As a business owner, you’ve undoubtedly faced a great deal of challenges since March 2020. At that time, many businesses made a sudden and drastic shift away from the traditional, office-based work environment to a work from home model. While this introduced many efficiencies and came with a great deal of perks for both business owners and their employees, it also brought on a new set of challenges, including how to manage a team of employees that are working remotely.
Here are three tips to help managers and business owners manage remote teams in a way that maximizes their output and efficiency while allowing and encouraging them to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Don’t skip the small talk
We’re all busy, and sometimes small talk can seem frivolous. However, when we manage teams that are working from home, small talk is important in building rapport with your team and making sure they are satisfied in their role and their environment. Take the time to find out what your employees did this weekend or ask about the painting on the wall in the frame behind them. This may not seem important in the moment, but it really helps employees stay connected to their teams, and experience some of the social interaction that is so abundant in the office environment.
Turn on your camera
We’re all using video chats more than ever, and it can be tempting sometimes to turn off your camera during these meetings. Resist the temptation and keep your camera on at all times. Tone of voice is important for meaningful communication, but so is body language and facial expressions, and these are lost without physically seeing the person you are conversing with.
Ask a lot of questions
Unhappy employees are unproductive employees. Take the time to have one-on-one video chats with each of your team members regularly. This ties back to building rapport. Ask specific questions about their level of satisfaction with their work environment, find out how they are feeling emotionally, if there are isolation issues, internet connectivity issues, ergonomic equipment issues etc. If there are issues, fix whatever is possible to fix. Keeping your team happy is key to a successful remote work environment.
Managing a remote workforce is tricky and there’s a lot more to it than these three tips. However, if you commit to these and incorporate them into your day-to-day management strategy, you will build a solid foundation of open communication with your team that will help give you better insight into their satisfaction and performance.