Eight top tips for managing teams remotely

Mon 05 Jun 2023

Angela Tracey-Brown

Product Manager - CMI

Remote working has become increasingly popular due to its many benefits, including flexibility, cost savings and convenience. 

Research shows that, in 2019, only 5% of the population worked from home. However, in 2022, 13% of the UK workforce worked from home. This significant increase in remote working demonstrates the growth of this sector and highlights the important demand for qualified managers who have the skills and knowledge to manage remote teams. 

However, many managers with remote teams can find it challenging as it requires different skills and techniques than managing an on-site team. Also, managers have had little time to catch up with the changes in how we work. 

It’s crucial to continue professional development and stay adaptable with the ever-evolving needs of your team. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips to help you manage your remote team and the importance of gaining a management and leadership qualification so you can manage a remote team effectively.

Create a positive work environment 

Remote working can cause a communication barrier, however, with many tools in place to overcome these barriers, you can ensure you communicate effectively with your team.

It’s vital you have regular check-ins with your team through Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or any other video conferencing software, to emulate face-to-face communication and communicate any important information.

To foster a positive working relationship with your team members, use this time to make social conversations about their hobbies, interests and activities outside of work, enabling you to build a positive working relationship.

Establish agreed ways of working 

To ensure the smooth running of operations, it’s crucial to ensure that all members of the team are on the same page and have agreed ways of working. This includes how often you will communicate, which tools you will use, where documents are saved and more. 

This will ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and eliminates any misunderstandings that can occur during remote working. 

Trust your team to fulfil their role

Managing a remote team means you don’t get to keep an eye on your team like you typically would in an office setting. This means that you have to rely on assessing their performance through results rather than micromanaging them. 

Our CMI Level 3 and Level 5 qualification in Management and Leadership discusses how to manage daily activities to achieve effective results from your team. 

This means setting clear goals and expectations, monitoring progress, and providing regular feedback. By giving your team members autonomy and focusing on results rather than process, you can empower them to be more productive, creative, and engaged.

Share any useful information and resources 

Some team members may come across useful articles or infographics that can be helpful for the team. Create a space where these can be shared digitally so all team members can have a look at any valuable resources.

This means that everyone is on the same page and carries the same knowledge, which is important for the team to work effectively. This can lead to new insights and innovative solutions to problems. 

Be clear with instructions and ask for clarification

When setting a task, it is important to be clear about the steps your team needs to take in order to complete the task successfully. When working remotely, the communication barrier can make team members hesitant to ask questions later, as they may feel they are being annoying. 

However, it is also important to reiterate the fact that you are available if someone wants more clarity. Take the time to speak to team members and answer any questions they may have to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

Make yourself available to your team

When managing a remote team, making yourself available is crucial for effective communication and collaboration in remote teams. Regular check-ins, using communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, setting expectations, being responsive, and fostering a culture of communication are some ways to achieve this. 

It's also a time to allow team members to communicate any help that they may need so you can work towards closing any skill gaps and getting them on track. Management courses like our CMI qualification in Management and Leadership always stress the importance of making time for your team. 

By being available, managers can build trust, encourage collaboration, and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.

Celebrate your team's successes 

As a team member working remotely, it can be difficult to feel valued and included when you are not interacting with your colleagues throughout the day. This is why it is extra important to celebrate successes and send positive feedback when one of your team members does something positive. 

Here are some ways to celebrate successes when managing a remote team:

  • Sending a congratulatory email/message
  • Pin weekly team achievements on a virtual board
  • Host fun team events such as trivia games
  • Send care packages/ gift cards. 

By celebrating the success of your team, you boost morale and foster a positive working culture. This also motivates team members, increases productivity and creates a sense of pride in their work. 

Attend a leadership and management training course

If you want to become a good manager when managing a remote working team, it’s important to consider a CMI management course to gain the necessary management skills and knowledge you need to become an effective leader.

CMI level 3 and 5 leadership and management training courses are certified by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the UK's leading professional body for management and leadership, and are designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to manage a team effectively. 

By completing a certified manager course, you will learn lots of useful knowledge to manage a remote team, such as, project management, managing change, delivering operational plans , and leadership skills, so you can become a successful CMI chartered manager.

Find out more about our CMI course in Management and Leadership that will enhance your skills and advance your career.

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