Managing remote working teams

Working from home can be complicated for everyone. To maintain a high level of performance, it’s vital to implement remote work best practices when hiring and managing a virtual team. This may not be relevant for everyone now but the world is moving in this direction and it is important that we move with it. Understanding remote work best practices is important to know.

Remote work comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties.

Challenges include but are not limited to your employees the following. Working from home can feel lonely, especially for people who formerly worked in dynamic in-office environments. Some more introverted people might be genuinely enjoying working in their home clothes, while others might feel isolated.

Some work-related stress is inevitable; however, remote work is stressful in a different way than traditional office work, and not everyone knows how to handle it. is prepared to deal with it well.

Not everyone has a separate room to easily transform into a dedicated office space or even a comfortable chair and a desk. Their power supply may not be consistent, and there may be many distractions and difficult to manage. Childcare might not always be available. This sounds very chaotic.

The manager also has challenges with managing remote work. For example, communication may be difficult. Communication looks and feels different working remotely. Many are easily fatigued with frequent video leaving managers feeling less in touch with their teams.

Some people may feel less connected and engaged with their co-workers and company if personal contact is missing. Remote team building activities may help in making people feel connected. Insufficient experience with technology can make remote work feel like a technological puzzle, and not every company and manager is prepared to deal with it. This puts an added strain on IT and HR teams, as well. I just spoke with someone today who did not know how to schedule a zoom meeting. I hope that is not you.

The following are some examples of best practice that can alleviate some of the stresses. HR should set clear expectations and rules early on, and make everything as transparent and as easy to navigate as possible for everyone involved. By defining clear procedures, expectations, and boundaries, you take the guesswork out of working from home and make it more predictable and less stressful.

Set expectations about, daily and weekly check-ins and status reports, outcomes, results, and performance, working hours and availability, both yours and those of your team and last but not least, strategies for dealing with urgent situations.

Be clear about what you expect in terms of communication and set clear rules about what defines success. This will help you avoid bias or favouritism just because someone is more at ease with frequent check-ins.

If any tasks are common to a few members of your team, it might be a good idea to define standard operating procedures (SOPs) on how to complete them. These can be particularly useful when delegating work, as well—either yours to someone else—or redistributing tasks between team members to make sure no one is overworked.

When writing your SOPs, be clear and concise. Nobody will read through five pages of text to do a simple task. Also, you’ll need to keep them updated.

When hiring remotely, you have the advantage of having access to a bigger talent pool, possibly even a global one. However, the HR team at your company may need to establish a new remote hiring process. Be sure to navigate the legal complexities of hiring talent remotely and work with you to define a clear remote onboarding process.

Onboarding is another key issue. Remote work can feel particularly isolating for new employees, so make sure you spend enough time and effort to engage with them and make them feel welcome in the team.

Discuss all the organisational and technological logistics early on (benefits, technologies to use, SOPs) and make a checklist to make sure you’re giving all the necessary information to all new employees to allow them to perform well.

This is part one of this topic. So please be expectant. In the meantime go out to vote. There is a scramble for the states. Vote wisely because all that glitters is not gold.

Have a happy weekend and stay safe

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