Managing Remote Teams – Leadership Guide‎

Posted July 27, 2020

Managing Remote Teams

If you manage remote teams, you know about the demanding challenges involved. You may have even asked yourself how the workforce will look post-COVID. Recent estimates suggest that up to 74% of companies are planning to shift to remote work permanently. So, it seems like remote work is here to stay. Now is the time to find new ways to manage remote teams.

Remote work does have its challenges. For instance, there’s a lack of face-to-face supervision, and some workers may be feeling a bit of social isolation. Then, of course, there are distractions at home, and there could be a lack of access to vital information. But, let’s face it, leaders need to adapt to changes, and fortunately, good leaders do!

Here Are Some Ways to Manage and Support Your Remote Teams

For many, working out the office and being separated from managers and co-workers is a new thing. We’ve put together some quick and easy things managers can do to ease the transition into remote work.

Structured daily check-ins: The days of face-to-face supervision may be gone, for now, at least. Building trust takes time, and unfortunately, there may be one or two bad apples in the remote work bunch. A great way to manage your remote team is via daily calls with your remote employees. Many successful remote managers do a series of one-on-one calls. Some managers like to use a group call. Whichever form you decide, the key is to make it a regular thing. Making daily calls predictable helps you keep in touch with your employees and also lets them know that they can consult with you should they need to. Plus, it can also help alleviate the feelings of social isolation.

Keep the communication lines open: It’s a good idea to offer different ways to communicate. Emailing alone doesn’t cut it. Your remote team can benefit from technology, such as the computers their working on. If your remote workers lack webcams, it would be a wise move to expense it. Video conferencing is an excellent way to keep workers together. It’s easier to say what you need to say over a video feed, rather than via emails, where communication tones can get lost. Video communication is more personal than just talking on the phone too. And yes, video conferencing can certainly curtail those feelings of isolation.

Uplift team morale with virtual team-building games: Successful managers already know about team-building games. They’re used to build confidence, strengthen teams, and build skillsets. In the past, team-building games required social interaction. Due to the uncertainties of Covid-19, social distancing is the new normal. The good news is that you’ll find virtual team-building games that keep the spirit of adventure and all of the positive aspects associated with traditional team-building activities. Virtual team-building events provide opportunities for employees to interact socially. For workers not used to being separated from their teams, it can bring a sense of belonging.

Be sure to offer encouragement and emotional support: Employees turn to their managers when dealing with sudden changes, such as a crisis. Managers need to keep their stress levels down, even if they too are feeling a sense of helplessness. Stress from managers has a way of trickling down to the employees. A note of encouragement goes a long way. Managers can try to say simple phrases like “we got this!” or “let’s all pull together.”

AdVenture Games is here to help managers and organizations during these uncertain times. Ask us about our virtual team-building games. We offer remote-editions of some of our most popular team-building activities!