The need for staff to be able to work from home has put new pressure on managers and team leaders. All of a sudden you have to help, support and lead a group of people you do not meet in person. This is something that requires more, both when it comes to time and in planning. So how do you build and manage your team remotely? We have listed our 5 best tips.
1 Have effective communication
Of course, good communication is very important in all workplaces. But for teams working remotely, the need for clear and effective communication becomes extra important. It is easy to underestimate the importance of the quick talk at the coffee machine or the moment you get at lunch to go through a certain project. When you run a distance team, it requires a lot more from you as a leader.
Avoid writing long emails, in which you try to explain in detail what to do. Try to keep your emails short, concise and preferably in bullet points. It should be easy to get an overview. Instead, discuss details over the phone or in a video conference, so your team gets the chance to ask questions and hold a dialogue about what to do. This will save both you and your employees a lot of time.
Many collaboration tools offer convenient chat features where you as a team leader can chat with your staff, both in group chats and one at a time. Here you can easily share files and make notes directly on the shared files.
2 Set clear goals
When colleagues are scattered, it is easy for different people to start running in different directions. Teams working remotely are in need of clear goals and guidelines for what the company should achieve. Keep your goals updated at regular intervals and make sure they are actually discussed with staff so that there are no question.
3 Have clear deadlines
Remote teams may also need clearer deadlines. It is easy to get stuck in a project when you are sitting by yourself, but by setting deadlines for entire projects and sub-goals, you as a team leader can ensure that the work progresses and that goals are achieved.
4 Provide continuous feedback
It’s so easy to walk past someone’s desk and take a look at how the work is progressing, to be able to point to a screen and say “more of this, less of that”. When one does not have that opportunity, the need for planned feedback becomes even greater. Schedule moments where you can talk, for a few minutes, with your staff, one by one or in teams, and do a quick walk through. Where are we now, what are we doing and when is it done? Then it is easier for you as a leader to get an overview of the status of various projects and it is faster to give feedback.
Today, there are plenty of smart collaboration tools where staff can easily share their screen while having video meetings. Here you can let colleagues make markings and notes live, directly in the meeting and in this way easily discuss what should be changed.
5 Work on unity
The need for good unity in a workplace doesn’t just disappear because your team is working remotely. Staff who feel comfortable with their colleagues perform better. Make sure to have continuous video meetings where everyone actually has to have the video on. Seeing each other makes it possible to read each other’s body language, it becomes easier to see who wants to speak and makes the meeting feel much more personal. Make sure ALL participants have a point on the agenda so that they feel involved and not just listening in. Set aside a few minutes, in each meeting, for a small talk session. To talk about “how did the renovation go and was that meat stew any good?” make employees feel seen and help build the personal relationship between colleagues.
Dstny’s collaboration tool MiTeam
MiTeam is a collaboration tool built directly into Dstny’s Softphone. A Softphone is a software that allows you to have your phone directly in your computer. This way, you can have all your telephony services and collaboration tools bundled together in the same interface. With MiTeam you can chat, share files, create to-do lists, have video meetings and much more.
Integrated with MS Teams
Dstny’s office phone system can be integrated with Microsoft Teams. For those of you who use Teams and want to get telephony functionality into the tool, we have a good solution for you.