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Tips for Managers Leading Remote Teams

By September 15, 2020Business Advice

Whether the employees you manage recently started working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic or your company has had this arrangement in place for a while, you face unique issues managing a team remotely. As a provider of supportive services for small businesses in Milford, Ohio and the surrounding communities, Orcutt & Company is here to help you succeed in any business environment. Below we offer several tips for managing a remote team as efficiently as possible.

Choose the Best Format for Remote Training Sessions

Training a group of people when you can’t all be together in the same room is certainly a challenge. Not only do you need to select appropriate training materials, you need to decide the best way to present it to your team in a digital format.

While the success or failure of in-person training depends almost entirely on the skill of the person presenting the information, success in online training sessions depends more on the format. Webinars and video demonstrations or tutorials are especially popular. Cost, reliability, and whether the training program is user-friendly are three of your top considerations when deciding how to teach new knowledge to your team remotely. It could also be helpful to survey your team in advance of the training to find out how each one learns best.

Communicate Often and Make Sure Your Team Knows How to Reach You

Members of your team must understand that you will hold them to the same productivity standards they had to meet when reporting to the office. They should also know the best ways to reach you since they can no longer walk down the hall and knock on your office door. Some possibilities for communication include:

  • Cloud-based remote team tools such as Slack or Asana
  • Email
  • Instant messaging
  • Online meeting programs like Zoom or Skype

Clear and frequent communication is critical with you and every member of your team working from a different remote location. For example, do you want each team member to check in with you right after signing on in the morning? Will you have daily status updates or weekly meetings? Your team should know what to expect and the best ways to reach you when questions arise. State the expectations for work hours, deadlines, time off, and other important issues from the start to avoid frustration and miscommunication.

Don’t Veer Away from Company Culture

Every business has a unique culture, whether people work together in an office or remotely from home. This includes following all rules in the company’s human resources handbook. On the flip side, it’s also important to retain some levity and allow time for small talk between co-workers. If you use an instant messaging system, you might even consider adding a channel where people can go to chat for a few minutes each day. Of course, you will want to monitor the chat tab to prevent people from abusing it.

Orcutt & Company is Here for You in These Challenging Times

The need to suddenly manage a remote team from home can be stressful on top of all your other responsibilities. We invite you to schedule an appointment with us to get more business advice and to learn more about the other services we offer to support your small business.