This year has brought forth a brand new set of challenges for those in the working world. When the pandemic struck, many offices turned to work from home to meet social distancing needs. Managing a team as you would in the office has also had to change, and while the transition may seem scary, it is changing the way we are working as a team.
If anything, this sudden move to work from home has brought about a new era for office workers. It has shown both CEO’s and office managers the extent of what can be done from the confines of our own homes. However, there are still numerous differences in managing a team in-person vs. managing a remote team.
People will often respond differently to remote work. Some will excel, while others have a hard time finding ways to concentrate and ignore the distractions that happen at home. With the right training techniques, these issues can be solved quickly.
When They’re New To Working From Home
Those that have found themselves working from home had to rethink what leadership means to them, finding ways to become a smooth-running virtual team. Being a remote leader will often come with its own set of challenges. You are continually thinking about the skills you have in the leadership toolbelt that you would usually use while working in person and how you can convert those skills to better work for you while you are in this new remote situation.
When working with a team in a remote setting, communication is critical. You always need to have an open line of communication for those that are working under you. Ensure that they know if they have problems with anything that they can reach out to you to find a solution. It’s also essential to have an option to socialize with their peers, so they do not feel like they are working with complete and total strangers. As a manager or a team leader, you should try and find creative ways to make sure everyone works as a team. This may seem hard at first, but it has exponential benefits in the end.
Set goals for your team, so your employees know what is to be expected of them. Be clear in the things you need from them to help them meet that goal, but you will also need to set realistic standards for said goals. A popular methodology is OKR or Objectives and Key Results methodology. This is when you measure team improvements by their progress with specific numeric Key Results every week. This method became widely popular in the tech world when Google first implemented it with their team; from there, it spread to numerous tech teams and business teams.
It’s essential to be open to your peers and always to set an example. Be open about the plans that you have and be able to note when you have had failures. This way, you can encourage others to learn from the mistakes they have made along the way. Keep them informed of how you structure your day; maybe you prefer quiet work in the morning followed by a coffee break before a team meeting, or perhaps you like to take a break in the middle of the day in order to take your dog for a walk. Showing them you have an excellent structural flow helps make work much more comfortable.