Managing a remote working team? You need to bring new skills to the table.

Managing a remote working team? You need to bring new skills to the table.

There is a growing belief that remote working will continue even post-pandemic. COVID19 has redefined the ways teams communicate and remote working is no longer a privilege but a need. While this is being looked at as a temporary set-up, the challenges and opportunities for making remote working productive and engaging for employees are many. With empathetic, practical, and creative solutions, this arrangement can augment the growth of both – employees as well as the organization.

work from home

Build a hybrid virtual model:

No amount of Zoom meetings can make up for the personal touch that Round Table team meetings bring. As restrictions start to ease, start working on a customized combination of remote and onsite working. The new model can have a percentage of employees on the premises and the rest working from home. This promises a boost in employee engagement, better management of smaller teams, and improved work experience.

Set expectations the first day of the week:

Reviewing the week gone by, setting up goals for the week, and allocating responsibilities are essential. Doing it on the very first day of the working week sets the tone for the team. While it spreads positive vibes to boost interpersonal professional relationships, a team that plans together often succeeds amid the challenges.

Watch out for signs of distress:

stress management

It has been a rollercoaster ride for everyone and not being onsite brings with it challenges aplenty. Right from limited access to resources to the lack of physical proximity of teams; it hasn’t been easy. Ensuring that employees get the required support in such trying times can go a long way in keeping them engaged and productive. Informal chats, checking on their health and families, and encouraging them to take up meditation, walks, and coffee breaks are some of the smaller things that make a big difference!

Make time for one-to-ones:

The situation has eased enough to call on each other and catch up over coffee or lunch. Remember, such team outings helped immensely in the past and while it may still take time to meet in groups at the team’s favourite hangout; a one-to-one should replicate the experience for individual meets. These face-to-face conversations do help in boosting morale, better planning for client servicing, and of course brainstorming for the next big project in the pipeline. So, whether it is between members of a team or with media and businesses; one-to-ones is an inviting experience to thaw that isolated feeling.

Focus on outcome and recognition:

recognition

These may seem like murky waters of change but mentoring rather than managing can drive greater engagement levels. Let the processes rest and focus more on the outcome as employees juggle between work goals and personal commitments at the same time. Enabling employees to achieve targets in ways that seem easy and productive for them provides flexibility and empowerment. Also, effective recognition motivates and sends out a strong signal to co-members to emulate. Employees always desire recognition for good work and more so in times of disruption, to keep the momentum going.

Frequent, transparent, and consistent; when teams abide by these golden terms of engagement, there is no scope left for miscommunication to seep in. The new normal can stay on as we gear up to effectively manage a scattered workforce.

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