The Mistakes in Managing a Remote Team
Let’s be honest – managing teams is not an easy task. Some people think their managers are doing absolutely nothing, but in reality, things are completely different. Managers need to have it all: they need to be real leaders, to keep track of everyone and to be ready to get sweaty when times get rough. However, managing remote teams takes the game to a whole other level. If you are managing a remote team, we’ve got your back. We came up with a list of mistakes to avoid while managing a remote team. Did we get your attention? Just keep on reading!
… Is the source of all evil? Some managers might feel the need to know what their employees are doing in any given moment to ensure the job is done. And while they feel like this is the only way the job can be done, it suffocates the employees, making them frustrated and less productive.
If you are a manager, then it’s about time to think about how often you’re talking to your workers. Trust them, and you’ll be rewarded for it.
If you don’t tell your employees what’s right and what’s wrong, and if you don’t do it constructively, then how can you expect progress? Constructive and consistent feedback is one of the quickest ways for increasing employee’s engagement, satisfaction, and performance. Make sure everyone knows what is being done right and what should be improved. Adding a regular one on one session via Skype can do you a tremendous favor.
Overlooking time zones
If you’re managing a remote team with members all around the globe, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of confusing time zones. So, before you schedule a team meeting, be sure you’re not making anyone wake up at 1 am to attend it. And don’t forget to get familiar with different cultural practices that may apply to your team – different cultures have different ways of conducting business, and it’s essential to be sure you and the rest of your team are aware of this.
Written communication can sometimes become tricky and open to various interpretations. Make sure you’re crystal clear when setting daily tasks and projects.
To avoid any possible misunderstanding try scheduling video conferences or one on one sessions which can help in resolving any misunderstandings you might have.
Failing to give regular updates
Work can sometimes feel like riding a roller coaster. Events can unfold very quickly and not providing regular updates to your team members can be a soft spot for any business, let alone a remote one. With a team around the globe, it can be so easy to overlook some of the team members and update them on the current status of your project. Poor communication can cause your workers to feel disconnected from the company, and that can lead to their dissatisfaction and poor work performance.
Transparency is the key to success, and you should give your best in order to inform everyone in your team about any updates you might have.
You treat them like robots
Out of sight, out of the mind principle might make you start thinking as if your workers have an “on” and “off” switch and that they are here to do as you please and whenever you want. And developing this way of thinking can often happen while managing a remote team – it’s a challenge to maintain a human connection when you don’t bump into people daily. The best case scenario is that the lack of interaction makes you lose your team’s full potential, but if you treat them like robots, they won’t have the motivation to contribute with their innovative and problem-solving ideas. Make sure everyone in your team feels like a person who’s contributing to the company with its unique presence and work approach. Seems reasonable?
Working remote comes with its benefits, and some people would dare to say that remote teams are becoming the future of work. However, if you’re trying to implement it, or are just thinking how to make it better, just take into consideration how you manage your workers scattered around the globe. Proper management can do wonders, only if it’s done correctly.