Managing a Remote or Hybrid Team: 6 Tips for Success

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses of all sizes to adopt remote work policies virtually overnight. While some companies or teams have always functioned totally or partially in a remote manner, for many others, this is the first time they've ever had to manage their business remotely.

Managers and leaders had to adapt to the new situation more or less overnight at the beginning of the pandemic. If you've been in this situation, you might still be feeling a little overwhelmed. Don't worry, we're here to help. In this article, we'll share six tips for successfully managing a remote team. 

6 Tips for Success

1. Clear Communication Channels

One of the most important things you can do when managing a remote team is to establish clear communication channels. This means creating a system where everyone knows how and when to communicate with each other. There are a few different ways you can do this, but we recommend using a combination of email, instant messaging, and video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts. We occasionally meet in our Horizon Workroom Office that we have created in the Metaverse, and that is fun too. It is important to remember everyone's timezone should your teams work across boundaries.

2. Regular Meetings and Group Sessions

Another important tip for managing a remote team is to hold regular meetings and group sessions. If you are a manager, make sure you dedicate a half hour to each employee at least twice a month if weekly is too difficult. This way, you learn not only about the employee and their work-related difficulties, but you will get to know the human behind the screen and their struggles. Engaging with each of them promotes inclusion and enhances the feeling of belongingness, which is so much needed in each workplace, especially in remote work arrangements.

Regular team/group/department sessions will help everyone stay on the same page and ensure that everyone is aware of what's going on with the project. We recommend holding weekly meetings to discuss progress, brainstorm new ideas, and address any issues that have arisen. You can also use these opportunities to provide training or give feedback.

3. Build Trust and Confidence Among Employees

When employees are working remotely, it's important to use tools that build trust and confidence among them. This includes things like setting up timesheets so employees can track their hours worked, using project management software to keep everyone on task, and providing access to company resources (like an employee handbook) online. By doing these things, you'll help your employees feel like they're part of a team even when they're not in the office. Managers who have micromanagement tendencies will also feel more relaxed knowing when and what their teams are working on.

4. Handle Poor-Performing Employees

Unfortunately, not every employee will be able to adjust to working remotely. If you have an employee who is struggling with the transition, it's important to know how to handle them effectively. The first step is to try to understand the root of the problem. Is there something about the work itself that's causing them difficulty? Or are they having trouble with the logistics of working from home? Once you've determined the cause of the problem, you can begin to look for solutions. This might involve additional training or coaching, changing their work schedule, or providing them with different resources.

5. Manage A Virtual Team During Any Project

It's important to know how to manage a virtual team during any project—not just during a pandemic. One of the best ways to do this is by using project management software like Asana, Trello, Monday, ClickUp, or Microsoft Teams. This software will allow you to assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress so you can ensure that your team is on track and meeting its goals.

6. Hybrid Teams Management

If you are like most of us, you probably have to juggle in a hybrid environment. You have some employees who are in the office and some employees who are remote. The key to managing a hybrid team is to treat both groups equally and to keep track of everyone's locations (i.e. office or remote) to avoid misunderstandings. Hopefully, "out of sight, out of mind" is not a concept followed by an effective leader that you are. This means that you should have the same expectations for each group, provide the same resources to each group, and hold each group accountable to the same standards. By doing this, you'll ensure that everyone is on the same page and that no one feels like they're being treated unfairly.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses of all sizes to adopt remote work policies virtually overnight. Many organizations are still functioning in various forms of hybrid solutions. If you're in this situation, don't worry—we're here to help! By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to successfully managing your remote team during any project.

If you feel you need more help with managing your remote team, we have an online workshop that may be helping you with that, stay tuned for the upcoming dates or check out our course on Virtual Team Building and Management.
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