Things to consider when managing a remote team

We are now several weeks into the lock-down caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of people have been working from home during this time. As a result, we have all had to adapt our way of working and dealing with each other to accommodate the fact that most people are working remotely.

With remote working now becoming the new norm, it is important for managers and business leaders to consider how they manage their teams more effectively until things get back to a state where we can return to our offices and maybe even beyond that.

As a leader, you want to be able to obtain the best results from your team while also being cognizant of their circumstances. Below are a few things to consider when managing a remote team:

1. Help your team members in identifying routines for working from home and encourage self-care.

2. Understand the personal circumstances and family commitments of your team members.

3. Check in with team members who are parents of small children or who look after elderly family members.

4. Clearly communicate expectations and deadlines.

5. Create a team chat group for combined discussions and check-ins. Also consider creating shared folders or shared drives for exchange of common documents between team members.

6. Follow-up on tasks when they are due but don’t overdo it.

7. Trust your team members to do their job.

9. Check your team’s availability for meetings and calls. Don’t assume they are always available when working from home.

10. Avoid unnecessary email traffic and pick up the phone for quick discussions/brainstorming.

11. Provide periodic feedback on performance but be thoughtful about difficult conversations.

12. Focus on the mental well-being of your team members.

13. Keep the career growth of your team members in mind even when they are working remotely.

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