With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many organisations have had to face countless new work-related challenges as the need to maintain social distance became the order of the day. While working remotely can seem like a dream come true for many employees tired of the morning commute, an entirely new set of issues have arisen in the Working from Home set up including digital miscommunication and time management. Managers have had to ensure that they motivate and support employees through the use of Zoom meetings and other collaborative web tools that are needed to work effectively together as a team. Playing a leadership role through online meetings is challenging but can nonetheless promote a good working relationship between managers and the organisation’s employees.
LEADING EFFECTIVELY ONLINE
For leaders whose teams normally share an office, working remotely can present a host of new challenges. How can one lead effectively when employees are greeting each other with instant messages rather than handshakes? When meetings are held via Zoom rather than face-to-face? Leading your team effectively while working from home presents a whole new ball game as you provide the drive and the motivation that is essential to keep the company working successfully together. You are the cohesive tape that helps employees to work towards a common business goal without being physically present.
Your greatest achievement will be in seeing the end result of the support given by your employees who have delivered up to expectations. Julie Wilson, the founder of the Institute for the Future of Learning, said Leading a virtual team simply requires leaders to
"double down on the fundamentals of good management" ~ Julie Wilson
“double down on the fundamentals of good management, including establishing clear goals, running great meetings, communicating clearly, and leveraging team members' individual and collective strengths.”
COLLABORATIVE WEB TOOLS FOR REMOTE WORKING
There are a number of team collaboration and communication tools which can assist with working remotely and these include Aircall, Dropbox, Skype, Workplace By Facebook, Float, Slack, Google Drive, Toggl, and of course the best thing to emerge from the pandemic situation, Zoom, which helped everyone worldwide to connect together in virtual office meetings. As a manager, making sure that you have equipped your employee with the correct online tools in order to work efficiently from home is of utmost importance. As Laurel Farrer, CEO of Distribute Consulting and the founder of the Remote Work Association, told Business Insider: "Many business leaders think that 'going remote' is as simple as sending a worker away from the office, equipped with a laptop and a to-do list."
Further stating, "Unfortunately, it's not that simple. In fact, when the correct policies and procedures are not created to support off-site employees, terrible consequences are likely to occur."
MANAGING YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR EMPLOYEES
Managing a team remotely requires great dedication and skill. Managers must also note that a typical workday no longer exists because nothing about our lives during COVID-19 is as it was before!
We all have to deal with trying to focus on the task at hand in an otherwise quiet home that’s now bustling with office activity. Sharing an office room with your spouse who is also working from home, or homeschooling your child while on lunch break. The solution is to plan ahead and micromanage your daily activities while creating a dedicated workspace for connecting with your team. This ensures that you devote yourself to your urgent work requirements.
MANAGING YOUR TEAM ONLINE
Allocating an ideal workspace will help you connect with your employees or coworkers and begin to maximise productivity based on employee performance and not on the number of hours spent in the office! After you do this, everything starts falling into place and you start to realise the full benefits of working remotely with your online team while working together to achieve the organisation’s goals. Keep constant communication and always provide feedback. Regular feedback is critical to keeping your team motivated. Communication is always essential for leaders, especially when working remotely and clearly stating the company’s targets and goals. It is up to the leaders to keep these working connections strong even though individuals are not seeing each other face-to-face.
GET A HEADSTART: “LEADING TEAMS REMOTELY” FROM TOOJAYS
Against the backdrop of managing a team remotely, our simple online course, “Leading Teams Remotely” is designed to guide you and bring out the best in your managerial abilities in a virtual environment.
This short online course will give an insight into the 7 key skills of leading remote teams effectively. Supported with downloadable materials and guides this practical tutorial helps all managers engage, motivate and lead remote teams and individuals.
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Learn the best tips on how to manage your team online and achieve your company’s targets in 2021!