5 Remote Management Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

It can be difficult being the manager. People look to you for guidance and leadership but also see you as the enemy sometimes. And now that many teams are working remotely, being a manager is harder than ever. Here are some common remote management tips: 

remote management

1. Establish Structure

Lack of face-to-face supervision and interaction can be a challenge for both managers and employees. Sending out random emails or calling up to enquire for a job status may turn things unfavorable for the managers. Here are some effective tips to help managers manage teams better. 

  • Have a clear structure in place. Schedule daily check-ins to take stock of the daily goals, operations, and how the employees are feeling in general. This helps managers to have better control over workflow and morale.
  • Be proactive and open to 2-way communication. Remote team members need to be heard the same way they would if they were in an office. Be available and open during scheduled check-ins.
  • Leverage technology to manage remote teams better. Video conferencing tools and internal chat messaging platforms allow managers to choose different communication tools to facilitate unity within the team. 

2. Offer Extra Encouragement and Support

Irrespective of your team management style, you need to be a lot more empathetic and extend more support and encouragement to remote employees so that they can feel calm and connected and concentrate on their tasks. Here are some tips to help you provide that support. 

  • As Harvard Business Review aptly mentions “ put yourself in their shoes” before communicating with employees. Managers need to understand the circumstances of their employees, especially in times of uncertainty. The key to effective communication lies in how fast one can read the mind of their audience and answer those questions. 
  • Take a deep breath before communicating with their team members and keep in mind that when the communicator feels the stress, it gets passed on to the listeners. So, gather yourself before you start addressing the team whether through email, chat, or in person.
  • Have a tangible plan of action in place. When managers give a concrete thought-through course of action or the next steps, employees can sense stabilization through the process that helps them to work towards a direction. 

3.Set Them Up for Success

Often employees struggle when working remotely mostly due to lack of resources that are usually available in an office environment. Managers should take the responsibility to set up the best tools for anyone who works from home. Whether they need software support or access to hardware like a printer or a laptop, a remote employee shouldn’t be struggling to set up resources. After all, employees should concentrate more on solving the task at hand, not on setting up resources to get the work done. 

4. Maintain Culture and Values

A recent survey found that 77 percent of the surveyors consider a company culture before applying for a job, while 56 percent say that culture is a more important parameter than salary. Maintaining positive culture and values goes a long way in building employee loyalty. Here are some quick tips to build a strong and positive company culture and values:

  • Let the leaders walk the talk. There is no better way to promote your culture and values than when senior executives lead by example.
  • Talk about your company culture and values across different communication channels like newsletters, town halls, etc. 
  • Communication is the key. Make it a point to touch base with your employees regularly to gauge their feelings. Be transparent and honest at all times. 

5. Protect Time Off

It is easy for first-time remote workers to find themselves working around the clock. Encourage your employees to take time off or go on vacation leaving the baggage of work behind. Many remote employees work in the same spaces where they relax. Make sure your employees understand that they have a set end time, just like when they were in the office. Set the expectation that they will not work past a certain time or on vacation.

Lead from the Front

Managing teams remotely is hard, but not impossible. Demonstrate effective communication and planning to ensure your employees are informed and secure in their understanding of their remote work. Keep your virtual door open to them for any concerns they have, even if those concerns are not strictly work-related. Help your employees manage their work-life balance and they will give you their best.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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