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Managing Remote Teams Post Pandemic

Effectively managing remote teams is much more than simply booking in the occasional Zoom call. Knowing how to structure a remote employee’s working life without over or underdoing it is a key skill, and we can break it down more right here.

Managing teams in the post pandemic work scape is tricky. More than tricky, it’s downright tough. Now team managers need to have all the same skills and qualities as before, with the additional abilities to maintain bonds over distance with colleagues and ensuring those colleagues still feel like part of the team.

Why is remote working management a challenge?

Remote and hybrid working has opened up new ways for many teams to work. For some it’s a new, challenging way to function; for others, it’s a very welcome change of pace and tweak to work/life balance.

However, for workplaces who have some members working remotely, others on-site, and the remainder working somewhere in between, managers can find themselves in charge of all three at once.

Managing a remote team

Managers need to treat remote workers as seriously as those who turn up to the office with suitcase in hand, but with the difference that you’ll often be in two completely separate locations. Some managers may even now be asking themselves how that’s possible to do properly.

Managing remote teams demands more of an active role for everyone involved. Managers need all the same leadership skills whilst also needing to be vigilant for any problems their team might be having, and remote workers themselves need to be open and vocal about any of their concerns with their work setup.

With this in mind, there are some simple practices that form the core of good management for remote teams:

Transparency

Fostering a culture of openness and communication is essential when people aren’t all working face to face. When somebody in the office is tense or needs help, you can often sense this in them even if they’re bottling it up. Stress can be easy to sense, especially for seasoned managers who’ve seen it all before.

But when you only see and hear your colleague if they choose to turn their webcam and mic on during meetings, problems like burnout can quietly fester while bosses are none the wiser.

A company culture of honest dialogues and frank discussions can stop these problems before they begin.

Attentiveness

Managing a remote team effectively doesn’t mean having to become a micromanager, but the whole arrangements does benefit from regular check-ins with your people. Not everybody is comfortable reaching out when they need something, and some people will just muddle through for the sake of not making a fuss.

Something that remote workers can struggle with is that many of their conversations with teammates end up being only being about the work at hand, leaving no room for spontaneous chit-chat and making networking a struggle.

Paying attention can help you spot when remote workers are quiet and withdrawn.

Trust

Being unable to cast a glance around the office and see what everybody is up to can drive some leaders crazy! Remote working has to come with plenty of trust if it’s going to work properly.

This tells your team that you have faith in them to deliver their work under their own direction, but that’s not all. It also saves your headspace and reduces stress. No manager wants to spend time fretting over whether people are working in the first place on top of everything else.

Trust takes a bit of sacrifice, especially for managers who like to keep tabs on everything, but showing your team that you believe they’ll get their jobs done communicates respect and also encourages workers to take full responsibility for their roles.

How can I improve remote working?

Working remote doesn’t have to mean that people never meet.

Arranging special days for your team to get together and build up bonds is more important than ever post pandemic. Team building days and team building events put your team in the perfect situations to come together, break down misconceptions and hang-ups, and form new connections that build bigger, better, brighter futures working together.

If conversations need to happen, they don’t need to be sterile Zoom chats—and they don’t need to be work related at all. Scheduling time to just ‘walk and talk’ with a face-to-face informal chat as everybody gets outside their home can be a refreshing way to shake off work stress and just connect as people for a while.

Whether you’re managing a hybrid team of mixed working situations or a fully managing remote teams, Team Academy can help to blow the cobwebs off your organisation’s teams and push the boundaries. We get people outside of their comfort zones but with controlled, careful coordination, ensuring everybody is able to have fun, learn something new, and leave feeling like they’ve made new connections with familiar faces.

To learn more about our events such as leadership training, contact us today.

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