Business manager

How to Become a Remote Business Manager

I have been a remote manager for six years. It wasn’t easy at first, especially when almost all of my colleagues shared an office. The fun of working from home or at my favorite café started to fade after about three months. I began to miss the company of the office and sometimes felt excluded from cultural events, meetings and general on-site cooperation.

I was on the executive committee of a previous company and had to videoconference for 8-10 hour sessions on occasion, but the payslip generator did not show outstanding pay for my services. It was exhausting work; I felt like I was giving 110% of the conversation and only getting 30% back. However, I was determined to make the effort. To pursue my dreams, I decided to treat remote work as an experiment in which I would test, iterate, test, and test until I found what worked. As a remote manager, here are my top ten suggestions for effective staffing.

  • Establish a regular communication cadence.

Allow your team to connect with each other by starting each day with a quick stand-up. Allow them to text or Slack updates to the team or to you if they can’t attend, and offer to speak for them. Second, schedule regular team meetings. Depending on the situation, change the frequency. Always prepare a schedule in advance and stick to it. Schedule time for one-on-one meetings with direct reports, third. Include two-way communication so you get the information you need from them and they get the information they need from you

  • Make sure you have the right technology and tools to communicate effectively and often.

Don’t rely exclusively on email with all the apps and choices of smartphones available. If you decide to bring a new app or communication channel into the mix, make sure your employees are familiar with it. I once overheard a boss say to one of her employees, “If it’s not urgent, send me an e-mail. If you need me to respond in a few hours, text me. If you need me to pick you up right away, call me. Consider the big picture: what technologies and communication channels can you use for general chat, document collaboration, and project management? Have a direct routing implementation system in place can give your team more control and flexibility over their communication needs.

  • When possible, use video calls.

Face-to-face time deals with much more context. Although not a perfect alternative to face-to-face communication, videoconferencing allows you to observe the emotions, facial expressions and eccentricities of your colleagues. Videoconferencing allowed me to forget that I was hundreds of miles away from my colleagues and gave me many opportunities to bond.

  • Clearly explain the rules, expectations or standards.

One of the attractions of working from home is that you can finish that last load of laundry while busy on the phone. However, be sure to express any regulations or conventions and set a good example for your staff. Change your online presence to “going out for a meeting or excursion” and give your employees other ways to reach you if you need to leave for a meeting or an errand.

  • Consider other people’s time and circumstances.

There’s nothing like staring at a computer screen 10 minutes into a meeting or being muted when you wanted to say anything because of an echo. Consider remote situations from others and make sure things like punctuality, strong Wi-Fi, and reliable communication tools are in place.

Many remote employees operate in many time zones and have varying responsibilities. In some situations, team meetings must take place at night and all stakeholders must attend. When a group of employees are having dinner at home with families, rather than scheduling them for 6:30 p.m., offer to cook them earlier or later.

  • Improve communication on KPIs and monitoring of objectives.

Send weekly reports to all contributing workers. Use your instant messaging system to contact your colleagues on a daily basis. Alternatively, when a goal is achieved, send a celebratory text message. Allowing your staff to veer off course because you don’t remind them of what they and the team are committed to is a recipe for disaster. Allowing your staff to veer off course because you don’t remind them of what they and the team are striving for is a recipe for disaster.

  • Be deliberate in establishing a culture.

Share with your team which actions are rewarded and which are penalized, in addition to the obvious. Show them the attitude you’d like them to have, and then be consistent with it.

  • Pay attention to the staff.

On someone’s birthday, send them a humorous gift. If they’re celebrating a special occasion, send an e-card or e-gift card. Ask about their day or what they did over the weekend. Send soup to them if they are not feeling well. It’s the little things people remember and talk about the most.

  • Make authentic eye contact.

If you’re a remote manager with staff in an office, try to see them as often as possible, maybe once a month, once a quarter, as much as you can. Spend time with them after you arrive. Take them out to lunch, strike up a conversation, or set aside time to collaborate.

  • Make resources available.

Without proper training and resources, no great military leader would take his soldiers to war. While that’s not entirely true, remote teams now need new computers, improved Wi-Fi, and new technology like headphones and cameras. A good manager will make every effort to organize these resources as well as possible.

  • Look for collaboration opportunities

Finding opportunities for cooperation as a manager is one approach to encouraging employees to get to know each other and feel less socially isolated. Determine strategies for remote employees to complete tasks in small groups rather than one person working on a project alone.

  • Do activities that will help your team bond.

Virtual team building activities can be done the same way as virtual meetings, virtual fairs can hang out with your remote staff. Include the whole group in the brainstorming process. This will bring creativity into the business.

Work at home can be as enjoyable as you want it to be for you and your colleagues. These factors will give you an advantage in the game. Above all else, maintain consistency. Humans, especially in the workplace, are creatures of comfort and confidence; they want to know what to expect and what is expected of them. Finally, have a good time with it. Your cheerful attitude will shine through, making everyone’s experience more enjoyable.