How organizations work has undergone a radical change across the globe due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Its has forced organizations to enable their employees to work remotely. However, most line managers and supervisors have little or no experience of remote management of teams.
The biggest challenge that managers are facing in remotely managing their teams is them being thrust into this situation without any warning.
In most cases, the pandemic forced organizations to implement remote working for with little or no preparation.
In addition, the lack of prior experience among managers responsible for handling the remote teams poses a major challenge. They were unfamiliar with the tools and technologies for team management in a remote manner.
Finally, there is the challenge of giving employees the assurance and comfort of coordination between colleagues and work management.
Given current levels of stress and uncertainty, it is unsurprising that the role of managers has got complicated and critical. Now, they need to provide additional support and guidance to their teams and ensure that their remote teams are productive.
The following are a few effective strategies that can prove helpful for the managers to overcome these challenges:
Managers should make it clear to team members their expectations from them in a remote setup. They should formulate and communicate precise guidelines such as work timings, deadlines, and accountability of each team member. The managers also need to provision for any unforeseen delays and have a proper backup plan to meet deadlines.
While managers need to redouble their efforts to communicate effectively and regularly with their team members while managing teams remotely. Increasing the frequency of communication with the team members helps them stay on top of the various developments.
It also ensures better coordination for the successful completion of tasks. Moreover, it creates a better bonding between team members, so that they do not feel isolated even when working remotely.
The changeover from working together from one location, to working alone can lead to confusion and stress. Managers should focus more on getting the tasks done on time, rather than micromanaging.
They should also display enough trust and patience with their team members to work flexibly and meet the deadlines. They should especially avoid micro-managing their remote teams leading to more stress for team members.
In this age of technology, managing teams remotely is not as difficult as it may seem. Managers use of various digital tools and technologies to create a virtual work environment that mimics their actual workplace.
They can track performance of team members, monitor their work and conduct virtual meetings on a day-to-day basis.
One of the biggest responsibilities of managers is to have an empathetic attitude, especially towards team members working remotely. Managers should understand that their employees are equally stressed, hence they should give them time to adjust. They should address their queries and concerns. They should also support them in any other manner to keep them motivated and focused at work.
Under these challenging conditions, it is critical that frontline managers and team leaders quickly learn the skills of remote management of teams and to maximize their productivity.
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