How To Effectively Manage a Remote Team with These 5 Tips

Whether you love it or hate it, remote work is here to stay. The increase in those who work from home is one of the most profound societal shifts following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Remote work affords many people a better work-life balance. However, it can be challenging to maintain a productive, cohesive, remote team. Leading a work-from-home group requires different skills, such as exceptional communication abilities and flexibility. These skills are well worth cultivating!

Consider the following: 

  • As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% follow a hybrid schedule. 
  • By 2025, 32.6 million Americans, or 22% of the workforce, will work remotely. 
  • Currently, 64% of remote workers are fully remote, and 71% of those prefer it. 

So how can you cultivate a productive, inclusive work environment? These five tips can help ensure your remote work team is as effective as an on-site one. 

 1. Set Expectations for Hours

As a team leader, it is your job to set work hours and ensure everyone follows them. Provide a written document of expectations and give everyone ample notice of scheduled synchronous activities. This is especially important when team members work directly with others in multiple time zones, which is the case with 62% of remote workers. 

Ask your employees to share their work hour preferences for the flexible work schedule they want while still accomplishing the team’s goals. 

While hours are important, be sure to prioritize outcomes. The “first to arrive, last to leave” mentality is no longer a measure of productivity. Defined metrics such as deadlines, numbers, and other solid output are more advantageous. 

Most importantly, respect everyone’s preferred work and do-not-disturb hours. 

2. Use Effective Technology

Technology has allowed today’s workers to increasingly work remotely. It’s no surprise that effective technology is a requirement for a successful remote team!

First, select the best software tools. These tools should increase engagement, provide foolproof videoconferencing, safeguard against data loss, and allow seamless messaging, collaboration, and project management. An accessible, available IT team reduces frustration from incidents such as dropped videoconferencing connections and other problems. Measure user-friendliness and learn which tools are most beneficial through feedback from your team. 

3. Schedule Regular Check-Ins 

Remote work has removed managers’ and leaders’ ability to have informal “temperature checks” at desks and cubicles. The upshot is that you must be much more intentional when checking in with team members. 

Inevitably, there are things that employees don’t want to discuss in front of a group. Therefore, leaders must schedule regular one-on-one discussions to request support or voice concerns. Likewise, these discussions allow managers to share honest feedback and address problems before they escalate.

Establish the best frequency for your team, whether 10-15 minutes each week, once a month, or quarterly. 

4. Maintain Inclusivity 

Greater diversity and inclusion are among the positive outcomes of the work-from-home revolution. Location is no longer a constraint for employment, and in August 2022, 37.6% of people with disabilities were employed or seeking employment, almost five percentage points more than in April 2020. 

Cultivate and maintain inclusivity by creating a remote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy and follow it! Make sure there’s diversity within your team from the top to the bottom. 

In inclusive environments, everyone’s opinion matters. All team members must feel comfortable voicing their opinions and have a chance to do so. Growth opportunities such as virtual training, networking, and mentorships give employees from all backgrounds a level playing field. 

And don’t underestimate the importance of keeping your team engaged through fun events like happy hours, remote “MTV Cribs,” or online Bingo. 

Lastly, celebrate successes, and recognize, reward, and praise members when merited. This shows you value their skills, abilities, and contributions. 

5. Trust your team 

This is the most crucial aspect of a successful remote team. Your employees must know that you trust them to work just as hard from home as they would in an office. Don’t check in several times daily to ensure they’re doing what they’re supposed to, and don’t micromanage. Micromanaging is the best way to quash independence and initiative.

Undoubtedly, a healthier work-life balance is one of the most significant benefits of remote work. Give your team the support they need by supporting them in these efforts. 

Epic Placements can help! 

At Epic Placements, we understand finding a job or filling an opening is time-consuming. If you’re a job seeker, we can help you find a role to fit your skills. We also have a seamless process for hiring managers looking for the next team member. Contact us today!