Managing a remote team over the summer
Summertime is here once again and like you, we’re all in the mood for pool dips, ice cream, and barbeques. But as the saying goes, “the show must go on,” which means taking care of work responsibilities.
Last year, the New York Times reported that 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. But regardless of whether they’re onsite or remote, employees still require management. This means team managers must rise to the challenge of providing extra due diligence during one of the year’s most “relaxed” seasons.
To help these remote team managers, we’ve provided a few tips that can assist in keeping their teams on a productive pace during the summer.
Initiate Summer Hours
If you have team members firing up their laptops before sunrise or others who do their best work when everyone shuts down for the day, then it may be time to rethink your typical nine-to-five schedule for the summer months.
Remote team members are already adept at working from different environments, so it would not be a huge change for anyone who wants to work a different schedule to adapt. And the summer months are a great time for remote managers to check in with their teams and see if a non-traditional schedule could increase productivity.
Keep lines of communication open
Between kid camps and family vacations, seasonal summer distractions have the potential to take over, making it a challenge to keep up with remote team members. The best way to prevent this? Talk with your team often.
One-on-one meetings, a local meet-up with team members in the area, a scheduled phone call, or even a daily text message: Any and all of these approaches are useful to keeping lines of communication open. Remote team managers should apply best practices for their team’s particular needs.
Set expectations and an example
“Manager” is more than a title. It means your teams rely on you for guidance and setting expectations for the work they produce. And while these tenets apply year-round, considering some of the summer distractions mentioned earlier, it’s even more critical for remote team managers to set the summer tone.
Start by clearly defining expectations, goals, and any specific summer objectives, like seasonal or themed projects. If there are work targets or metrics you expect your team to meet, identify and outline those as well as target completion dates. One of the best ways to show teams what you expect from them is to share the expectations and goals you have for yourself as well.
And speaking of communication….
Rely on remote meeting tools
Whether your teams are in different buildings scattered throughout the city, or in different countries around the world, today’s remote video conferencing tools and technology can make everyone feel as if they were in the same room.
When choosing the right remote meeting tool for you, it’s essential to consider security, accessibility, and the intuitive features that allow teams to connect and work in a way that’s best for them—without tech headaches. Remote managers should also look for options that allow work to continue after meetings end, especially as team members embarking on summer adventures inevitably find themselves needing guidance.
Webex empowers you to meet, create, and communicate—all while using one seamless platform. Try Cisco Webex free offer and discover how we can help remote teams meet better together throughout the year.
Jun 12, 2020 — Cole Callahan, Webex Community Manager
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