Facts are facts: post-pandemic remote work is here to stay.
It’s a trend that will continue to impact our businesses, our employees and ourselves for years to come—whether we like it or not.
But while most companies have been able to adapt their practices to accommodate remote teams, there’s still a lot of confusion about how best to get work done when you don’t all sit in the same room together.
I have some ideas on what makes a great remote manager, well—great.
Studies Have Shown …
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, plenty of organizations found themselves ill-prepared to work from home practically overnight. How challenging was it? Early in the pandemic, a Harvard survey found that 40 percent of leaders mentioned struggling to manage remote employees and/or keep their remote team members engaged.
Through trial and error, adept managers found ways to keep their teams informed, inspired, and invigorated as the realities of working remotely set in.
Three years later, managers are still coming up with creative ways to choreograph teams that simultaneously work at home, at the office, and in different time zones.
Here are a few things that set great remote managers apart from their counterparts—and it all starts with support and positive communication and coaching.
Giving Support If Or When Support Is Needed
1. Give Your Team the Space They Need
The key to good management? Avoid scrutinizing your team every second of every minute of the day. Remember, savviness and motivation don’t punch a clock.
2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Who cares if an employee’s home office is a bit cluttered or haphazard? Nobody’s house is perfect—and good managers can overlook the work vs. office aesthetic dynamics. (I may or may not have three coffee cups currently in front of me.)
3. Great managers don’t fear the phone.
Forget texting. Forget IM’ing. If you need an answer, update, or status report, great managers know it’s okay to call. And, on the flip side, they know employees are welcome to do the same.
4. They gave up micromanaging years ago because it can create stress and resentment.
Instead, great managers hire the right people for the right roles. They use micro-understanding to delve into remote problem-solving and workflow issues. Micro-understanding requires trust and delegation, but it keeps workers from stumbling. Being flexible is key, but so is nipping challenges in the bud early. Even remotely, any problem will reveal itself effectively and efficiently.
5. Leaders make regular points of connection so that they can support their employees.
Most employees find an open door policy encouraging. Great leaders also encourage open dialogue and honest conversations—and will make it a point to touch base with team members accordingly.
More than anything, being a remote leader tests you as a leader in all the right ways—it forces you to open lines of communication and it requires you to ensure people feel connected in your team.
As you’re considering how you can become a skilled remote manager, keep these four things in mind as a leader.
If you have questions or want to know the best way to create an enabling work environment and support your staff, send me a message or reach out to the team at CelerityCoaching.com.