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The remote NOT working fear
Monitor or not monitor your remote team? Tough topic, right? In the case you decide to monitor, there is plenty of softwares for that. However I believe that mutual trust is one of the key successes to remote team management. Here are some tips on how you
The advantages of remote work are often discussed, but very little about the cons.
One of the hottest issues about remote working is the monitoring of remote workers. This Saturday, I want to share some tips on preventing the manager's "remote NOT working fear".
First: let’s admit that some people don’t fit into a remote work setting.
Valuable tools and processes alone will not help if your teammates don’t fit the remote environment. Someone could be doing well in the office but might lack the essential traits to work remotely. The minimum requirements to be an effective remote worker are self-discipline and proactiveness.
As a manager, instead, we can group the most common concerns about remote working monitoring in 3 chunks:
1. Not getting a rapid response
Realistically speaking, you should work on getting more used to this. People don't always reply right away. It's just a fact of having remote employees and async communication. Sometimes, stepping away for a few minutes or even closing slack/skype/whatever on your primary device can help you focus better.
2. The suspicion that a teammate that you don't see online is not working
As long as you are not negatively affected by an evident lack of accountability to work, you shouldn't assume that teammates are slacking off whenever they are offline.
3. The frustration of being blocked by other colleagues
If you can't get work done because he's not responding, you need to plan more in advance.
I'd recommend setting up a recurring meeting with him where you have a designated time to discuss questions, issues, and next steps.
Maybe even do it daily, at first.
After each meeting, you should have enough work to do that you won't hit a complete stop even if you're blocked on 1 or 2 fronts. And when you get blocked on some things, you won't feel as pressured to have him reply immediately since you know you already have time to discuss.
Building a productive remote team is a never-ending process. In the case you have some issue or a lack of trust with a colleague, take these actions:
Talk to the person directly.
Your goal is for this team member to contribute to the team’s work. If you can solve the problem by speaking with the individual now, you’ve saved the whole team a lot of time and energy.
See what you can do to help your teammate.
Since it’s your problem, no matter whose fault it is, you share some responsibility for helping your team member perform to the best of their ability. Ask yourself what you can do on your side to improve the situation. Some examples:
Use a clear format for all email communication
follow up on a regular schedule
providing transparent and honest feedback.
Establish clear expectations.
Do your part to ensure that your entire team understands what “fair share” means. If this means initiating a group-wide discussion on setting and meeting expectations, then do it. Always remember that it can be challenging to do all this naturally, non-confrontational way when you work online.