Long-distance relationships aren’t easy, even in working relationships. People mostly prefer face-to-face interaction because it provides ease in communication, both verbal and non-verbal. This is especially true for managers who may have been used to face-to-face interactions in supervising, managing tasks, and giving feedback.
But the work-from-home (WFH) setup is here to stay. Business Insider says in the current employer-employee battle on which work setup to use, the employees are winning. Their fight is to keep the work-from-home setup. Employers have no choice but to give in.
Tech companies such as Twitter and Square have mentioned the possibility that this setup may last forever. This is also due to the many benefits of a remote setup, including increased motivation and productivity among employees and their ability to become more independent and manage their time efficiently. The result is happy employees that ultimately result in more productivity.
Therefore, managers are left with no choice but to adjust to the current setup. Undeniably, a WFH setup has its challenges, but also, some solutions can remedy these challenges.
When it comes to remote team management, challenges in team formation, accountability, and communication tools arise. Difficulty in tracking performance is also a challenge. Let’s take a look at these challenges experienced by remote team managers one by one.
Remote Work Tools and Collaboration
Remote work tools are essential because a team communicates from different areas within a city or across the globe. This is how a team collaborates to effectively produce a great output or performance. The challenge for managers is choosing the right tools so that they can manage, supervise, and talk with teams efficiently.
Collaboration is the main challenge in a work-from-home setup. Sometimes, managers find it hard to keep a team on the same page when they are not at the same place.
Managing a team from different places around the world can be tricky. People coming from different backgrounds respond to the work-from-home setup differently. Some value their boundaries when it comes to time, and some prioritize family over career.
Yet, cultural differences have existed even before the pandemic. This is a constant challenge that managers have to face.
Managing remote teams
With challenges come solutions; these challenges are tests of a manager’s efficiency and ability to think creatively and offer unique solutions. Here are some suggestions on how to manage a remote team effectively:
As the work-from-home setup becomes a norm, more and more employees realize the value of boundaries; managers must learn to embrace this, too. Nowadays, managers need to learn how to draw the line between work and personal life.
In a remote setup, some employees may not appreciate getting disturbed from sleep or family time, especially if they come from a different time zone. Hence, discussing an acceptable schedule for both managers and employees is necessary. Employees appreciate when managers respect their time. This will result not only in productivity but also in a positive working environment.
Conflicts and misunderstandings due to different cultural backgrounds have existed even before the work-from-home setup. Ultimately, the key to resolving these conflicts is respect. Managers and employees must learn to understand where each other is coming from to have a more harmonious relationship at work.
To build a great team, one must learn to appreciate differences and consider this when giving feedback. Some culture appreciates a direct way of relaying things, while others may be more sensitive. Also, be updated when it comes to national holidays of different countries so that you show respect for their cultures.
Using the Right Remote Work Tools
Using the right remote management software can make a manager’s life easy. Using a request for proposal (RFP) response automation software helps manage tasks better. Through great software, it can be easier to communicate in a scattered team and foster great collaboration with each other.
Great remote management software can also help a supervisor track an employee’s productivity and keep track of the progress of a project. This software can also assist a manager in creating timesheets easily sent to employees in just a few clicks. Discussions can be easily done, and information can be shared in real-time through efficient remote management software.
Challenges and problems arise because of a lack of proper communication in the workplace. Therefore, a manager must be a great communicator with the ability to attack situations with more sensitivity and logic. Words are powerful, and they can make or break a relationship with team members. A supervisor should know how to handle an incident, whatever occurs in the operations.