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Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Teams

By Isny Dewi R

30 March 2020

Tips so you can still manage teamwork even if you have to work from home.

The Coronavirus or Covid-19 global pandemic forced millions of employees around the world, including in Indonesia to work from home. Many companies from private to ministries implement this policy.

However, there may be some of you who find it difficult to work in team when you have to work from home, because everything is done without face to face. But you don't need to worry! Reported from, there are some tips so you can still manage teamwork even if you have to work from home.

1. Have a Daily Check-In
Whenever possible, this should be one-on-one, and face-to-face via video. Phone conversations, email, and chat room for your whole company go only so far. Your team needs to see you, and you need to see them. The good news is that services like Zoom or Google Hangouts make this relatively easy. At first, this should be every day. The purpose is simple--set the agenda and provide the feedback and resources your team members need.

2. Communicate a Lot
It probably goes without saying that you should be in regular communication with your team. One of the hardest things about working from home, especially if you're used to an office environment, is the sense of loneliness and isolation that can set in. That's especially true considering that many people are practicing social distancing.

3. Take Advantage of Technology
As a manager, your job is to keep your team connected. Communication tools are a simple way to keep everyone engaged. While email and text messages might be a short-term solution, tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams are far better suited for collaboration and communication. Some of those collaboration tools are even available for free right now.

4. Manage Expectations
Help your team figure out what they should do, and create realistic expectations for their work. By the way, "managing expectations" applies to you as a manager as well. Set yourself and your team up for success by clearly stating both the tasks and the reasons behind them, and help your team understand exactly how you will measure success.

That means defining the scope, deadlines, and deliverables for each task or project your team is working on. Otherwise, don't be surprised if a few weeks from now you find yourself wondering what everyone was doing.

5. Focus on Outcomes, Not Activity
It's not possible to manage every aspect of the work done by a remote team. For what it's worth, you shouldn't be trying to manage every aspect of any team's work, but especially when your team is distributed across different locations. Instead of focusing on activity or hours worked, focus on the outcomes and measure your team accordingly.

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