The COVID-19 pandemic has helped accelerate the adoption of remote work protocols and has made it more mainstream than it ever was. A recent study found out that over 71 percent of all workers are satisfied with the dynamics of remote work and like their jobs more in the current mechanism.
The ability to work remotely from home is a blessing for most people today. However, just offering remote work solutions to employees isn’t the right tool to ensure happiness in your team and keep them satisfied. Besides going remote and developing successful protocols, organizations should also look to focus more on management techniques and ensure everyone is satisfied and thriving during work from home.
Remote work does not come without its own challenges. Managers that have led teams in person have to go through a complex learning curve to adjust to the new normal and follow remote work techniques around them. In line with the learning curve, managers also tend to make mistakes that can be avoided through prior knowledge and learning.
In this article, we take a look at the common mistakes managers should avoid when managing remote teams. We look at the common mistakes of remote managers and give you tips on how you can avoid them as a manager.
Not Maintaining Conversations
When you are working together with your employees, there are multiple opportunities for you to indulge in spontaneous and impromptu forms of communication. You can converse with them regularly and even multiple times daily. You can head directly to an employee’s cubicle and have a short discussion over how they spent the weekend, how’re they managing a key project or just anything in general.
These conversations do appear casual and trivial to most but play an important role in driving collaboration across the workplace. The impromptu communication and the spontaneous collaboration truly bind your team together, which is why you should clearly focus on them.
Rather unfortunately, managers today do not have the opportunity to indulge in such casual conversations in a spontaneous manner. Such conversations are hard to arrange, knowing that communication is in itself a bit difficult when you are overseeing remote teams. You cannot just pop into someone’s home when they are working miles away from you.
However, just because these conversations aren’t naturally possible shouldn’t mean that you entirely cut down on them. You should make sure that you keep conversing with team members regularly over the digital world and create an environment that is conducive for regular discussions and casual conversations. Don’t rule with an iron fist and keep checking in on employees to see how they’re doing and what assistance they may need.
Cutting Down on Facetime
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown have also seen a drastic increase in the number of digital communication tools. These digital communication tools help make conversations easier and allow you to connect with your teams when and if you feel feasible. While managers were strictly against the idea of keeping thing strictly digital, they do realize that affairs can be managed through digital communication techniques as well.
A 2019 article by Harvard Business Review reveals that effective face time is necessary for effective collaboration with virtual teams. As much as platforms like Slack and ClickUp can help you pass down information and knowledge, you need to schedule a video conference gevery once in a while, and even meet some of your employees regularly to make sure that you interact with them discuss their pain points.
Not Setting Clear Expectations
All managers are clear on what they expect and want from their teams. Managers know the kind of performance they desire even before they assign a task to a member of their team. However, just because managers know what to expect doesn’t necessarily mean that all members of your team are also clear on the expectations.
Many managers today do not realize the importance of setting clear expectations during remote work and should step up here. It is always important to check with employees and let them know what you expect of them. Also, be available for questions or set an individual who is responsible for communication and providing solutions.
Meetings are an important part of virtual work. Since there are quite visible barriers to communication, you should make sure that you organize meetings regularly with all team members and avoid rushing through them. Virtual meetings can be challenging to manage for managers who haven’t been in one before, but you can find advice online on how to maintain your calm through them.
Also, when you are managing virtual meetings, make sure that you give everyone within a meeting a chance to contribute equally. All team members should be allowed to speak, and you should make sure everyone is heard.
We are shocked at how many managers today have started micromanaging their teams during remote work protocols. If you hired a resource, you should trust their abilities to deliver as well. Remote work offers employees the benefit of working on their own schedule, which eventually improves productivity and benefits you only. However, micromanaging may reduce employee morale and defeat the purpose.
Remote teams come with numerous benefits, which can best be enjoyed if you stop making managerial mistakes. The tips mentioned in this article will help you avoid the common mistakes other managers have made when managing remote teams.