In 2020, even teams who have never worked remotely are starting to embrace a distanced mode of operation.

However, remote work comes with its unique set of challenges, and if you’ve never embraced them before, you might find yourself struggling more than you expected.

We’re here to help you out, so let’s look at seven ways to manage your remote teams better.

1. Make sure they have what they need

Working from home (or even from a coffee shop or a park) is very different from working in an office, especially in terms of the equipment you may or may not have.

To ensure your teams do their best work, make sure all of them have the tools they need to perform: computers, fast internet, and all the software and other essentials they might require.

2. Communicate every day

Feeling isolated is acommon side effect of working from home, so make sure you try to mimic that community feel when working remotely.

Dedicate some time each week or each day to staying in touch (depending on the size of your team). Have team calls as well as one-on-one calls and encourage smaller groups and individuals to communicate with each other often. You can use automated calendar scheduling apps like Woven or Calendly to easily coordinate with your team if they are in different time zones.

Make sure your emotions and intentions are clear as well, by using gifs and emoticons in your chats. You might think this seems a bit unprofessional, but it will actuallymake communication much easier and more pleasant.

3. Trust is more important than ever

Trusting someone will get their work done while working in an office is one thing, trusting they will do the same remotely is quite another.

Instead of obsessing over who is working what hours and if they are working at all, try to hold on to the trust and believe everyone will get everything done on time. Don’t question your employees about their working hours or productivity, and don’t impose rigorous time and task tracking on them.

4. Measure outcomes instead of processes

While processes are incredibly important, when working remotely, it’s more about the outcome.

Let your remote employees work in their own time and on their own terms. You can, of course, set some office hours when everyone is expected to be in and available in order to facilitate better communication. But in general, let everyone figure out how they work best.

Focus on the results of someone’s work, and not how many hours they needed to get there.

5. Emphasize the importance of work-life balance

Talk to your employees about the importance of rest and relaxation as opposed to working flat out. Teach them how beneficial it is to unplug from work and pursue their hobbies. That way, they won’t fall into the trap of working extra-long hours, thinking this is what is expected of them.

Discuss topics like how the way we wake up affects our day or the harmfulness of blue light before bedtime, and talk about different positive habits that promote restful sleep.

6. Be perfectly clear

Since you’re not in the same room, effectively communicating your messages becomes even more important. Write down the main points of what you want to convey before you jump on a call, and make sure you say them as you’ve written them down, clearly and without improvisation.

You need to leave no room for misunderstandings. You can even write down the critical points of a meeting and circulate them via email or store them on the cloud, so everyone can reference them when necessary.

7. Offer praise

Remote employees can often feel a bit left out and like no one sees all of their hard work. You can easily remedy this if youoffer praise where it’s due, both to the individual doing a good job, and more officially by praising them in front of the entire team.

Try to offer more positive encouragement and praise than usual when working with remote staff, as this can have an incredibly beneficial impact on their performance.

Final thoughts

Managing remote teams can be quite the challenge, and you’re likely to make some mistakes along the way. But that’s all part of the process. Stick to the advice we’ve outlined, and you should have no trouble coaching your team to the top and ensuring everyone performs their best.