Working smarter: Managing a remote team
Managing a team is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences you can have at work. It’s widely known that employees often choose to stay with a company based on their experience with their direct manager. The way you form a team, share goals and work together through challenges creates a culture that out-lives deadlines. But what happens when a team takes on a new challenge – the experience of working together remotely?
Here’s our top tips on effectively managing a remote team:
Lead by example
If your team is new to remote work – they may have questions and nervously look to you to set the new cultural norms. “Is it ok if my team sees my home in my background? What if there’s unexpected interruptions like a dog barking?” As a leader, you set the tone for the transition.
- Sharing video is the new face to face. Seeing you on video regularly is reassuring and gives you the chance to use your full communication skills – your gestures, tone and message are better received when your team can see the full picture.
- When messaging, remember that your team can’t see your reactions. Give your team more context on the intent behind a message by choosing from thousands of Gifs in Webex Teams to express yourself.
- Share moments that matter. In the office, colleagues regularly spend time celebrating birthdays, family news and personal moments that matter. When remote – your role as leader is critical to maintaining the connections – by creating time in existing meetings to connect on non-work news or scheduling entire sessions to celebrate team news, like this virtual baby/bridal shower!
In an office environment, you interact with your team in–between your weekly scheduled meetings and 1:1’s – for example, when you arrive in the morning, get coffee or go to lunch. There’s no reason the water-cooler conversations need to stop when you’re working remotely.
- Let’s get social! In Webex Teams, create a space under your team for social interaction, like sharing family news, team member adventures or whatever becomes the topic of the day.
- During 1:1 team calls, make sure you and your team member both turn on video. Whether it’s a project update, milestone or a more difficult coaching session – seeing you face to face makes all the difference.
Remote control your project
Your team may be concerned about moving away from an in-person experience, where they could talk on the fly, share an idea on a whiteboard and access you for help whenever needed. However, In many ways, working virtually on a project provides many new ways of working for your team and much more accountability, and visibility in to work in progress for you.
- Kick off with a bang! During your project kick off meeting, leave time for open ideation – just like you would in an office. Leave space in the agenda for using a virtual whiteboard to brainstorm on ideas. anyone can contribute from their device and best of all – you can feel confident your ideas won’t be erased as they are saved and can be reopened whenever you need them.
- Create space to catch up. Bringing together content, with messages, links and real time meetings in a Webex Teams space is a project gamechanger. Even if you step away to deal with other priorities – you can check back into the project space at any time and catch up on the background conversations you missed – something that’s not even possible in a live office.
- Being available in one click is invaluable when working remotely. Even when you’re in a meeting – your team can still reach out to message you 1:1 and you can view it and reply when you have a moment. If they need to escalate – share your personal meeting room (PMR). For your team – Knowing you’re available on video on any device and can easily add others to the call will leave them confident they can rely on you, even when remote.
Working remotely doesn’t mean that your team should feel remote. Stay connected through celebrations, deadlines and watercooler conversations – on any device. Your leadership, support and use of Webex Meetings and Teams means your team can be set up for success from wherever they may be.
We’ve created a page with more guidance for end users and people managers on working remotely at cs.co/webexremotework
Sep 16, 2021 — Aruna Ravichandran