Remote work has become very common in recent years, and it will likely become more popular over time. Thus, managers must understand how to work with virtual teams. Managing virtual teams can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. You don’t want to let your company down, so consider the four following ways to coordinate with remote workers more effectively.
Use the Most Effective Means of Communication
Different methods of remote communication are better for different circumstances. For example, if you need constant updates on a team member’s progress, then sending emails back and forth might not be optimal. You’d get more accurate and timely information by arranging periodical calls instead. Using a suboptimal means of communication will annoy your team members and decrease their productivity, so make sure to carefully consider your options before opening your next dialogue.
Hold Regular Team Meetings
Even though you’re not working together in person, it’s still important to conduct regular meetings. This will allow everyone to engage in discussions and deal with emerging challenges before they spiral out of control. Different teams should meet at different times, and the frequency of meetings should reflect each team’s unique needs. For example, the HR team probably won’t need to meet more than once per week to touch base. However, the marketing department may have to meet multiple times per week to deal with each stage of implementing a new campaign.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Remote work is makes micromanagement very difficult. Employees are unhappy and less productive when managers hover around them, so this is a good thing for your team. However, for team members to succeed without constant supervision, they need to know what you want from them. Therefore, you have to present clear goals and expectations while delegating specific tasks to the most capable team members. When team members know what they’re supposed to do, they’ll be able to efficiently organize their workflow and deliver results with little micromanagement. You may have to check in and answer some questions now and then, but setting the right expectations will allow you to mostly take a hands-off approach and focus on more important aspects of your business.
Maintain Team Members’ Trust
Working remotely can be frustrating at times, and team members may run into unexpected obstacles in the process. To effectively navigate the challenges of virtual collaboration, everybody should feel comfortable expressing their concerns and sharing potential solutions. However, if your team members do not fully trust you, then they may be reluctant to speak with you or other team members about serious problems. Consequently, you won’t be able to promptly address emerging issues, and productivity will suffer.
High performance is only sustainable with a lot of trust and cooperation. Therefore, you must make sure to always maintain an atmosphere of trust with your team members. To achieve this, you should be transparent about your decisions and remain open to criticism. Most importantly, your team members have to know that they won’t be punished for expressing themselves.
Achieve High Performance With Smart Management
Managing virtual teams can sometimes be difficult. Nonetheless, as long as you have clear expectations, effective communication, and plenty of trust, your team will thrive. Remote work is here to stay, so if you want to be an effective manager in the modern workplace, then you must constantly brush up on your skills and keep your team’s happiness in mind.