The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 pandemic has made social gatherings and on-site working in offices unachievable. It has also forced businesses to embrace working from home hence the need for an operation head to manage remote team members.

Though the future of remote work is here, we may be unprepared for it. Since 2005, remote work has grown by 140% and it’s estimated that 78% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028.

Read also: Remote Work: Has the future of work met us unprepared?

While there’s a lot of remote and virtual tools that aid remote working, there are many other non-tangible elements to effectively manage your remote team and skyrocket productivity for the organisation.

Communication is of utmost importance, never forget that 


All human endeavours are dependent on communication. Through communication you build rapport and give instructions on what is expected of each member of your team.

It is advised that when communicating with members of your team, you should be as lucid as possible, removing every form of doubt, ambiguity or assumptions. This is because they may not be physically present to clear grey arears with you and as such fully depend on the instructions you may have set out for them.

The clearer the communication and expectations on the team, the more prepared they are and the better their output would be for the team.

Leverage online technological tools


The advent of technology in today’s world has made all human endeavours easier and better. To manage remote team dispersed across the globe, managers have to count on tech applications that would make the work of managing his team easier.

Technological innovations like Wunderlist, Dropbox, Asana, Slack, Toggl and a host of others would allow you get your remote team on track, assist them to reach their top performance levels, and keep the company culture alive.

Sometimes, get together


Your remote team needs to bond and nothing provides an ample opportunity for the team to bond beyond physical contact.

Getting the team together at least once in six months or a year would allow them to build a strong rapport and a profitable working relationship for the organisation.

Also, members of the team will easily put a face to their colleagues and identity to work designations.  This provides a unique opportunity to have discussions around culture, vision, and the company or team’s future.

Be ready to provide help, always


Your team members may be having difficulty in understanding what is expected of them. They could be having unexpected problems in using work software or technology. It could also be that they are under the weather or even have issues related to a work project.

As a remote team manager, you may struggle to meet every of your remote team needs, you should be ready to provide necessary help to your team members whenever the need arises.

Trust your team


One major issue that could arise in managing a remote team is “trusting each team member to pull their weight” towards team projects.

Some organisations tend to think that their remote team may not get the job done to a satisfactory level in comparison to workers in an office who they can easily monitor their productivity and output.

As a remote team manager, you must trust each member of your team to efficiently carry out their assigned duties at every period in time.

You might set-up some guidelines to help your team members as this will help you build a level of confidence in them. Some of those guidelines may be emails that must be responded to within 24 hours or text for urgent matters etc.

Remember their careers

It is very easy to think that your remote team members are just freelancers or contractors who you have assembled to help you get a job done.

That is a trap every remote team manager must try to avoid because if you had employed them as a member of your team then they are more or less your employees and as such should be treated like one.

Like everyone else, remote team workers have goals, aspirations and hopes, take a personal interest in their career path. This will often help the team connect their interests to the goals of the company thereby making engagement and performance stay much higher.

Managing your remote team is not a cast in stone. It’s all dependent on how you choose to operate and working out options that best suit your team.

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An SEO Content Lead at smepeaks. I write about social media and internet culture. I have a keen interest in storytelling, creative writing, media and photography.