In the troublesome situations of COVID-19 global pandemic, many of us are doing a lot of work and managing everything from home. And while doing this (WFH), it seems like there will be harmony and peace but, in our world, things are much messier than before.
Working from a distance can be so hard. Especially for those who are the leaders of their company or organization as they have never had any idea to manage a remote team. It’s been a long time that you might be working from distance and you might be missing your office, your teammates and may be struggling to communicate in the ways that were formerly so simple. Maybe you are facing a problem in prioritizing your work, delegating tasks deliberately and may be struggling to stay connected with the team.
So, how can you as a leader, lead your team perfectly from distance?
Here are some of the steps that may live by when managing a remote team:
1. Contact your team every day
This is very necessary as on a normal working day in office, many of us, at a minimum, see multiple team members every hour. This can drop to zero in a day when you work remotely, if you allow it, and can create a deep sense of loneliness and isolation.
As you go about your day, ask yourself: Have you had any face-to-face interaction today?
Is your team actively interacting via your communication channels? Are there any team members that have been more silent than others?
Use gaps in your schedule to actively check-in with random team members. Video is a great way to check-in, but even a quick note or chat has an impact. Let your team know you’re there for them and looking out for their wellbeing.
2. Understand the expectations of your team members and discuss with them:
As a team leader of your team, you play a significant role in preparing your remote team for success. To get started the first thing that you need to do is take out some time for the planning of team discussion and deciding the major topics.
The points you must consider while communicating with your team are to share proactively all the related challenges and highlight the opportunities. While you are sharing your expectations with any of the team members identify tools for communication, tasks assigned to set the parameters for the check-ins and meetings and also provide all the team members a regularly monitored channel where they can ask you for help anytime.
Once you are done with assigning the related tasks to the team, you can take follow up with all the team members individually.
3. To maintain consistency and structure, conduct recurring online meetings
If you haven’t done so previously, now is a great time to take a step back and honestly evaluate your current meeting line-up and decide which meetings to keep, kill, and/or combine.
To get started: jot down the purpose of each meeting, the key stakeholders, the frequency of the meeting and duration, and your ranking of the meeting’s effectiveness.
Maintaining a schedule of recurring meetings establishes the regular opportunity for collaboration, discussion, and check-in for your team, as well as a good framework as they build out their work weeks and meeting schedules.
4. Make a designated workplace to work:
Finding a comfortable place while working from home is very essential. Tell your team that when it comes to working efficiently from home, making a designated place for the work should be on the priority as it helps in defining the work boundaries between home and work. Whether your workspace is a desk or anything else, this place should be set up to enable productivity. Make sure that your workplace is a quiet space with a good Wi-Fi connection. To make it even more fun, share a photo of your workspace with your team and encourage them to do as well or you may also choose a mini virtual tour during your video team meeting.
5. Get ready in a well-dressed manner
Now it’s time to talk about getting well-dressed in the morning! But this does not only mean to put on the clothes but instead, you need to look formal at least for the part of the camera that is visible in the camera. This is because you also won’t like to show up your sleepy dress to others. This is essential because you will communicate to the world that you are ready to take on the day.
So, you must encourage your team members to also show up looking their best so they can feel their best as well.
6. Give priority to the mental health
Mental health is very important to improve your productivity at work. DO encourage your team members to designate time on their schedules/calendars for regular breaks, just as they would any other meeting.
Treating breaks in this manner will communicate to your team that you prioritize their wellbeing and expect them to do the same. Take it a step further and offer up some suggestions and ideas for maximizing that time.
Meditation, yoga, a walk around the block, a cup of hot tea, a power nap, a podcast episode, a chapter of a book — all of these options are great ways to reset.
Therefore, these tips may help you to provide a foundation as you and your team navigate this interesting time together.