ideas and responses through remote management tools increase the morale of employees.
- Appropriate management will allow you to communicate and supervise and record the workings of Remote management.
- One prime tool to govern the task assigned, assisting them in queries and appreciating responses will make all the employees feel more available and connected all the time and increases transparency.
- Clarify all the doubts and the role of all the employees of the management to ensure that they do not deviate from what is expected of them and they will also feel more connected to the organization.
2. Trust issue with the employer and within the employees while Remote management
While the in-person dealings build a sense of trust and reliability upon the managers and co-employees but is it so while the virtual meetups?
Employers and employees sense a fear of breaking trust which is why team building is affected and freedom is diluted within the organization.
Do not keep too much control over the workings while remote management and start building trust while the virtual meetups,
solve issues between the team members while not losing the track of the members at the same time.
A balance should be maintained.
- Building trust in the employees is essentially important as keeping a track of their activities. Use time tracker software to teek track of the number of working hours, but do poke every minute or hour to ensure the working. Trust is also equally essential to get the work done.
- At the end of the Remote management day or during virtual meets, appreciate the best performances of the day or the week and question the non-performing employees. this ensures accountability and team members can not just get away with the non-performance.
- Ensure turning on the camera and your team to do the same so that every team member’s presence can be felt virtually and he/she is not just there in the meeting for the sake of record.
- Be open to the feedback or ask if anyone is facing any issues with the delivery of information or with any task or project assigned or with the work culture.
3. Tracking the performance of employees while remote management
Remote management has become a skill, which is a must, a measure to check up on the employees, a source of maintaining interpersonal relationships without meeting or having met in person for months.
This has agitated us to consider how important it has become to manage a remote team, which is distant from a person managing them, each person in a different time zone and geographical area.
This leadership aspect is challenging as well.
It has become necessary to keep a contact on the platforms where they could meet virtually and discuss, where they could keep track of the records and not let the subordinates deviate from what is expected from them, just like they used to onsite back then.
- Keeping a fixed number of working hours with reasonable permission for delay can be entertained. But ground rules must be set beforehand to make the teamwork and maintain a work culture remotely.
- Ensure that even if there is no one to supervise in person, they still are accountable for the non-performance and deviation.
- Managers and employers need to ensure that their team is as effective and efficient as they were onsite.
4. Scheduling Issues:
Scheduling Issues can be the main problem in Remote management.
Besides increasing productivity of the employees, it also increases the burden on both the manager and his team to set a time for scheduling meetings, communicating with each other at a time which is suitable for both.
Coordination lacks when you are connected with the team which is spread across globally.
Your day might be someone else’s night, which can be a hurdle in keeping a check on their activities.
Solutions for dealing with scheduling Issues:
- Set a fixed schedule for your employees and stick to the schedule. If employees are working in several time zones ask for a suitable time shift and keep track of their activities through remote management tools.
- Set a time which can be easily coordinated by each team member, that is to say, that it might be a start of the day for some and an end of the day for the remaining employees.
- In case attending the scheduled meetings is becoming very much troublesome for some employees, record your meetings and forward the same to the team, so that no one feels missed out.
- Be open to feedback and struggles regarding the issues, especially working schedules, so that no member of the team feels left out, especially ones who are relying on the recorded versions of the meetings.
- Send detailed information of the important points discussed in the meeting for giving emphasis and scrutinizing the task, project, discussions and details, and other important announcements via Email. It becomes useful even for those who have not actually attended the meeting due to scheduling issues or any other reasons.
- Scheduling software is very helpful in scheduling meetings and events and also sending reminders and alerts beforehand. It also automatically sends emails/reminders/alerts in case the meetings have been shifted to another time or day.
5. Problems of Face-to-face Supervision
As you are not able to supervise each team member personally while in remote management, technology has become so advanced to make the supervision effective and not let the employees deviate from the standard task so that the work is timely and effectively submitted.
Supervision is nothing but management skills which ought to be aroused when the work relationships have entirely shifted virtually.
but still, it somehow affects the productivity of the team members if the interaction is not done face-to-face.
So remote management and supervision have become expedient to record the track of employees and technology has made the very same very convenient to do so through remote management tools.
- Technology nowadays is very advantageous. Holding meetings and events over zoom and teams will prove beneficial and maintain an inter-personal connection wherein you can ask the employees to take active participation by turning on the video camera and mics so nobody is left out.
- Collaboration over remote management tools for active communication and participation can turn out productive and beneficial for the management.
- Use the messaging tools, video conferencing tools, and other technological platforms for the exchange of communication.
7 Requisite skills for Remote Management.
Stellar communication skills
Put to use your communication towards providing timely solutions and resolutions. Verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual is must-know effective communication methods to bind an organization together with trust.
Consistent check-ins and supervision
An employer or remote manager must check-in consistently without poking in too much for the effective working of the employees.
A performance update must be set out for all the employees in order to ensure the deviations,
Employees are also connected with the managers regularly and they do not tend to feel overlooked.
Clear expectations and standards should be set out before the employees especially when remote work is cultural.
This tends to minimize deviations and give employees a direction towards the goals of the organization.
Without explicit and mandatory aim and expectations employees are left in dark about the deadlines, projects, roles, etc.
Successful multiple means for communicating with the remote employees for a successful connection is a skill to be possessed by a successful manager.
Give a proper induction regarding the adopted means of communication like Slack, Zoom, Teams, Adobe Connect, Messenger, etc, by the organization.
Ensure Face-to-face or voice-to-voice over just emails and messages
It is the duty of the employer/manager to make comfortable his team to settle in with the other team members.
This could be successfully done through video conferencing and conference calls by which they will be able to meet the rest of the team virtually.
This will lead to building relationships and less hassle between the team members and they will be comfortable working with everyone in a coordinating manner.
Open to feedback
The most important skill a manager should possess while remotely managing the employees is to receive criticism and work upon it so that the employees do not deal with the same pattern or behavior every time which causes the hassle.
Remote management is nothing but to supervise the employees remotely and always being available to respond ASAP while handling the employees working from their comfy couches across multiple time zones or same time zone but at different places.
Remote management warrants the availability of the supervisor for the queries and responses of the subordinates so that they do not stumble on the technical or clerical errors that might follow while working remotely.
The assistance should be consistent and constant on the part of the organization and even between the workers and employees at the same level or different levels.
Effective use of technology
An organization or the manager should choose the best remote management tools which will be easy to follow and less technical and more effective for better communication between the employers and the employees.
Quick communication tools help to ease the remote management on the part of employers and reduces the stress of both the manager and his team.
One-on-one conversation for relationship building
A remote manager should not only host collaborative conferences and seminars virtually but he should also check up on each and every employee personally.
This builds a personal connection with the said employee.
Things that an employee might not be able to express during a con-call or a team video call, he might bring up during a personal call with the manager without hesitation.
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