Working remotely has become increasingly popular. In fact, more than 40 per cent of employed people were regularly working from home during the first half of August 2021, compared to just 8 per cent in 2019.
Due to these changes, managers had to adapt and learn how to successfully lead remote employees. If you’re a manager, you might be wondering how to keep your employees engaged and functioning at their full potential. We have some quick tips to help you.
Teams that laugh together succeed together
Around 43% of remote workers have reported feelings of isolation and loneliness compared to 25% of office-based employees. Just because you’re not all in the same office, doesn’t mean your employees have to feel disengaged. A team is a team, regardless of where in the world they are.
Make time for fun where you can, as it helps build camaraderie and reduces disconnection and isolation. Why not start a Wear a Funny Hat Wednesday, or a Virtual Happy Hour, or even a lightning scavenger hunt! It might feel silly, but it does help keep employees engaged and connected.
For more great ideas check out 39 free online team building games for remote teams | Employment Hero
Be mindful of different time-zones
Time-zones can be challenging when managing a remote team. Be mindful of each team member’s time zone and schedule meetings accordingly. You might have to come up with compromises, and schedule meetings earlier or later to accommodate all employees. This will also help these team members to feel respected and valued.
Use a project tracker
With remote employees, managers have less insight into their teams’ day-to-day tasks. Setting clear deadlines and expectations is paramount, which is why a project tracker like Trello, Asana or Airtable, is invaluable. These programs help you collaborate on projects within your team by organizing workloads into manageable cards. From meetings and projects to events and goal setting, project trackers allow your team the ability to quickly set up and customise workflows.
Use visual chats to connect
Without face-to-face contact, it can be more difficult for managers to establish personal connections with employees. This is why video conferencing apps are so important. These virtual meetings are an excellent way to maintain connections with your team. You might try scheduling weekly one-on-ones with each employee for an informal chat. Many of these apps also allow screen sharing, which is an invaluable way to share material quickly.
It’s easy to feel unnoticed and isolated while working remotely. That’s why it’s so important to keep recognising the efforts of each individual employee. Make sure you’re vocal about the good work your team is doing and provide positive feedback wherever possible. Employee recognition keeps employees engaged and happy at work, bringing in positive business results.
Trust your team members
It’s not always easy to work remotely. You have to take initiative, be more independent and create your own productive environment. As a manager of a remote team, you have less control over each member’s daily schedule, so it’s important to learn to trust each member to do their job. No one wants to feel like their manager doesn’t trust them to complete their assignments. Check in on each member during your one-on-one meetings, and ask if they need help with anything, but ultimately, it’s important to give each member the trust and respect they deserve.