When Covid-19 hit the shores of the United States in full force back in March, much of the way we went about our daily lives drastically changed. Most of our favorite stores and restaurants shut down, and we were told to stay home except for essential tasks such as grocery shopping. Many people lost their jobs, but those who were lucky enough got to begin working from home. Working from home is a big adjustment, for both employees and their leaders. Managers, bosses, and most people in power who have begun working from home are now faced with a rather large task – leading their teams remotely. While it’s entirely possible to lead a remote team, it’s got a few differences from leading an in-person team and comes with its own unique issues. Read on for a few tips to help you lead your team remotely.
Have Frequent Check-Ins
When leading your team remotely, one of the most important things you can do is connect with your team frequently. Since you don’t get the same amount of face time you would get back in the office, it’s important you see how your team is doing, both on a team and individual level. Some managers will have daily team meetings that last around 15 minutes at the most just to see how everyone is doing that day and if they have any questions. Other managers will schedule frequent one on one meetings where they can get down to the nitty-gritty with each team member and make sure that everyone has what they need and that they’re doing okay.
While you can’t physically be with your team, it’s important that you’re present consciously. Be aware of the way this work from home situation may be affecting each of your team members and be there for them when they need your support. Some people have children at home with them and for others, the lack of socialization may be affecting their performance. Be sure to let your team know that you are here and that if they need something to not hesitate in reaching out. While everyone may be busy, setting time aside to make sure your team is in top-notch shape will help them be productive and successful in the long run.
One of the more difficult aspects of leading from home is that you don’t have any surefire way to make sure your team is getting their work done. Some managers will feel the need to micromanage and make sure everything is being done, but this can actually be damaging and make your employees feel pressured. In the end, your best bet is to let your team do their thing, and trust them to get their work done. This will help you build trust between yourself and your team. You can use remote project management tools to help you keep track of their work without getting in their face about it.