Managing A Remote Workforce: 3 Tips

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In the midst of this pandemic, most companies have seen most or all of their workforces shift into a remote setup if the nature of their business will allow it. For many companies, this means business as usual. In the year 2020, there were already thousands of businesses that managed predominantly remote workforces that span multiple timezones. However, for most companies, the current environment has resulted in a total transformation of the employee experience.

The shift to remote working will be most felt by managers who are used to the opportunity of poking heads in offices, stopping by desks, or calling team meetings. You’ll need to make big changes to keep your team productive, projects on track, and deadlines met. Here are 5 tips designed to help managers cope with managing a team virtually.

Communicate a set weekly or daily video meeting or call schedule to your workforce.

In the absence of face-to-face meetings or group working sessions, it’s important to stay in regular contact with your team. From an operational perspective, regular video meetings via Zoom are a great way to make sure tasks don’t fall through the cracks. They keep everyone on the same page, and ensure that everyone is working toward the same goal. From the perspective of managing your own personal stress level, they can also alleviate the anxiety that comes from not being able to visually confirm that your staff is staying on task.

Schedule weekly meetings that remain at the same time on the same days each week. Give each meeting a certain focus, and make sure each meeting has an agenda to keep the meetings productive. Consider implementing a 15-minute morning huddle by video to start each today. Just be mindful of scheduling too many meetings or making your team feel micromanaged.

Keep your company’s goals, objectives, and tasks in a centralized project management platform to track productivity.

If you weren’t already utilizing a project management platform like Teamwork or Monday to track progress and productivity, now is the time to get on board. Most businesses have several moving parts all working independently of each other, and it’s crucial to have everyone working from the same playbook. When your team is working remotely, it’s more important than ever for you to have a central hub for all information regarding your current projects.

These platforms give you the ability to create and assign task lists to your team, develop project timelines & deadlines, and track progress towards goals. They also give you the ability to track the time spent on your projects, which is necessary to gauge both the profitability of your projects and the productivity of your team.

Use Slack to increase the ease and openness of communication within your company.

Many remote workers are sorely missing the ability to pop in on coworkers to ask questions, seek feedback, and kick around ideas. These interactions don’t translate well into emails, which are tiresome to write, tiresome to read, and oftentimes still ignored in spite of all the effort. They can also lead to delays and missed deadlines when a quick question doesn’t get answered for hours or even days. If you have a larger team and you’ve been relying on emails as your primary form of internal communication, this has undoubtedly already caused you several headaches.

Acquaint yourself and your company with Slack, and you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. Slack is an instant messaging platform that allows you to quickly exchange messages and files with teammates. You can message teammates one-on-one, or you can message people as a group. The simple nature of the platform makes it easy to pick up for new users, and you’ll enjoy an increased level of communication almost instantly.

Need help adjusting to your newly-remote business?

Cisso Bean & Dutch specializes in helping businesses adapt to challenges like the ones we are currently facing. Contact us today to partner with a seasoned HR specialist who can help you reach your “new normal” and get the most out of your socially-distanced team.