Since the remote work system has been introduced, it’s becoming more and more common in a growing number of companies all over the world. Thus, as such, it presents a set of challenges, especially for managers. Managing remote workers is not the same as managing someone who is in the same office as you day in and day out. Let’s have a look at the list of most common mistakes that remote team leaders are making.
Hiring inappropriate people
Once you’ve decided to give the remote team a try, remember you should hire staff consisting of people that can really make it to work remotely. Obviously the best choice would be to hire someone who have already worked in this way. Some people simply cannot imagine working outside the office. Such people are definitely not suitable for your team. You should also consider ones that used to be freelancers or run their own projects.
Focusing on talent, not culture fit
Just like it is with hiring anyone else, you should always pay attention how the potential employee will fot your company culture. No matter how skilled and talented one could be, it never make any sense to keep someone who might be troublesome in any way.
Lack of team spirit
People working outside the standard office system, are not a part of all the usual chit-chats, office pranks and lunchtime conversations. They may feel like not being a part of the team, at least not that important part as the ones present in the office everyday. Make sure to share as much informalilities with them as possible. You can even so some harmless jokes to them. This would make them feel noticed and accepted.
When you want to see what your team is doing you just need to move your head or take a walk through the office. And when you want to see what your remote team is working on you need to call or email them. And it’s okay to check on them occasionally (once, twice a day). But, don’t be too pushy and too bossy. Have faith that they will do the job. That’s boosting team’s morale. Being the annoying micromanager who sticks his nose everywhere, can only do harm to your image as a manager and cause the team’s breakdown.
No one-on-one time
Nothing is a better appreciation of your work than a face-to-face conversations with team leader. Take some time to speak in person with all team members. Choose a day in a week and ask them all individually how they are doing, let them know on the latest news from the office, and encourage them to ask questions. You will be surprised how pleasant and useful it can be.
No opportunities for personal growth
Remote workers want to attend conferences and seminars, and to perfect their skills as well. So, don’t miss them when planning something like that. One of the major issues with people who are not in the office all the time is neglecting their desire for further development. Personal growth is an excellent subject that you can discuss during one-on-one conversations with your remote team members. It will help you remember them when a new conference is scheduled.
Mistakes mentioned above are only a drop in the ocean of problems remote team managers face everyday. If you feel like adding something to the list, share your suggestions in comments!