Using collaboration tools for chat, documentation, and video conferencing can transcend time and place. But to become an effective remote manager, you can implement a few additional practices.
Create ways to connect
You can’t “manage by walking around” to check in with your virtual team members. So you’ll have to be more intentional about creating time and space for workers to connect. Teamwork and reliability are the currency of high-performing virtual teams. Leaders should create a fun, connected environment where team members share their whole selves and build trust and rapport consistently.
Your team members can’t see you all the time. So you’ll need to share even more about what you’re up to and how your projects are progressing. Encourage workers to share more about achievements, roadblocks, and work outcomes with one another more often.
Focus on results
Managing remote employees means you can’t control work the way you might on-site. When you focus on what you can control and leave the method up to the employee, you can empower and inspire confidence.
Clarify approval processes
Communicate when remote team members can and shouldn’t act without you. Remote team members face longer lag times when seeking input. To avoid potential slowdowns, discuss each remote employee’s confidence in situations where they may need your guidance. Align on the level of autonomy you both think is reasonable and adjust as needed.
Be accessible…but not all the time
Remote work takes organization, focus, and motivation. So it can be hard to step away. Encourage and role model “off” time, so your team feels comfortable shutting down work, unplugging, and recharging. During “on” time, declare your presence by responding to collective and individual needs. Share how you prefer others to reach out to you and invite your team to do the same. Role model and set the tone by sharing when you’re attending meetings, working without interruption, or taking a break. – Read more
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