You may have found that working from home has become a necessity due to the current global environment. With companies such as Shopify requiring their full staff to work from home for the rest of the year, it’s looking like working from home may even become the norm heading into the future.
But what does this mean if you manage a team remotely? I found that it has been something that I have had to get creative with and as a result I have had to adapt in order to effectively manage my team remotely.
Here are 4 strategies that I have implemented myself that I have found to work well.
Share personal stories and funny anecdotes
In order to increase motivation and boost morale, I created a shared space online where team members can post inspiring personal stories or funny anecdotes. It is something that team members can look forward to seeing every day and will foster a sense of community. I have personally tried this with my team and as a result noticed this is something that has really brought all the team members closer together.
Set Clear Expectations
To make things easier for everyone, every team member should understand that there is a clear set of expectations regarding working hours, communication, meeting times, and key project deadlines. I found that having a briefing with all team members to explain how this would work really helped all team members to have the same level of understanding and manage their expectations as well.
Create open lines of communication
This seems like an obvious strategy but is probably the most overlooked when it comes to managing teams remotely. It is so critical to create open lines of communication for team members. To avoid team members feeling isolated or lonely, ensure that you create a daily or weekly check in where they are able to provide updates on what they accomplished and ensure that there is a common place where they are able ask or reply to questions. Another important point is to set the type of communication that is expected whether that be via phone, email, video chat etc.
With team members working from home, it’s important to understand that it’s probably more chaotic with having to manage both work and family responsibilities at the same time. Be cognizant of the fact that team members may not have normal working hours and may have to balance their schedule in order to accommodate all of their priorities at this time. In order to do so, simply stay flexible and give team members a little leeway with their work schedule. Remind them that it is okay to work a different schedule as long as they are still able to manage everything and get their work done.
As you can see, these strategies are simple and easy to implement and can help leaders no matter what size of team they manage.