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How do I best manage remote teams?

Remote work. It’s not just a trend anymore; it’s the new normal. And while it comes with some fantastic perks (working in your pyjamas, anyone?), it also brings a unique set of challenges. So, how do we navigate this brave new world? Let’s dive in.

Trust: The Invisible Glue of Remote Teams

Trust – it’s the invisible glue that holds our teams together. And when we’re not sharing the same physical space, it becomes even more important. A study by Breuer et al. (2020) broke it down into three types: ability trust (believing in your team’s skills), integrity trust (knowing they’re reliable), and benevolence trust (feeling that they genuinely care about each other).

So, how do we build this trust? It starts with clear communication, being reliable, and showing empathy. And don’t forget about team-building activities – they’re not just for in-person teams. A virtual happy hour or a fun online game can do wonders for team morale.

Remember, as a leader, you need to be approachable and open. Keep in touch with your team, give constructive feedback, and be transparent about your decisions. And above all, show empathy – remote work can be isolating, and a little understanding goes a long way.

Communication: The Lifeline of Remote Teams

When it comes to remote teams, communication isn’t just important – it’s our lifeline. And it’s not just about what tools you use, but how you use them. Whether it’s a quick chat on Slack, a Zoom meeting, or tracking progress on Trello, make sure it works for your team.

Set clear guidelines for communication. When should team members respond? What channels should they use for different conversations? How should they behave in video calls? And remember, in a remote setting, it’s better to overcommunicate than undercommunicate.

Performance Management: Keeping the Remote Engine Running

Performance management can be a tricky beast in a remote setting. But fear not, it’s all about setting clear expectations and focusing on output, not hours. Develop measurable KPIs, provide regular feedback, and don’t forget to recognise and reward good performance. And remember, investing in your team’s development isn’t just good for them – it’s good for business.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re hungry for more insights, here are three top-notch books on the subject:

“Remote: Office Not Required” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson: A practical guide to doing great work from anywhere – coffee shop, kitchen table, you name it.

“The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work” by Scott Berkun: An insider’s look at remote work at, with lessons on fostering creativity and productivity.

“Work Together Anywhere: A Handbook on Working Remotely—Successfully—for Individuals, Teams, and Managers” by Lisette Sutherland and Kirsten Janene-Nelson: A treasure trove of practical tips and tools for seamless remote collaboration.

So there you have it, folks. Managing remote teams can be a challenge, but with the right approach, it can lead to increased productivity, flexibility, and job satisfaction. So, let’s embrace the challenge and lead our remote teams to success. After all, we’re all in this together.

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