If you’re currently managing a remote team, you’ll know how challenging it can be to keep everyone together and motivated. When it comes to a virtual team, the crucial elements of support, effective communication, goals, and even fun can go out the window.
As a manager of remote workers, you’ll need to be able to keep them motivated and alive, which isn’t easy to do when you’re not face-to-face. Thinking up new ways of connecting and engaging with each remote team member can be tiring.
But don’t worry! Whether you’ve recently taken over as a remote manager or you’ve been doing it for years, we’ve got lots of remote team-building activities that will keep everyone happy and driven.
From effective virtual team-building exercises to our top tips for managing workers, you’ll find it all right here! But first, let’s take a look at some remote work challenges so you can learn how to overcome them.
The Challenges Faced By Remote Managers
Unfortunately, although it does have its positives, managing remote team members can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to do a “business as usual” approach. You want your remote employees to be working towards the same goal, and this can be tricky.
Some challenges of managing remote teams include:
- Communication is more difficult
- It can be hard to track each person’s work and progress
- Scheduling meetings can be challenging
- Different time zones may create difficulties
10 Top Tips for Managing Remote Teams
Schedule meetings regularly
It’s no secret that remote working can be lonely. Regular team meetings will help you to check in with your workers, reducing loneliness which can harm motivation and productivity, as well as take of employees mental health.
Use collaborative technology
Many collaboration technologies such as Google Docs and Slack will have messaging applications that will help your team to effectively and efficiently communicate with each other. For example, these apps tell you who is online and available to answer queries and messages. Other remote working tools also help strengthen team culture and master remote communication as a remote team.
Optimize your onboarding process
An effective hiring process is essential to building a productive and engaging workforce. Unfortunately, many companies focus on paperwork instead of their employees. Here are some good tips for optimizing your process:
- Start with a pre-boarding package including a welcome email and information about the team and work culture
- Offer training programs and plans
- Introduce new recruits to everyone to make them feel welcome
- Offer constructive feedback
Virtual team-building activities can help build connections between your virtual teams and make remote work more interesting and fun. Creating these connections not only means harmony between workers, but it can also help improve communication and boost productivity.
A great way to connect your team is to ensure they feel heard and seen, literally, in ways that solve the difficulties of distributed teams.
Personal life can get in the way when working at home – it can be hard to find the right balance. Try setting up a system to keep your team focussed on the task at hand – organizational tools like Asana and Trello can help.
Make time for fun
You don’t have to miss out on office banter when working remotely. Instead, try setting up a Slack channel just for fun where teammates can share photos and stories and just generally spend time together having a catch-up.
Review performance regularly
Just like you would in the office, you should set aside a few hours every couple of months to review your team’s performance. Instead of having a meeting, set up a conference call and take a look at the performance of each member and the team as a whole.
Help your team members stay motivated
Keeping your remote workers happy and motivated is essential but also challenging. Luckily, you can do plenty of things to achieve this, such as offering flexible working hours, video conferencing with the whole team, and playing online games to keep up morale and indulge in other team building activites.
Make regular check-ins
Remote coworking can be lonely, and your staff may not be sure how to raise any potential issues. Set aside time to check in with each member of your team and ask how the past week has been and if there is anything they would like to discuss. This can be informal and is a great way to build a stronger relationship with your team.
To help you and your team make the most of remote working, make sure all members of your team are clear about what is expected of them. For example;
- Agree with everyone about how you’ll work – including hours and vacation time
- Agree on mutual expectations and have trust in your team
Hopefully, this guide has given you some ideas and inspiration for managing your remote teams. Although it can be challenging, there are so many advantages to remote working. The team-building schemes listed in this guide are all excellent ways of creating an efficient and motivated workforce.
Further, you can go over our guide to see how companies hire remote employees and learn other common questions remote workers ask. If you are remote job seeker looking for a remote job and don’t know where to look? We are a remote job board and have the latest jobs posted in various categories to help you. Finally, join like-minded people in our LinkedIn community.
How do employees communicate remotely?
There are many collaborative technologies available that can help your workers communicate effectively. For example, having a company Slack makes communication between workers easy and seamless.
What is the distinction between a remote and virtual team?
Remote and virtual teams differ in that remote teams work for a single manager from different locations. On the other hand, a virtual team comprises people with different skillsets who are brought together to work on a project but answer to different managers.
How many managers do I need for my remote team?
It depends on the size of your team and how close you want to be to your own team. If you have a large team and are happy to delegate some managerial tasks, you can employ more managers. If you prefer to monitor progress more carefully, you might want to manage the team alone.