The world has changed dramatically over the course of 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing restrictions and lockdowns that we have faced, has meant that for many of us, the way that we work has changed to remote working and working from home for the majority (if not all) of the time. What this means, is that we all have to deal with new ways of working, such as using Zoom and other video conferencing software, just to be able to keep in touch with colleagues and management. If you are looking for a new management role, or you are in the process of managing a team or project from afar, there are some ways in which you can manage your team effectively from a distance.
If you are the manager of a team and you are used to having face-to-face contact with your team on a daily basis, it can be difficult to shift that focus to a different approach where you can only speak to your team via the telephone, emails, messaging services or via video conferencing calls. It might seem like a massive change and an obstacle to keeping an entire team working together in the same direction, but with some tips and a shift in focus, you can ensure that you manage your team effectively from a distance.
Good managers are always good listeners, but this takes on an even greater level of importance when you are managing a team remotely. Managing a team remotely doesn’t always have to mean constant video calls throughout the day, but you do need to show that extra care to listen to your team, be attentive and demonstrate excellent communication skills. This is important, especially for those staff members who you usually pick up on things through non-verbal communication.
Another thing you can do is to keep meetings as open as possible. We all know that meetings can be quite boring, so by holding open meetings on a regular basis, you are ensuring that all members of the team have the chance to speak, to chair a meeting, and not to just have one sole, management, voice leading the discussion and potentially boring the team into submission. It is also advisable to have meetings that are just for fun and socialising with your colleagues, such as a weekly or monthly quiz. That way, you are getting that fix of chat and laughter that we all need in the office but can be difficult to achieve when working remotely. You want to look after the mental health of your staff and to ensure they are not isolated.
As you can see, there are a few tips and processes that you can use as part of your approach to home working that will stand you in good stead. Managing a team remotely is challenging, but with some patience, dedication and a clear plan of action, you can make sure that your team continues to meet the standards and targets that you set for them. For those of you looking for new work and looking for a management role, the recruitment process during lockdown might be different than you are used to, but with support from a recruitment agency with experienced team members, you can find the right management role for you, even in these remote working circumstances.