Is remote working new to your team? Here are some tips for managing a remote working team!
With all the talk about working from home these days, we also need to think about how we manage our teams working remotely.
Last week as I listened to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar advise us all to begin working from home where possible, it dawned on me that there would be a number of complications. Not only did we need to ensure our team members had adequate equipment to work from home, but we needed to maintain our productivity levels, set new goals, and ultimately alter how we manage our teams.
As a business, we use remote working from time to time for various reasons, so this is not a completely new arrangement. We have a flexible environment and offer remote working to our staff where appropriate. For those of you who have not had your team working remotely before, here are some tools I have used in the past.
1. Prepare: Ensure you are ready to operate remotely!
You need to plan your operations before moving off site. What tasks can be worked off site? Are your systems and communication tools fit for purpose? It is crucial to test all the necessary communication tools and check that software is accessible and working for your team to be fully functional during a remote working period. Ask yourself if you are fit for purpose to adopt a short term remote working solution?
2. Engage regularly with your team
Staying in regular contact with your team is vital. Scheduling daily check-ins with your remote workforce for updates, collaboration and catch ups is a good way of doing this. Even a 15-minute call can help to drive team projects and clarify progress on core activities. Above all, regular communication is important for our sanity while we all work from home!
3. Focus on goals
Remember to continue to monitor daily KPI’s and deliverables as you normally would. You must trust your staff to work as normal from home, but at the end of the day they must be accountable for their performance and should be able to work towards reaching goals as normal. Stick to your office routine to help motivate your team. If you normally host daily/weekly performance meetings, continue to do so via remote communications and shared screens – it is important that all normal team meetings continue as you want to drive business as normal and motivate your team to reach goals.
Review your projects and encourage your team to make progress on them now that work arrangements have changed. Perhaps there was a project that was put on the long finger? It could be refreshing for your team to share tasks and work on a new project. Maybe it’s just what they need!
Encourage your team to use their time wisely. Stay connected with your clients, reach out, arrange video conferences or phone calls so that working from home does not negatively impact your business relationships. Business doesn’t have to stop!
6. Partner with your clients
Many of your clients are in the same situation, and some may be thinking about a new project, new product, or new hiring plans when off site. This could be an opportunity to support them on this, offer your advice and get some virtual face-time!
8. Be proactive!
Stay positive, stay in contact with your team and your clients – and stay on track! There will be bumps in the road over the next few weeks, so try to plan ahead and maintain a positive attitude!
If you are interested in learning more about managing a remote working team, or have some ideas of your own on the topic, please get in touch! The majority of us will be working remotely over the next few weeks, so it is important to share advice on how to do it best.
Mary Mullin is Associate Director – Leinster with Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR Services Group and is based in our Athlone office. She is currently recruiting for a number of executive positions which you can view here.
Associate Director – Leinster