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Work from home models have been implemented at companies across the world in response to COVID-19.  As a result, managers have found themselves suddenly leading completely remote teams overnight. The good news is working from home isn't a new concept. There are plenty of tools and established best practices available to guide you.

Below are best practices to consider!

Set Clear Expectations
What is the work you want your employees to spend their time on? What are the priorities, deadlines, and standards for quality? To prevent confusion, leadership should provide expectations so each employee can align their goals with the company’s mission. Schedule weekly team meetings and one on one’s to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Track Productivity
When it comes to managing remote teams, time tracking and monitoring are essential. It helps managers to identify how each project is being completed. Use a productivity tracking software tool that will display your metrics in real-time and is easy to share with your team. Some believe that tracking can decrease employee’s morale, as they feel they aren’t trusted.  So consider analyzing your team and their work styles, and then introduce tracking or other methods of monitoring performance and productivity as needed.

Staying Connected
Remote team members need tools to help them stay on the same page regardless of their distance from one another. Investing in shared communication and collaboration tools can reduce the risk of forgetting crucial tasks or prevent files from disappearing! Software like Asana, Slack, and Mural can help with project planning, instant communication, and brainstorming workflow.

Sprinkle In Some Fun
For some, co-workers have turned into friends, “work family”, or simply someone to discuss their favorite show. While working remotely it's important for managers to facilitate ways to keep the gang together! When scheduling your week, build in time for fun to reduce the potential loneliness of remote work.  Some of our favorite virtual activities are meditation & breathing classes, cocktail hours, and themed weekly town hall meetings! Promote self-care strategies like outside breaks, staying hydrated, and scheduling calls just to connect with others.

Be Flexible
It is an important aspect to include flexibility in working hours to manage remote teams. This is especially important when dealing with a pandemic like COVID-19. Schedules, illness, and resource limitations can disrupt your team’s ability to complete their duties for reasons beyond their control. Your employees will appreciate and remember you for being empathetic and trusting as they deal with new stressors.

By taking the time to understand the challenges that come with remote management, you can more easily and effectively create and manage a winning team. Read our eBook, 6 Best Practices for Hiring Remote Workers for tips on hiring!

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