29 October, 2020

Are You Avoiding These 10 Mistakes When Managing Remote Teams?

More and more of us are now working from home and have to manage teams remotely. Here are ten ways to avoid making mistakes when managing your team.

  1. Not setting specific goals and clear expectations when your team needs to know exactly what you want from them. So provide detailed outcomes you expect and instructions and directions to be extremely clear about the results you want them to achieve with deadlines.
  2. Don’t rush through meetings and instead make sure you give your remote team members an agenda with timings and a chance for them to contribute in the sessions. And yes, it’s much more difficult to tell when somebody is trying to speak during a virtual meeting so take regular time out to give team members an opportunity to voice their thoughts and ideas.
  3. And also be aware of not setting aside time for cross-team communication to let your team feel connected to each other so they can still work in collaboration to achieve team objectives. Which means it’s a good idea to set up regular team meetings so everyone can feel involved and interact with each other.
  4. Not creating time for conversations and checking in with your team members to ask them how things are going, both professionally and personally. And yes, it can be difficult when either you don’t want to get involved in their personal lives or issues, but they’re now working from home on their own and they now need support in different ways.
  5. Which leads into being careful not to micromanage from afar because constant checks and progress reports can be counterproductive. Instead create a system that acknowledges the need for regular checks but doesn’t distract from your team’s daily workflow.
  6. And that leads into the next point – not establishing work routines with clearly defined ways to track tasks and responsibilities. So don’t expect all remote workers to be effective at managing themselves as most of your team will need help in establishing a remote working regime.
  7. Being too casual in your approach can also get your team to get frustrated by constant fluctuations and changes to their new ways of working remotely, especially not knowing what they’re supposed to be doing and when. So, provide them with some ground rules or a formal agreement which sets out all team roles and responsibilities.
  8. Teams like regular feedback, so just because you’re working at a distance, don’t avoid undertaking performance reviews to ensure your team members are committed and working hard to achieving their best work.
  9. Relying too much on email or What’s App and text messages can be a poor way to communicate with teams. It’s often quicker and better to discuss and deal with an important or complex challenge by having a phone call or Zoom video session.
  10. Finally, don’t make the crucial mistake of not being aware of different time zones if any of your team members are working remotely in other geographical locations. Which means you need to make sure you schedule meeting times that work for everyone because differences can affect work activities and deadlines.

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