Managing a remote team is quite challenging at first. It’s a drastic change in the environment. You need to adapt as an owner or manager to create a system that allows your people to be productive. Your old ways might not be compatible with the new work environment.
With that, here are 6 mindset shifts when managing remote workers.
The biggest worry of newly transitioning businesses is productivity. How can you check if your employees are actually working? So you micromanage their every move. You install software that measures their app computer usage who notifies every time they stop typing, or they are idle.
It’s too much. No one likes to be micromanaged. How can your employees be productive if you’re snooping their every move? There are even studies that micromanaging could be killing your employees.
You should systematize trust. It’s alright to install time tracking tools to promote productivity. But don’t abuse it to the point of micromanaging them.
Focus on the Output
When handling a remote team, the important thing is the quality of the output. Instead of focusing on what they can do per minute, why not just concentrate on the output they can do? Idle time is also crucial for creatives.
After all, being busy doesn’t mean being productive.
Empower them to be Independent Decision Makers
With remote work, you are not available all the time. You might be busy doing your work yourself. Or you might have an asynchronous setup.
Don’t control their every move. Give them the creative freedom to decide for themselves.
Trust them to decide on things. At first, it can be simple things like the color of the font or where they should place their files temporarily. Just in case they made a mistake, or you want to change something, just inform them after — no need to be that past prying eye at the back of their workstations. Once you build trust, it builds their confidence as well to take on more crucial tasks.
After all, in a remote work environment, you don’t want to monitor them forever, right?
Put More Emphasis when Communicating
Communication in the office is easier compared to a remote setting. You can see them face-to-face, read their body language, and facial expressions. In the remote workspace, you can’t do that.
How will you know if what their typing is really what they mean? How can you know if your employees understand what you’re saying?
There are different communication nuances! You need to communicate a lot. Express your instructions with as much detail as possible.
When people are working-from-home, you can’t expect everything to be foolproof. For example, in a meeting, the children of your kid might suddenly steal the scene, like in this video.
The internet might be faulty, and they might need to log in at a different time. Or some other “emergency” that can disrupt their personal workflow. And this can happen to you as well, like this boss turning his Zoom avatar into a potato.
It’s good to be flexible with your team. When mistakes or emergencies happen, it might be good to step down your tyrannical wrath and be understanding and find a solution or compromise instead.
Respect Their Personal Time
People working and living in the same place have problems disconnecting with work. Boundaries between work and personal lives are blurred. Employees get emails and work notifications while doing household activities. It can take a toll on their work-life balance. And later, it can affect their productivity.
As the boss, you need to draw the line. People work-from-home, but they still have personal lives to attend to.
Be strict in using the time allotted for work hours. If you are scheduled to work at 6 AM to 3 PM, your employees should only be working at those times. Know your employees’ schedules so that you can manage expectations. It’s good to use a time tracking tool to help you know their schedules.
Work-from-home setup should give more value to both your business and your employees’ lives.
With these changes in thinking, you can be guaranteed to get the most productivity out of your remote team. Cheers to your successful remote team!