While 40% of people feel the greatest benefit of working remotely is the flexible schedule,1 almost every aspect of being a leader and everything about your team’s working world has changed over the last few years. The significant shift in how teams interact has created a strain on institutions across the nation.
Remote and hybrid teams are challenged with learning new best practices while working from home, such as proper time management and productivity. Other challenges managers and their teams need to overcome include engaging remote teams and setting expectations.
What are some of the top challenges when managing a remote team? And how do you combat these challenges?
While each institution and each team member have different challenges and work habits that have needed to change since the stay-at-home order, we hear from our customers some common themes.
Lack of face-to-face
As a leader, it can be hard to effectively interact with your team without face-to-face interactions. You need to learn a new balance of trusting your employees to work as hard or as efficiently and providing direction and check-ins. Some employees may thrive in the new flexible environment, while others feel that their supervisors are out of touch with their needs when working remotely. The key is to learn what your team needs and adjust your management style to match what they need.
Distractions at home & time management
Bringing your office into your home challenges work vs life balance. The lines of personal responsibilities and work expectations get blurred. A new best practice when working remotely is to ensure you have a dedicated workspace. This should be a space with minimal distractions and ample room to work efficiently.
As a manager, you must understand the family and home demands of their employees while they are working from home. Members of your team who are parents with children are learning virtually. Others have childcare centers shut down because of recent exposures. Establish “rules of engagement” to help set expectations in communication, workload, and deadlines.
Virtual engagement during physical isolation
Let’s be real, working from home can get lonely. Having team bonding time is much harder when meeting on a computer screen rather than in the lunchroom. While you may not be able to physically together, it’s critical to team morale to still find ways to connect personally. This could be as simple as having time for a non-work chat at the start of a meeting, or a virtual pizza party where each team member has a pizza delivered at the time of the videoconference.
Remote and hybrid work isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, Upwork reports that by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. It’s mission-critical that leaders learn how to effectively manage their employees remotely. Check out the new “Remote Management” webinar series for more how-to’s.
The Remote Management OnDemand Webinar Series is designed to help promote best practices for working from home, such as proper time management and productivity. These webinars also cover ways to overcome challenges that can come from working from home, including engaging remote teams, managing stress, and setting expectations.