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Mistakes to Avoid When Managing Remote Teams

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Remote employees can offer a range of benefits. It can help improve productivity, find better talent, and boost employee engagement and happiness in the process. But while expanding your team with remote workers can seem like an appealing proposition, managing such employees brings its own challenges you need to be aware of.

Treating your remote workforce the same as in-office teams will result in frustrations on both sides. It will not only lower morale but can cause friction that will make it much harder to move through tasks effectively. 

To avoid that, there are a few critical mistakes that you need to understand and avoid to create a vibrant and productive remote work environment. Let’s explore some of these mistakes and how to prevent them below.

Not Having a Way to Track Remote Employees

Keeping tabs on your remote teams can be more challenging than working with in-office employees. At least if you’re not using the right tools to make the process easier. And without a way to track what your remote workers are up to, you won’t be able to help them improve and become better at moving through tasks quickly.

The good news is that using remote employee monitoring software, you can eliminate most of the challenges related to understanding remote team behaviors, processes, and time management abilities. Using modern solutions, you can stay on top of everything your workers are up to, seeing how they work and identifying the most significant issues that need to be addressed.

At the same time, you can see the bigger picture of your remote team efficiency and more significant problems that you can help resolve with changes in processes, best practices, or software solutions that empower remote teams to become more effective.

Prioritizing the In-Office Team

Managers are always preoccupied with making the projects move forward as efficiently as possible. But unfortunately, they are often more aware of the processes and people that are occurring in front of them, which is in the office, rather than in the workplaces of remote employees.

While they understand the tasks that need to be done by the remote part of the team, they might not always be as aware of the value that these remote teams offer, which can result in the in-office workers receiving preferential treatment or at least more recognition.

Over time, that can create a divide between the people who work in the office and remotely, with the in-person workforce receiving more opportunities for promotions, growth, mentorship, and attention from the superiors.

To combat this, managers should make a conscious effort to be aware of what remote teams are doing and give them just as much attention as the people who work inside the office. Technology has removed many of the barriers present with remote work, and leaders can utilize chat and video conferencing tools to maintain constant contact with each employee, no matter where they might be.

Not Providing the Necessary Tools

Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

Remote employees can only be successful if they are provided with the tools to complete their tasks effectively and with as few obstacles as possible. The people who work remotely can’t just walk over to their colleagues to resolve an issue or ask a question, so you need to provide them with other means of communication and work management to function as effectively as regular members of the team.

Some tools, such as Asana, Slack, or Zoom, have already seen an explosion in growth thanks to the pandemic. These tools make communication between remote and in-office workers much easier, allowing them to quickly share information and seamlessly integrate with the software platforms the company is already using.

At the same time, consider the physical tools that your team members need to function effectively. These include monitors, computers with adequate capabilities, and even things like a standing desk, which help employees feel more comfortable working at home and allow them to maintain high efficiency for longer.

Bottom Line

Managing remote teams can come with a range of challenges that wouldn’t necessarily be present with in-office workers. But the good news is that most of those challenges have relatively simple solutions, enabling you to enjoy the full benefits of what remote work can offer.

Addressing the mistakes listed above will help keep your remote employees happy while also ensuring that you understand their needs and know exactly what they are working on at all times.

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