Steps to Manage and Influence Remote Teams in 2022

Today’s remote collaboration tools are making it easier for businesses to stay ahead of their competition in a hybrid workspace by integrating with other tools like knowledge base software. Technology like remote monitoring software is paving the path for businesses to thrive virtually, regardless of all remote work battles. However, it is just not about providing workers a mere video conferencing platform but a matter of building strong communication while helping them feel connected. 

So, how do you make sure your remote teams are working up to the mark? Below are some of the steps for guiding you to manage your remote teams. 

Redefine remote workforce management strategy

The space that can bring managers and employees together effortlessly is the need of the hour. For those managers who find themselves responsible for managing and supervising virtual teams, they might feel an extra burden on their shoulders. 

Managing distributed teams is not easy as it may sound. Taking care of employee work hours, tasks and making them feel connected from different geographies is not any other common business practice. 

Several elements decide the structure of remote work. To distinguish it from traditional work culture, businesses should break the typical work environment. For instance, remote workforce management calls for effective time management, real-time collaboration, and better tools to enable hybrid work transparency. 

It is unlikely that you get any random sets of people dispersed around the globe, enable them in different teams and expect them to build something amazing for your organization. There should be a connected ecosystem for remote employees that can make them feel heard and seen even when they are not available in physical proximity. That said, remote workforce management should be an amalgamation of two important aspects: people and processes. 

Let’s move on to how these two vital aspects are the key ingredients in managing remote teams.

People

The most important part of any organization is its people, its teams that make the work possible regardless of geographies, time zones, and cultural barriers. The only notable thing is to establish workforce productivity in a hybrid world. One thing is certain that not everyone can manage remote teams. That is why assembling people who are ready to put more effort into a hybrid environment with proper direction and guidance is essential. Enabling trust in hiring and choosing people with the capabilities to handle social workspace is the key to creating hassle-free remote work.  

Processes

The word process could be seen as difficult to attain. However, remote work is all about making things work in a certain culture. Therefore, organizations should consider how they would want their teams to work even when there is no situation like a pandemic. Good processes and workflow provide you all the structure and directions to get things done. When remote workforce management thrives in the culture of accountability, it uplifts the level of processes. 

What are the possible challenges in managing remote teams?

It is evident that both supervisors and employees or agents did not have any previous experience of how things will unfold during remote work until pandemic-induced lockdown forced them to do so. Now, a majority of the companies adopting the hybrid work culture directly indicates that remote work has become an integral part of every industry. 

Managers need to understand the factors that remote work specifically demands. Else, high-performing employees might experience a decline in job performance and engagement. As the way remote work functions is not even close to how regular in-office operations work; could possibly lead to some differences and challenges. Take a look at some of them:

Lack of transparency

As a supervisor or manager, it would be a mistake to assume that people already know what they are supposed to do. Managers cannot rely on employees working remotely to be aware of all things that leaders want. Thus, it is vital to set clear expectations of what is expected of them and how employees should perform. The tasks, timelines, and priorities should be set beforehand. 

Lack of communication

Communication plays a major role in binding remote employees and managers together. It is easy to discuss ideas when there are face-to-face interactions. On the other hand, employees cannot communicate thoroughly in a remote work environment. And without proper communication, remote teams might feel disconnected, disengaged or left out. 

Information inaccuracy

Remote workforce management requires a consistent flow of information to operate seamlessly. When teams do not get complete and adequate information, the chaos can enhance the already existing silos within departments. Making operations more complex to operate, information inaccuracy needs to be fixed with remote collaboration tools

Low productivity

While it is necessary to treat every employee with trust, we cannot dispute the fact that not all employees are meant to work remotely. If there are advantages that remote work offers; it does have some side effects too. Remote workforce management should have capabilities like employee monitoring software that will help organizations track the time and work progress of remote employees.

Social isolation

Employees working remotely are more prone to less engagement even within their teams. Being away from the office and other employees physically can also take a toll on how they act socially. However, leaders can make a difference in such day-to-day professional hindrances by enabling virtual team meetings for better social connectivity.   

The challenges discussed above were a sneak peek into what kind of obstacles organizations can face during remote workforce management. Rather than experiencing those challenges one after another, your business can actually take a firm stand by fixing them with a few steps and remote collaboration tools with a blend of remote employee monitoring technology. Take a look:

Tips to manage and influence remote teams

After encountering the challenges, now it is the turn for solutions and possibilities through which your business can stand tall in remote workforce management. 

Create the connected ecosystem

Productivity in any place depends upon how well-documented and predictable your remote work structure is. When employees work remotely, it is easy for them to disconnect. That is why making team connectivity in rhythm is necessary to implement. There should be credibility, trust, and enhanced engagement structured to purpose-driven work infrastructure. Remote collaboration tools make it easier for the team to stay connected beyond the usual hindrances of remote work. 

Determine the most effective technology

As an organizational leader, you need to ask yourself an important question. Are you really enabling your remote teams with all the necessary equipment, remote collaboration tools, and treating every employees’ work hours equally? Remote work does not go well with the one-size-fits-all approach. The policies and rules should be the same for all but you need to enable technologies that help them to work securely, collaborate easily and boost their productivity. Therefore, technology like employee monitoring software catered to hybrid work needs can be your long term partner in effective remote workforce management. 

Focus on efficient collaboration

When team members work in the same workspace, it is usually easy for them to reach out to their supervisors or contact them anytime. On the contrary, remote work does not provide many opportunities to employees for seamless contact. Remote teams have to be on the same page so that it can be easier for them to complete their tasks. Create better opportunities for collaboration. Instead of having one employee working on one project at a time, use remote collaboration tools to make remote workers accomplish tasks in small teams. 

Clarify the rules and responsibilities

Without proper rules in place, there will be no space for accountability. Convey your priorities thoroughly to employees and make them understand the severity of every task assigned to them. There should be clear rules for meetings and active work hours so that the remote teams can know what other teams are upto and where they fit in the process. When you introduce new rules to the remote teams, make sure they understand the terms and conditions related to them. 

Encourage social interactions

As stated earlier, remote teams can feel disengaged after working away from each other or not having access to water-cooler chats for long. To curb this issue, remote collations tools can help. Another authentic idea will be to foster continuous communication availability. This can be done through enabling live chat software integrated with workforce monitoring software for fostering the conversations. 

Recognize excellence and provide feedback

While it is crucial to treat remote teams equally, it is also vital to recognize the best players in the team. Not only the recognition of their excellence will boost their morale but will inspire others to be productive and more efficient at work. Managers can mention their excellency during virtual teams and through remote collaboration tools while helping them to get more value from trainers and subject matter experts.

Summing up

When your business is managing remote teams, make sure that you have all the strategies, tips and tricks to work energetically with them. You can get the most incredible outcome when your remote teams consist of the best people and processes. Thus, drive your remote workforce management towards success with remote collaboration tools while considering all the above-mentioned tips strictly.