Managing remote teams require some finesse
To curb the spread of Covid-19, several businesses, on advice of the authorities, have either suspended their operations altogether or have opted to conduct their daily operations remotely. This has forced many employees and their supervisors to work remotely outside the traditional office environment.
Previously, we discussed some of the challenges that employees might face while working from home . Businesses need to understand that this sudden transition into a new work environment might adversely affect the morale and productivity of employees. This can be attributed to a number of factors:
- Lack of proper communication
- Absence of supervision
- Isolation and loneliness
These are just some of the factors that not only affect the employee productivity, but also the ability of managers and supervisors to effectively manage their staff.
Plan early to ease the transition
Despite the challenges brought upon by working remotely, managers should take the following steps to ease the transition in order to improve morale and work efficiency:
1. Schedule structured meetings with staff
By organising a quick daily meeting with the employees, managers will stay updated regarding the progress. This helps address any bottlenecks or problems that the employees might have, further enabling them to better communicate and collaborate with each other.
2. Using a variety of communication tools to stay connected
To manage their teams more effectively, managers can make use of a variety of communication channels. While video conferencing or zoom calls might be better suited for the daily meetings, instant messaging tools can be used to promptly get in touch with other staff members.
3. Promoting virtual social interactions
It is easy for employees to often feel isolated and cut out from the rest of the world while working remotely, especially during a crisis. As a manager, it is essential to organise a method (i.e., virtual Taco Tuesdays) for your employees to interact socially with one another even while working from home. This helps to not only relieve some of the stress and anxiety that employees might have, but also fosters new areas of collaboration between them.
While it is challenging for businesses to transition abruptly to a remote working environment, it is necessary for managers to be more prepared than ever. Understanding that employees productivity levels, mental and social well-being goes hand in hand is the first step towards success. By making use of the steps mentioned above, managers have a better chance of supervising, motivating and encouraging their employees, exiting this crisis as a strong and cohesive unit.