The current crisis has profoundly changed our daily work life. Remote work, which was only an occasional practice before, has become widespread and allows many of us to continue working.
However, working remotely can also present risks and requires a lot of organization on the part of managers and teams. To work well from home, it is important to adapt your modes of collaboration and communication and to adopt certain new tools.
The 5 challenges of remote management
Like any form of team organization, remote work has its advantages and disadvantages. According to the Harvard Business Review, teleworking can present five risks to which you should be particularly vigilant:
👻 Lack of face-to-face supervision: while managers may suffer from the lack of visibility into the work of their team members, employees may have trouble getting used to less frequent access to their manager
🤷 Difficulties accessing information: new teleworkers are often surprised at the time and effort required to obtain information
🗯️ Awkward communications: with the decrease of in-person interactions, the volume of emails and instant messages has skyrocketed and, in haste or urgency, they can sometimes be misunderstood or badly experienced
😔 Social isolation: with distance, many suffer from a feeling of loneliness - how to replace all the informal bonds that form in the office?
🤳 Distractions at home: with this sudden switch to telework, makeshift workspaces had to be quickly improvised, not to mention the management of children for parents
9 practical tips to manage a team remotely
However, there are ways to make it work: with a little organization and a few managerial rituals, teleworking can become an effective way of working. Here is a list of simple things managers put in place to create a work environment suited to the current situation:
📢 Daily 15-minute stand-up: to energize the whole team
✉️ A short encouragement email in the morning: to start the day on the right foot
👋 End of day goodbye message: to end the working day and say see you tomorrow
✔ Weekly check-in: to be sure not to miss anything with the distance and to take stock of the daily life of each employee (mood, current priorities, achievements, challenges, etc.)
🎙️ Weekly one-to-one: to take the time to address all topics, answer doubts and stay aligned
🎯 Definition of new objectives: to adapt to the new context and because we cannot act as if nothing had changed
📚 Articles of the week: some interesting reading to help take a step back
🥂 A video get-together on Thursday evening: for those who want to join and in moderation (!)
🙌 Weekly success stories email: because all the little victories count in difficult times
The 6 tools remote teams need
Obviously, to put some of these tips into practice, it is necessary to equip yourself with the right tools. Here are a few suggested tools by topic:
📽 Launch a video-conference: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype for Business
⚡️ Communicate instantly: Slack, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp
🗓 Organise team projects: Asana, Jira, Trello, Notion, Basecamp, Monday
🗂 Share and organize information: Notion, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox
✍️ Take notes or make a to-do-list: Google Keep, Evernote, Todoist, TeuxDeux
💗 Run amazing one-to-one week after week: Popwork :)
To choose the tools best suited to your team, we suggest taking a simple and pragmatic approach:
💸 Take advantage of your licenses: there are often many tools included in the licenses bought by companies, look into these not to pay twice for services. For example, whether your business uses Gsuite or Office365, you already benefit from video conferencing, instant messaging, or online document sharing services.
🏗️ Invest wisely: if it is necessary to equip yourself with a specific tool to make your team function better, you should not hesitate to invest while remaining attentive to costs. Zoom for video, Slack (freemium) for instant messaging or Notion (freemium) for the organization of knowledge are, for example, paid applications that are often found in virtual teams. These tools typically only cost a few dollars per user per month and can have a real impact on collaboration.
Online resources for remote teams
Beyond rituals and tools that can be implemented, it is important not to remain alone when faced with the challenges of working remotely in times of crisis. Do not hesitate to read regularly on the subject:
🧑🔬 Follow experts: many specialists regularly share tips and advice on how to work better remotely. For example, on Linkedin, Bruce Daisley, former Twitter VP and author of Eat Sleep Work Repeat, regularly shares valuable advice on how to manage your team (especially remotely).
#️⃣ Identify relevant articles: hashtags such as #remote #teleworking #futureofwork or #management can be a good way to identify interesting reading on the topic.
Finally, since we are talking about readings, it can be useful as a manager to share articles or thoughts on the subject with his team. This is a good way to make your team aware of the challenges of remote work in the current context. Here are some examples of articles that have inspired us over the past few months:
- 15 tips to effectively manage remote employees - via @Forbes
- How to reassure your team in time of crisis - via @HarvardBiz
- 5 secrets to keep remote teams energized - via @BruceDaisley
🙋 Many managers tell us that they have had to multiply one-to-one meetings with their team members.
However, doing great 1:1 meetings week after week takes a lot of time, preparation and follow-up work. Popwork can be a game changer for you and your team and make great 1:1 meetings the new normal: https://pop.work