TOW#536 — Remote team management

Remotely managing teams is anything but easy. Everyone in the team is too far apart, contact is lost. Yes, we promise to stay in touch, to always talk, but circumstances worsen both for you and everyone around you. Fewer and fewer calls, and when they do happen you’re barely able to put together a complete sentence. Not to mention the trouble you’ll have if you’re a few times zones away.

In theory, remote team management seems very easy, but in practice it’s very different. There are several reasons why it’s different, but the most important is the distance and the inability to really control what’s been done and what hasn’t, and why the things that haven’t been done, weren’t done. Therefore:

Organisation — both the team and the work generally need to be better organised. Each team member should have daily, weekly and monthly tasks. It should be clear for each task who’s going to complete it, who’s responsible and how long it should take. Ideally, you should talk to your team once in the morning about the agenda and once in the evening to see how it’s going. As long as this is done in a short, informal way, no one will see it as interference;

Trust — at a time like this, you need a lot of trust between team members, but also confidence in yourself as well as in each individual in your team. Of course, bear in mind that in situations like this trust can be much easier to lose, so everyone involved in this way of working and organising should know that trust is on a very slippery slope and that everyone must make an extra effort in order to maintain it at a high level;

Expectations — We’ve said a million times that you should have some expectations, that you should monitor the things that are being done, but in this particular case, your expectations, both for yourself and for everyone else in the team, should be reduced slightly;

Support — while remotely managing a team, your support for the team, as well as mutual support between team members, is especially necessary;

Openness — during periods such as this, the most important thing is to have open communication with everyone in the team. Don’t have hidden agendas — everything you agree on must be understood by everyone in the team. To achieve this, everybody has to be open;

Communication — the first key to remote management is to maintain good lines of communication. Nowadays, managers can communicate with others in their team in a variety of ways, eliminating the need for regular face-to-face contact. However, what everyone in the team needs to know is that you’re always available for them, but also that they shouldn’t be calling you about every little thing. Forget about micromanagement.

As you can see, remotely managing a team requires many different skills, which are totally different from the ones you’d normally use. And be aware, not everyone can easily adapt and change, so be patient and empathetic.

Wishing you success with the changes to come,


#StayHome #WorkFromHome #StaySafe

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