Being a manager can be tough at times, more so when you are managing a team of staff based in different locations. The unique setup presents extra challenges you will need to deal with. Leading a team from a distance requires an entirely different approach and a lot of thought and planning to make it a success.
The Remote Working Environment
Taking care of your employees’ wellbeing is especially tricky if you are not all based in the same location. You need to be sure that their place of work is fit for the purpose and offers everything that your staff requires. The work environment can have a significant impact on how your employees feel about their job. A workspace that is unsuitable and uncomfortable is likely to leave your staff feeling undervalued and negative about their situation. As a result of their dissatisfaction, an unsuitable workspace could also impact on the team’s productivity and their quality of work.
If your business requires a flexible location, then a portable building, such as those from Retracom offers a practical solution. A place of work that can be customized to suit the needs of your workforce should help to eliminate any issues arising in relation to your employees’ workspace.
Working at a distance can feel isolating for some people, so the need to cultivate a feeling of being part of a team is essential. In the absence of regular face to face communication, you will need to make an extra effort to keep your employees in the loop. Not communicating regularly with your staff is a big mistake when they are not based in the same location as you. Resentment can build if your employees do not feel included. This resentment can lead to a ‘them and us’ attitude, which can be incredibly damaging to motivation and productivity.
Check in regularly with your staff over the phone or face to face at regular times. Keeping in touch is an essential part of helping them to feel still like they are part of the wider team, and haven’t been forgotten about.
Use the Right Systems
The Internet makes working at a distance all the more possible than ever before, hence the rise in the number of home-based staff in recent years. However, to keep your team working together means overcoming a few obstacles. Keeping track of projects and what stage they are at becomes a challenge when your staff is based in different locations. Software such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems offers a handy way to manage these issues. Using a CRM system means that staff can easily see who is currently working on each project and where they are up to with the work.
Managing a team with members in various locations presents different challenges to overcome. However, with careful planning, consistent communication, and the right systems in place, successfully managing a remote staff is entirely possible.