10 Tips to Help You Manage a Team Working From Home

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, companies large and small, that borrow heavily in order to operate, will find it more and more difficult to access credit as economic activity slows.

This means additional challenges for thousands of professionals forced to work remotely while also trying to balance the demands of their home life and health concerns.

If you are one of the many executives now running a remote team, this list of tips will help set you and your team up for success:

Tip 1: Trust Your Team

Organizations are often hesitant to adopt a remote workforce because there is doubt as to whether the job will be done at the same pace as it would in an office. 

To mitigate this fear, try setting up work-from-home rules, such as requiring email responses within a specific number of hours, using text messages for urgent matters, and hosting calls over video.

Tip 2: Implement Systems

Your company will fall apart without systems. To some degree, a company operating in an office can compensate for not having clear processes simply because people can talk in person. 

On a virtual team, each team member is in their own space. They can create processes and procedures that do not interfere with the workings of other team members. 

It’s best to have a documented and standardized way of working that can constantly be refined.

Tip 3: Allow Flexibility But Maintain Work Consistency

Employees working from home would understandably want flexibility in their working hours. And allowing for some degree of flexibility when managing remote employees is essential. 

On the other hand, if things are completely chaotic it becomes difficult to find a common window for communication.

Maintaining work consistency is important for coordination across remote teams.

Tip 4: Monitor Work Efficiency 

Whether your team is virtual or not, quantifying their productivity is a must. What are the main performance measures for any job? 

Get clarity around this and you'll be able to quickly identify which team members are being productive.

We have designed a tool for measuring productivity that captures daily activity points across your existing cloud business tools to provide visibility and enable trust. 

Tip 5: Conduct a Quarterly Review to See How Your Virtual Team is Coping

One concern about working from home is that some people can feel disconnected and lonely. Others may enjoy the independence that comes with working from home, but it's important to check in and make sure everyone feels connected.

Tip 6: Be Wary of Chat and Email Overload

This is a hard one because you need to make sure that everyone is engaged, but not confused and frustrated. 

Ensure team members are connected to the appropriate colleagues and that they’re receiving information that’s relevant to their roles.

Tip 7: Use Screen Sharing Tools

Several apps allow for screen sharing, which makes collaborating remotely really easy. Some tools also allow people to remotely control a specific device. 

Many of these are free-to-use for small teams including meetings with TeamViewer and Zoom. 

Skype, Slack, and Google Hangouts also include screen share capabilities but don’t offer remote device control.

Tip 8: Set up a Meeting Rhythm

Communication needs to be consistent, like it would be in an office. That could mean daily meetings for teams, weekly “all hands” meetings, or more frequent one on ones. The exact frequency depends on the person and type of work, but I would suggest the following at a minimum: 

  1. Daily team meeting to check in and ensure there are no blockers in anyone’s way (~10 minutes, depending on the size of the team) 
  2. Weekly one-on-one meeting between team leaders and their team members. This is a good time to address concerns and reduce unnecessary back-and-forth over email or chat for example.
  3. Weekly “all hands” meeting for the entire company. This should be short, typically 10 minutes, but serves as another opportunity for remote folks to feel connected.

Tip 9: Beware of a Mixed Office and Remote Culture

You will adapt more quickly when the whole team is remote, as everyone will be forced to adopt similar techniques. When some members of a team are remote and others are in an office, issues can arise.

For example, your office team might decide to call a quick in-person meeting, excluding remote team members whose voices are then not heard.

It’s important to make sure that ALL meetings are remote-friendly. This means that although a lot of team members may be in 1 room, looking at a monitor, remote folks are also logged into video and can view the screen.  

Tip 10: Establish Close Bonds

Empathize with and respect the lives of team members by discussing their families, commonalities and mutual values. 

Managers should check-in regularly (daily) to engage in the relationship using collaborative tools like shared docs and spreadsheets, phone calls, text, and video. 

Remote workers should feel that their achievements are valued and that management is there to assist them achieve their goals

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where your team works when you have visibility. Prodoscore provides that visibility so you  can be confident that your team is being productive and goals will be met.