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Managing remote teams: how to effectively manage your remote workers

Home working is now a reality for many workers across the UK – and managers across the country are facing the prospect of managing their teams remotely.

As a manager, you might be asking yourself:

  • How can I manage my team effectively?
  • How can I make sure all projects meet deadlines?
  • And above all – how can I reduce stress among my team while they adapt to this new way of working?

Thankfully, technology has brought us closer to each other than ever before. And there are plenty of tools to help you and your team make the successful transition to this new way of working.

Face-to-face communication is the ultimate collaboration tool

Workers continue to favour face-to-face communication. The importance of talking to your team every day and developing ideas together in the office can’t be understated. But remote working doesn’t need to change this. Conference calling today is more advanced than ever. Regular video calls with your team means you can keep the ball rolling on projects where working together is essential.

And it’s about more than just helping teams meet project targets. Virtual meetings can also help employees feel like part of the team. Many teams, including us at BT, make the most of this tool by using it to engage employees with daily ‘challenges’, quizzes and catch-ups.

These little things help make your staff feel valued, which makes them happier and more engaged.

Flexible working – no longer a ‘perk of work’ for some, but an unprecedented need for most

We’re all guilty of getting distracted from time to time. Whether it’s a cat video on YouTube or scrolling through our social media. There are lots of tips out there for staying focused, but it’s not always so simple. For example, parents who are responsible for childcare during the day.

Using collaboration software means people in your remote team who are in this situation can be as flexible as they need to be. They can work out the best hours in the day to manage their own workload – instead of having to stick to traditional office hours.

Centralised documents, such as those you can store on Microsoft Teams, let you share ideas with your team around the clock and help them feel like part of the conversation even if they aren’t working 9-5. And if you’re a manager, these tools help you manage remote employees at any time of day. So, you don’t need to necessarily work the exact same hours as your team.

The software can give your team a boost in other areas too.

  • You can be more hands-on with your team by working together through video and audio calls, editing project files together in real time. So projects that need a group brainstorm or more time don’t get put on the back burner.
  • And chatting with each other with this software means less backlog in your inbox. Moving to a virtual work environment gives your team more time to collaborate without all those meetings that could have been a never-ending chain of emails.

Managing remote teams doesn’t need to impact productivity

survey from Indeed found that 57% of employees say they get more done when they work from home, and this has the potential to be true for all members of your team. You can help your workers be productive and stay motivated by:

  • Creating a culture of collaboration
  • Knowing how they work best and setting realistic deadlines that allow them to maintain work-life balance.

And with tools like Slack, Skype for Business and Google Hangouts, there are plenty of ways to help you make this possible.

Now could be the chance for teams to thrive while remote working. And this is also more and more true for SMEs, which may only now be seeing the true benefits of remote working thanks to this enforced situation.

With a reliable network and all the collaboration tools available, now’s the time to see if remote working really is the future of the workplace.