Lead Your Team Remotely – 5 Most Challenges And 3 Hacks That You Can Implement Today
24 April, 2020
A few weeks since the lockdown and most of the work has moved to virtual workspaces in their respective homes. It is the time that you, as a leader of your team(s), take a step back and assess what has been working for your team m and what is not.
If the move into virtual working was sudden, there is bound to have been more chaos. Many companies might have had a manual for this transition. Either way, during this transition, your team would have faced challenges.
- Supervision – Over the few weeks, if you have felt the urge to motivate your team towards the deadline but might be unable to as much as you might have back in your office.
- Data - Team have different skillset distributed among many players. This leads to time-delays to get a task done. While others can also feel left-out in this process
- Co-worker’s Emotions – In virtual workspaces, there is not much of chance to understand mindsets of the team. Working virtually often leads misunderstanding. Each employee needs to state their temperament and moods. These can lead to a lot of fall-outs – be it that not so cheery greetings to an abrupt e-mail.
- Social Needs – Your team might be feeling the heat of missing the social interactions that they had at the office. Your employees can feel annihilated. They might feel overwhelmed with no personal space. Some might feel they are not in touch with their managers, or team leads as much as they would have in-person, and this could compound when if they receive information later than others etc.
- Distractions – A major challenges that you might have faced is the distractions your employees face working virtually. Your employees might be caregivers (kids/pets). These distractions can affect their focus and bring down productivity.
We have listed some common challenges that leaders face across the world. These challenges can change depending on your industry and set-up. With the threat of pandemic that is going around, the uncertainty would naturally put more strain on the minds of your employees. It is good to remember and emphasis on the mental wellness of your employees. With this awareness, here are some tips that you can employ with your team to effectively manage the virtual workspace.
- Curated Team Meetings – this would change depending on how your team works. If your team works more collectively, then an all-hands team meeting regularly would be helpful. If not, having separate team meetings set up daily at predictable timing is a necessity. Check-in with your team with team members individually on three things – the past (what they have done so far?) the present (what they intend on completing today?) and the hiccup (where they would need support to get it done?)
- Social meetings – encourage virtual after work sessions where the teammates and other teams meet regularly to unwind. These meetings can be over drinks at respective homes, over a tea or perhaps even a surprise gift that you had sent around.
- Set goals – this happens in offline work, so what is different now? These goals are more specific towards what the employees can achieve now. Keep them bound to their overall goals, thereby encouraging your employees to take the call on how the wan to sot their work, let them decide the hard deadlines and soft deadlines. Giving them the autonomy of making this call also shifts the responsibility on them – ensuring better results.
As the world looks at uncertainty, this is the time, when all managers need to step up and show their leadership skills. A few pointers to being that memorable leader would include being empathetic and kind. At the same time, it doesn’t mean let of your official duties. Instead of negative reinforcement, trying checking in on your employees often to understand where they have an issue, trying building rapport and be supportive as much as you can with them. Your genuine care can be transformational. You would grow to become a memorable leader for your employees, and they would give you their best work too.