Businesses around the country are still adjusting to the new normal of not only managing their teams remotely, but also doing it successfully to stay afloat. For some, this is a complete 180° from how they have always performed their responsibilities as a team leader. This might be because they come from an older generation that is more traditional in its methods, meaning any adjustment is a hurdle. Other managers are faced with the reality that the ill-designed walkabout micromanagement system of an open office plan is a dismal failure. Bosses who leaned heavily on this model are now having the hardest time adapting to their sight unseen employees.
One of the biggest issues that managers wondered was whether they could trust employees to keep up the work quotas without accountability. The truth is that productivity has risen since remote work has increased. Workdays have turned into a fragmented, swiss cheese format of people caring for their families and teaching from home. As a result, employees have had to become their own prioritizers of projects and establish their own workloads. People have voluntarily created their own night shifts, even adding on weekend hours, in order to adjust to their new schedules. Because of this, a good leader should be focused on performance metrics and output instead of micromanaging individuals. It will be obvious to see if someone is not performing up to par.
The best thing to do with a remote team is to clearly establish goals and then encourage team communication. There are many business platforms such as Skype that enable zoom meetings, group chats, and file transfers among team members. Once goals are established, have a set time each week to check in as a team so that everyone can see how everyone else is doing. This is also a good time to ask if people have questions, as well as to show transparency about how the company is doing as a whole.
In addition to trust, communication, and transparency, there is another element that employees miss when they lose their workplace environment. People might be still hitting milestones from home, but without recognition, morale might suffer. For that reason, employee shout-outs are a great way to boost morale and encourage team members to be successful.