Whether you’re new to managing remote tech teams or a telecommuting vet, there’s never been a better time to brush up on your remote management skills. Leading a remote team can be a challenge, but with the number of professionals working from home rising, it’s a challenge you’ll likely need to overcome.
Here is a roundup of the best way to manage a remote tech team that thrives and produces greatness.
Set Clear Expectations
When you’re not physically connected with your team, clear communication becomes even more critical. Your expectations around project goals, time tracking, processes to follow, etc. should all be communicated and reinforced often. Most importantly, help your team members understand why their contributions matter.
For many of your employees, work is an outlet that they use to connect with others. Working from home can be liberating—it can also be lonely. Give your remote team opportunities to gather (virtually) and connect on things outside of work. A real-time communication tool (like Slack) can help with this. Schedule virtual team happy hours, coffee breaks, or even a pizza party on the company dime. Remember that remote workers are humans who crave connection.
Check In Often
In an office environment, checking in on your team is straightforward. When you’re managing a team remotely, you need to make your communication a bit more strategic. Without consistent communication, you may lose engagement and productivity. So much of communication is non-verbal, so be sure to schedule regular facetime with your remote team members.
Invest in Solid Tools
We all know what it feels like to be drowning in emails. Relying on email alone to communicate important project details is not sustainable for remote teams. Spend some time considering the tools your team will need to stay productive in a remote work environment—like a real-time communication tool, video conferencing tool, cloud-based document sharing tool, and more.
Trust Your Team
Trust is the foundation of every successful remote team. The good news is that statistically speaking, you have every reason to trust your remote workers. A recent poll of more than 1,000 US workers found that not only did working from home eliminate commute time; it also increased productivity. Tech talent is particularly well-suited to work independently and thrive in a remote work environment.
Especially in times of uncertainty, it is your responsibility as a manager to consider the emotional well-being of your employees. Remember to be a human—ask them what their biggest challenges are and how you can help. Keep an open dialogue surrounding mental health and how to practice self-care during this time.
We hope these remote team management tips help you. For more, check out our full roundup of remote work resources.