How to Manage Teams Remotely

Due to COVID-19, working from home has become the new normal for many Australians. Since lockdown measures were first introduced in late March, normally bustling workplaces have been abandoned all over the country. A recent surge in confirmed cases has sent parts of Victoria back into lockdown, so many businesses will need to keep working remotely to control the spread of the virus.  

No matter what industry you work in or how many people you’re tasked with managing, the persistent nature of COVID-19 means that knowing how to manage a remote team will be an essential skill among business leaders for the foreseeable future.  

To help your business adapt to the post-pandemic world, discover the practical skills you’ll need for successful remote management.  

The Challenges of Working Remotely  

Despite the benefits of working from home, this arrangement is far from perfect. These are some of the key challenges you’ll likely encounter while working remotely:  

  • Distractions – From childcare responsibilities to Netflix, home offices are filled with distractions. A survey of over 1,000 remote workers reported that 32% of respondents cited watching TV as their primary distraction, while 27% named childcare as a key obstacle to productivity.  
  • Social isolation –study of 2,500 remote workers found that 19% reported feelings of loneliness while working from home.  
  • Lack of supervision – Working remotely obviously makes face-to-face supervision impossible, and research has shown that a lack of clear feedback from supervisors can result in serious side effects among workers. 
  • Difficulty accessing information – Communication issues and being out of the loop were highlighted as key challenges in an analysis of the issues faced by remote workers.  

If you’re not sure how to manage remote teams while dealing with these challenges, discover the best techniques for fuelling productivity from afar below.   

Managing Remote Teams  

The challenges of working from home may be complex, but they aren’t insurmountable. Zapier, a 100% remote app integration company, recommends focusing on the following areas to create a successful remote working arrangement.  

  • Trusting your team - Trusting the people you work with is key to succeeding as a remote manager. Rather than constantly worrying about whether your team members are getting their tasks done, exhibiting trust will show that you have faith in their work ethic.  
  • Hiring the right people - If you’re tasked with hiring team members who’ll be working remotely, look for self-motivated candidates. You’ll still need to provide direction and guidance, but employees who show initiative are far easier to manage remotely. 
  • Using software and tools - Remote workers need the right tools to stay on track. Platforms like Slack and Zoom can be effective in helping remote teams resolve issues by providing them with a space to seek guidance. In addition to allowing for clear communication about work, these tools can also be used for social activities and team building.  
  • Creating Processes – Having solid processes in place can provide structure and direction in the absence of face-to-face interactions. Things like deadlines, working hours, time tracking and KPIs are all essential processes for managing a remote team.  
  • Culture – Fostering a culture of accountability will help your team maintain productivity while working from home. This can be achieved by requiring team members to provide regular progress updates on their work (this will also make it easier for you to keep tabs on what projects have been completed).   

Managing a remote team poses unique challenges that require advanced people management skills. A postgraduate qualification can give you the skills you need to become a better leader and positively impact your team’s productivity during the working from home revolution. Griffith’s accelerated online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration will expand your management thinking so you’re ready to navigate the challenges of working remotely.  

To learn more about Griffith’s online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration book in a time to speak to one of our enrolment advisors or call us on 1300 737 945. 

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