How to manage your team, working from home?

The Channel
Vandana Kapur, Founder at The Channel

In the midst of the pandemic, companies have implemented voluntary or mandatory work from home policies for its employees’ safety. With the COVID-19 crises, the entire world is managing their business through online mediums. With the uncertainty of the future, work-from-home is not going anywhere, which compels us to prepare ourselves for the challenges of working remotely.

We all have done work-from-home at least once in our lives; however, this time is different. While work-from-home is a well-established mode of working, it has never been done on such a large scale. This leads us to the challenge of working from home and managing teams remotely.

Common challenges of work-from-home

First, team managers need to understand the factors that make work-from-home demanding. In the absence of preparation and training, one can experience a decline in job performance. The challenges of remote work are as follows:

  1. Lack of supervision: The major challenge is the lack of face-to-face interaction. Team leaders worry that their team won’t work as hard or as efficiently. In some cases, team members struggle with reduced access to managerial support and feel that the supervisors are neither supportive nor helpful in getting their work done.
  1. Social distance and isolation: It is one of the most common problems of working remotely; informal social interaction in an office setting. Longer periods of isolation can make the employees feel lonely and less “belonging” to their company.
  1. Distractions at home: When at home, there are a few things you just cannot ignore, like kids and other household duties. A noisy environment also becomes very distracting when employees are trying to concentrate on their work. Smartphones are an essential item we require. Family members and kids are one of the top distractions when they are talking loudly or watching television.
  1. Lack of access to information: The lack of mutual knowledge among remote workers often leads to an unwillingness to give coworkers any benefit of the doubt. If a coworker is having a stressful day, then you might receive a brusque answer from your employee as a result of their stress. With no understanding of their situation, you might take offence.

These were just a few challenges that team members face daily.

Adapting to the new normal

Many companies have embraced work-from-home for as long as it takes to safely work in an office environment. Other than safety from COVID-19, there are a few benefits of working from home.

Benefits:

  • The flexibility of working hours
  • Reduces expenses of renting office space
  • Commuting time saved
  • Increased productivity

As a lot of us are first-time remote managers, old management techniques have become obsolete and it brings us to a new set of challenges faced by the team leaders and managers.

Here are some tips that you can implement to have a smooth experience in remote team management.

  1. Track working hours and work output: In an office environment, it is easier to record who is coming in each day and how many hours they are working. However, with work-from-home, it might seem impossible to keep that knowledge of every employee. To overcome the challenge, as a team leader, you can prepare Google sheets or use software that can help you track your team’s progress. Based on the work reports of the teams that can be managed in Google sheets, including the work done, timely delivery, and more, you can calculate their quality score.
  1. End-of-Day work report: Virtual team or not, it is crucial to measure their productivity. While working remotely and with zero face-to-face interaction with the team, it can be challenging to record how much work is done in a day. For this, as a team manager, you should make it mandatory for the team to share the end of day reports. Writing these reports is a great way to increase productiveness and keep track of their progress. Create checklists that should be filled each day before the team signs off.
  1. Open Chatroom: With no face-to-face interaction, virtual chatrooms are the best way to stay connected and interact with team members while working. A chatroom helps to solve issues, assign tasks, or share ideas, and ask questions. You can use Whatsapp or even Google chat for this purpose and keep in touch to ensure everyone is working dedicatedly.
  1. Cloud-based sharing: With working remotely, sharing work and collaborating can be tough, but it can be easily overcome by Cloud sharing. With Google’s widely used Drive, you and your team can share files, collaborate, and use its various cloud software like Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and much more. It allows multiple people to access a file, and as the leader of the team, you can set permissions to decide who will have access to the files. Your team members can view and edit the file and collaborate with the whole team. All you need is a Google account.
  1. Weekly or Random Audits: Working from home can disrupt your focus and make auditing a challenge. The work report checklists mention the work done by every member of the team. To make sure that it’s true, you can do weekly audits or surprise audits to see that they have completed the tasks and in a proper way – with good quality and timely delivery.
  1. Hold daily meetings: With a lack of meetings, the team members can feel left out or disconnected from their team. Team leaders can hold daily meetings to discuss new clients, ideas, assign tasks, clear doubts, and motivate the team. This can be done by using software like Zoom meetings or Google Meet, where all team members are on the same page and can interact with each other and all members at once. 

Remote is the future, and we all must be ready to overcome the challenges of work-from-home. Implementing the above tools and techniques can help managers and team leaders effectively manage their teams and increase productivity.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelloPost.)


Contributed by Vandana Kapur, Founder of a leading Digital Marketing Agency, The Channel. To know more about Digital Marketing, follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vandanakapur.official/?hl=en

HelloPost Team

HelloPost Team takes an opportunity to help your business adapt and succeed in the changing marketplace. We are committed to sharing perspectives, insights, analysis, and trends that challenge and inform others within the industry.

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