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Six Tips for Successfully Managing a Remote Team

Published July 29, 2020 (last updated December 3, 2020) Author: Employsure
manager successfully managers remote working employees

No doubt, the new coronavirus has impacted the working environment in numerous ways; thanks to the global pandemic, the number of people working from home increased three-fold within the first month of the outbreak. Unlike working from an office, working remotely comes with its fair share of challenges not only to employees but also managers who have to keep things running to ensure continued productivity.

Managing a remote team is not an easy task as it requires you to adopt a different set of working policies and effective methods of enforcing them.  As Harvard Business School Professor Anthony Mayo contends in regard to working with a remote team, “The leader must ensure ongoing communication, reinforce team norms, encourage collaboration, and actively solicit the input and perspectives of everyone on the team, especially those who aren’t co-located.”

Here we discuss six tips to enhance engagement and productivity with your remote team to ensure success amid the global pandemic.

Establish Team Norms and Expectations

Working remotely comes with new challenges and expectations, especially for workers who are not used to this kind of setup. As such, it is critical to establish guidelines that dictate how employees should go about working from home and how they can continue to make progress. In a nutshell, having a set of rules enhances collaboration with the whole team, thus ensuring there is a definitive way of doing things.

Experts argue that one way to establish norms and expectations is to engage in a formal launch where all involved parties take part. This helps the team to collectively agree on the rules put in place, which in turn fosters a good working relationship in the future.

Communicate Constantly

Creating a communication strategy is paramount in managing, guiding, and motivating your remote team. As research shows, communication is one of the most important skills that team leaders should focus on developing to facilitate working remotely. Essentially, constant communication helps managers to provide employees with the perspective and guidance that employees need to be productive.

An effective communication strategy should include two main components; weekly formal reports and guidelines addressing daily needs. More importantly, team leaders ought to be able to communicate matters of urgency as they come up to ensure the ultimate success of the workforce.

Leverage Technology

The success of your remote workers depends on the technology they have at their disposal. Ensuring that employees have access to modern technology can greatly work to enhance collaboration and communication. Some reliable technology you need here include but are not limited to;

  • Productivity software suite (i.e. a suite word-processing, spreadsheet, and email applications, etc)
  • Cloud computing
  • Project management tools
  • Cybersecurity tools
  • Video conferencing and chat platforms

Besides checking on the progress of employees, technology is essential in building a community, which serves to foster togetherness and a sense of corporate culture. This can go a long way in eliminating loneliness that comes with being isolated from colleagues.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small and medium businesses, with over 5,500 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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