In modern workplaces a work from home option is becoming an essential part of daily work life. With advances in technology and the habits formed over the course of a global pandemic we’ve had to get used to the idea of remote working situations, and it doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon!
With that in mind, it’s worth taking a look at the kinds of tools and tips we can use to make managing remote workers as smooth an experience as possible. We’ve put together 8 key tips for managing remote/work from home teams, and followed that up with 5 types of software you can use to implement these tips!
8 Tips for Managing a Remote Team
Set Clear Expectations and Guidelines
Clearly define when team members should be available, and how they should communicate with the rest of the team (e.g., through email, instant messaging, video conferencing). Try setting office hours during which team members should be available for meetings or to respond to messages, and specify a communication platform that everyone should use for team-wide communication.
Encourage Regular Check-ins and Virtual Meetings
Schedule regular team meetings, both formal and informal, to keep everyone connected and informed. You might want to have a weekly team meeting to discuss progress and upcoming tasks, and a monthly virtual coffee break for team members to catch up and socialize.
Establish a System for Tracking Progress and Holding Team Members Accountable
Create a system that allows you to track the progress of individual team members and the team as a whole. Try out a few project management tools that allows team members to update the status of their tasks and share their progress with the rest of the team.
Provide Tools and Resources to Facilitate Remote Collaboration and Communication
Make sure team members have access to the tools they need to collaborate and communicate effectively. Make sure your team have access to video conferencing software, cloud storage, and collaborative document editing tools, so they can stay well informed and continue to collaborate on work when not in the office.
Encourage Breaks and a Healthy Work-life Balance
Remind team members to take breaks and step away from their computers, and encourage them to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Set up an automatic reminder for team members to take a break every couple of hours, and try to encourage regular/habitual working habits to keep your team in a healthy work balance.
Be Flexible and Understanding with Team Members
Recognize that team members who are working from home may have additional responsibilities, such as caring for children or other family members. Be flexible and understanding of these responsibilities and do your best to accommodate them.
Make Time for Informal Virtual Interactions
Create opportunities for team members to socialize and interact informally. Organise after work social activities now and then, or you could have a weekly virtual happy hour, where team members can catch up and socialize over a drink.
Provide Opportunities for Team Members to Share Their Feedback
Regularly ask for feedback from team members and make an effort to incorporate their suggestions into your management approach. Something like a suggestion box could be offer really useful insight. Try to make your feedback process anonymous where possible, as anonymity will encourage more honest feedback.
5 Types of Software to Help with Managing Remote Workers
There are a variety of software tools that can help you implement the tips I've provided for managing a remote team in a professional services industry. We've put together 5 of the best types for you to try out!
Video Conferencing Software
Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet can help you hold virtual meetings and check-ins with your team. These tools allow for face-to-face communication, screen sharing, and recording of the sessions which can be helpful for team members who may have missed the live session.
Project Management Software
Tools like Asana, Trello, or Monday.com can help you track progress and hold team members accountable for their work. These tools allow you to assign tasks, set deadlines, and track the status of projects in real-time.
Collaborative Document Editing Software
Platforms like Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, or Dropbox can help facilitate remote collaboration on documents and other project materials. These tools allow multiple team members to work on the same document simultaneously, with changes tracked in real-time.
Tools like MinuteDock can help you track the time team members are spending on different tasks or projects. This can be helpful for billing clients and ensuring that team members are staying on task.
Platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Chat can help keep team members connected and facilitate informal interactions. These tools allow for real-time messaging, file sharing, and organization of channels for specific projects or teams.
These tools are helpful because they allow for better communication, collaboration, and accountability among team members. By providing a centralized location for all project information, team members can easily find what they need, when they need it. Additionally, by providing a way to track progress and bill clients accurately, it can help ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Finally, these tools allow remote teams to feel connected and engaged, which can help improve employee satisfaction and retention.