Teams are being hired and managed remotely, but organizations everywhere don’t quite seem to have got used to the new setup. It is time for organizations to get their act together and avoid making mistakes while hiring and managing a team of people working from remote locations.

Here are 8 mistakes that organizations must steer clear of while managing remote teams:

1. Not Checking on Your Team

Since you are managing a team remotely and not interacting with or meeting each member on an everyday basis, it can very well become a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. In a remote work environment, forgetting names and resources is a distinct possibility.  

Staying connected with your team regularly to keep a check over proceedings is advisable. Even those working independently need a supervisor to ensure that deadlines for all assignments are met. Drop in regularly for a ‘Hello’. Keep scheduling formal meetings on set dates and time slots.

2. Being Obsessed With Micromanagement

This is one of the biggest remote team management mistakes made. You do not have to micromanage each individual working for you. When you hire a remote employee, the last thing you have to do is hound that person. Constantly checking for updates only causes more frustration for everyone.

As long as your workers are self-reliant, maintain communication with you and seldom create issues, you should not be tracking them so frequently. Remember that we all need our space. Your remote workers are no different. Do not get on their nerves by pestering them about work all the time.

3. Ignoring Time Zones

Just because 4PM works for you does not mean it works for someone else. Managing remote teams has its pros and cons. While you get to hire talent from anywhere across the globe, the downside is that you have to be mindful of time zones.

Although you might still be working, someone working remotely for you in a different time zone might be asleep. Schedule meetings accordingly so that you and your remote employee are both available to connect at a time convenient for both of you.

4. A Lack of Team Camarderie

Managing remote teams means building team camaraderie. Remote employees can often feel isolated if they’re not kept up to date.

This is categorically applicable for those among them who are introverts. You, being the leader, must make them feel at home by initiating conversations that help break the ice.

Perhaps the best way to do so is by celebrating birthdays, work anniversaries, and major milestones. It so happens that these lighter moments shared at work eventually become the reason behind some strong team bonding that keeps both you and your remote workers in touch over long periods.

5. Unnecessary Email

Excessive email communication must be avoided. Start using voice or video chats to communicate if it’s urgent. Sensing the tone and emotional state people are in during chats will remind you that your remote workers are humans too. While email interactions are usually fine, calls are sometimes better.

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Too many emails breed a sense of disconnect. And a flurry of them may cause your remote worker to start losing interest in work and can become disorganized. Emails being shot to-and-fro may also result in boredom or a kind of disillusionment from what you are doing. You must take time out to talk to these individuals if you are to maintain a strong connection with them.

6. Not Practicing What You Preach

At the end of the day, somebody is working remotely for you. You must realize that. You clock in at 9AM and clock out at 5PM. Your remote staffers too will follow that schedule, defeating the whole purpose behind remote working.

They must enjoy the freedom that comes with working remotely, which is to finish the task at hand and clocking in the requisite number of hours, even if it happens to be a bit later than usual.

They must enjoy flexibility in their schedules to enjoy a healthy work-life balance. So you’re at a remote staffing company, you must conduct yourself accordingly and give your remote worker that liberty.

Related Article: How to Create a Positive Culture in Multi-Territory Businesses

7. A Lack of Personal Connection

Conversations shouldn’t always be about work and deadlines. While people may not always be open and willing to discuss life outside the office, it is not a bad idea to try to find out whether all is well with them personally. Employees always want to be liked by their bosses.

Find out something about their interests and passions. Perhaps you might find something common in there. Your workers will feel looked after and won’t feel as if office life is all about work, deadlines, and client calls. So such gestures of concern keep their interest alive. Each time you hire a remote employee, you must make sure you connect with them once all work-related obligations are dealt with.

8. Not Keeping the Team Up to Date

When you run a company, events unfold all of a sudden. This includes employees who have been hired recently, some corporate acquisitions that have been made, results that were achieved in the second quarter, and so forth.

The catch here is that you have remote workers working for you from all over the world and they must be updated about these developments. Not doing so might make them feel disconnected with the organization, even inconsequential to its growth.

This may lead to attrition. When you have people working for you remotely, it makes sense to keep them informed so they’re aware of how everything is running.

What Mistakes Must Remote Team Leaders Avoid?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Shaunvir Singh Mahil
Shaun is the Director of Virtual Employee Private Limited, remote staffing & tech MNC, and is responsible for leading a team of more than 1200 experts from domains like IT, Content Creation, Digital Marketing, Designing. A law graduate from Brunel University, Shaun has been instrumental in creating a business model that is increasingly being seen by industry peers as a model for new organizations in the tech outsourcing domain.
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