Congratulations on the new hustle! You’ve decided to own or work on the management team of a new startup. If your product or service becomes a success, you might not need any of your side hustles anymore.
One of the biggest things you’ll want to focus on is how to manage a team remotely. This benefits both parties because it allows your employee to enjoy the freedom of working from home, which is in high demand after the pandemic.
It also means that you don’t have to spend a bunch of money on office space for all of your employees right away, meaning that you can spend more of your time and money focused on your product or service.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of the best practices for managing a remote team. Specifically, we’ll look at a few things that are less obvious and haven’t already been covered elsewhere.
Create a Routine
One of the first steps for both you and your employees is to establish a routine, which can have as many steps as are necessary to make sure enough work is getting accomplished every day.
An employee who is hard-working and motivated will need less supervision than one who might be struggling. For top employees, the routine could be as simple as having them send you an email at the start of their day, outlining what they hope to accomplish that day.
Then, around closing time, the employee emails you again to turn in any work they completed that day and let you know how successful they were in accomplishing those goals.
If those goals aren’t met, you may have to start checking in with that particular remote worker during the workday or possibly re-evaluate their goals, as they may be trying to do too much.
Remember the Human
An often-overlooked part of remote employee management is making sure that you “remember the human” during the course of interaction. There are two parts to this, the first of which is that when an employee makes a mistake, you should keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes and the odds are that it can be fixed. While explaining their mistake to them, try to treat them the way you’d want to be treated if you were in their shoes.
Secondly, when setting up routines, communication deadlines, and other things of that nature, they should be tailored to that individual employee. For example, if you know that one of your younger tech guys hates phone calls
Management of employees, remote or in-office, often involves establishing a connection and a good rapport between the two of you. That’s not to say you must become their best friend or go to their dog’s birthday party but understanding how the employee thinks and operates will help you keep them happy and productive.
Establishing trust is perhaps the most important part of managing a team that works from home. This goes both ways, too. If you can’t trust them to get their job done on time and if they can’t trust you to treat them properly and follow through on your promises, neither of you will be very happy and their time at the company is likely to be short.
One of the most popular ways to achieve this is by using software aimed at tracking remote workers, which will give you a much better insight into how they’re spending their day. An unproductive employee might be spending too much time browsing social media during company time, for example.
On the other end of the spectrum, your employees must also trust you. If you make a promise to them, you must do everything in your power to keep that promise or to make it up to them afterward if it proves to be unobtainable. Keeping them happy is the key to keeping them motivated and motivation is the key to success for every business.
A survey conducted last year says that 41% of remote workers never want to return to working from the office. As most of these employees would rather quit than do so, remote teams won’t be going away anytime soon and your startup will want to do everything you can to manage them effectively.