Dealing with people we are not physically close to can become a complex challenge if we haven’t done it before.
There are processes such as onboarding, on-the-job training or feedback that become more complex.
Here are some of the things we can do to improve remote team management:
Look for the moments
Working close to people allows us to have impromptu informal conversations at all times which is a facilitator for seeing how the team is doing, giving feedback on a task or just connecting with people on the team.
With the remote team, those moments disappear and we tend to reduce conversations to talking about tasks or activities.
There is only one way to replace these impromptu moments, and that is to create them.
Log in 5 minutes before the meeting and invite others to do so. Now is the time to have that little informal 5 minute talk that we used to have in meetings before.
I don’t just work. Sometimes, without becoming routine, it is convenient to encourage a short period of informal discussion on topics outside of work. A few minutes at the start while we are waiting, or at the end if we finished a little early.
Generate social gatherings. Once every 2-4 weeks, create a “social” meeting with your team. Take the opportunity for someone to explain a learning or something of value to everyone (briefly, 15 minutes), then encourage informal discussion and free time.
Use the video
We already know that 55% of communication is body language and that we lose some of it in a video conference, but don’t miss the opportunity to capture some of that communication through the camera.
In many organizations, we get used to logging in without video, preventing our personal space from being visible to others or how I am dressed.
If our goal is to connect with the team, we need to foster moments of connection with video, but taking care of the privacy of the team.
Above all, the value of respect must be prioritized and an environment conducive to freedom of action must be built.
For example, offer your team every once in a while to have a video conference. Agree on when everyone will be ready and comfortable.
Take advantage of technology
Fortunately, the technological revolution has arrived to help us make telecommuting easier and more manageable.
Here are some tools that will help you manage your team’s day-to-day and have a free version that you can try:
Jira Core: project management product oriented towards business areas. It is possibly the market leading product for project management and workflow automation. Trello: The most used tool for managing team tasks via cards, lists and boards. Team Insights: Software that lets you keep your team’s pulse in real time with honest data and feedback. Zoom: The video conferencing app that became the most popular during the pandemic and the first to develop “sudden flare-ups”. Todoist: tool to manage pending tasks performed individually or in teams.