Top Mistakes When Leading a Remotely Working Team
Nowadays, it is easier than ever to work remotely, and this allows the team to have more freedom and a more flexible work schedule. According to Upwork’s forecast for the future workforce, 38% of business leaders believe that their employees will mostly work remotely over the next 10 years. However, when switching to a remote job in your company or department, you should try to avoid a number of mistakes that may hinder the continuation of productive work. Read more: What to Do When Leading a Remotely Working Team.
No plan designed
Ideally, a team’s transition to remote work requires investing time to develop a specific strategy. It is worthwhile for the team to hold a remote work planning meeting, where expectations are clearly set for things like goals and priorities to pay attention to, as well as responsibilities and deadlines.
Your employees need to understand what is expected of them, or the team will lose the sense of psychological security that is essential to employee involvement. Many will have to change roles and responsibilities, which can lead to increased anxiety and confusion, especially for those who crave routine, structure, and predictability.
Remote managers need to put extra effort into communicating with their team, even on the simplest of things. This means finding new tools for keeping in touch, as email alone will not suffice. Chat tools like Slack are invaluable to remote teams, and conference calls are a great way to stay in touch. One of the serious mistakes most managers make is not to include other team members in important negotiations, but it is important to make sure that all employees are well informed about the company’s current processes.
Ignoring a team’s social needs
We are social beings, and when we feel isolated from each other, we may feel lonely or hopeless. The Gallup organization found that 21% of people working from home say “loneliness” is the biggest struggle they face.
Therefore, the leader needs to do everything possible to create a sense of community, even when working from home. Take the time to think about how you and your team can stay in touch and communicate with each other comfortably. Each team is different, so discovering the right method may require experimentation.
Here are some tips for creating remote team’s management:
determine what working hours will or will not be mandatory, depending on the objectives of each quarter;
establish clear communication guidelines;
take advantage of technology;
explain how employees should classify sick leave;
provide honest feedback on what works and what doesn’t;
ensure stability through consistent rituals.
Talk to employees about your strategic goals and deadlines, and try to repeat the rhythm of the office day that everyone is used to. It is important not to risk burning your employees by setting unrealistic expectations but instead giving time for adaptation. You can also successfully run a remote command by avoiding the mistakes described above. Read more: Best Practices on How to Engage Small Work Teams