The days of a team all needing to be in the same place at the same time in order to work effectively are long gone. We are already in mid-2016, when desk spaces are scarce and internet accessibility is wide-spread across the country. In such circumstances, working remotely or having flexible work hours is becoming increasingly popular. Many of us are already working with colleagues who work from home, however, managing a team from home can be challenging even for the most experienced boss.
There are various benefits of working from home such as flexible working hours, no waste of time while commuting, no extra expense on buying all those fancy work clothes, no time-wasting meetings, no interruption while working, no one will micromanage you, and you get a lot more family time. But, considering the flip side of the coin, it somehow feels inefficient when you are managing a team from home. You might be aware of this situation if you have any past experience in managing remote teams, but if you are uninitiated to this, here we are to make it easier for you.
Here’s how to manage a team when you work from home:
Hire people who are self-motivated and trustworthy
When you are hiring your team members, ensure that you hire people who are self-motivated so that they get the work done regardless of whether you are in the office are or working from home. If you can’t or don’t trust your team member, remote management will never work. Your delegates should be trustworthy so that they can get the tasks done even when you don’t poke them or micromanage. On the other hand, you should show your team members that you trust them and have complete faith in them.
Communication is the most important part when you are managing a team from home. The better the communication, the clear the thoughts, and thus better decision making. As a boss, you need to make sure that you communicate with the core members of the team at least once in a day. This will keep you updated about the concerns and feedback of your team. Daily contact will help everyone to feel part of the team and will keep everyone in the loop. As someone who is managing remote teams, you cannot limit your communication to work-related stuff. You need to build rapport with your team members; it will help you in knowing your team members as a person and not just as an employee. You also need to assure that you are always available when your subordinates need your help.
Use technology to your benefit
Technology is your best friend when we talk about remote management. Using the right tools and technology will not only make your tasks easier, it will also help you to better communicate with your team. Right project management tools can make remote management so much easier. Also, you can use video calls so that you can arrange a face-to-face meeting with your subordinates, allowing you to have a better idea about their thoughts on the matter through visual clues.