Managing remote teams is not an easy task, especially if you are new to working with remote employees. How do you motivate remote employees? What mistakes should you avoid? How is a remote team different from a regular team? Here are seven crucial mistakes to avoid when managing a remote team.

#1 Managing Remote Teams with Poor Communication

First and foremost, you need to set up your communication. Managing remote teams with poor communication is one of the worst things you can possibly do. Here are the consequences you will suffer if you don’t set up your communication:

  • Increased Risk of Errors: There are more chances of mistakes occurring during different tasks. Misunderstandings will also be common which can also lead to misinformation.
  • No Organization: No one knows what to do, when to do it, or how to do it! Communication is fundamental for proper organization and scheduling.
  • Poor Coordination of Tasks: Once again, you need to be able to coordinate tasks. In addition to that, many processes need to be explained to employees, especially new members of your team.
  • Reduced Motivation: When nobody knows what to do and what others are doing, they will be unmotivated to continue working hard. Besides, you need to be updating them about everything and praising their achievements to keep them going.

Communication is essential for any business. To ensure that you can communicate with your remote team properly, choose a channel or platform for communication that will be comfortable for everyone to use (e.g. email, messengers, video calls). Then, explain the rules of communication and answer any questions your remote employees may have.

#2 Micromanaging Your Remote Employees

Micromanaging is the process of managing every single task your employees are doing. In some cases, it can be extremely helpful because it allows you to ensure that everything is done just the way you want it to be completed. However, most of the time, it is very annoying, inefficient, and counter-productive. Here are just some things you can expect to happen when you micromanage your remote employees:

  • Your Employees Will Be Unhappy: Your employees will feel miserable because they won’t be able to perform anything without having to report to you their every single step.
  • You Won’t Have Enough Time for Other Tasks: You will be exhausted and won’t have any time to dedicate to other important tasks that need your attention.
  • Your Employees Won’t Have Any Creative Control: Your employees will feel trapped because they won’t have any creative control. This can also lead to some of them leaving your team.
  • You Will Be Seen as A Very Strict and Controlling Boss: You will project a disastrous image of a very strict and controlling boss. This can result in conversations behind your back and rudeness towards you due to the lack of respect.

Instead of micromanaging everything your employees do, give them a framework to use and let them have some control over their workday. They aren’t children who need guidance every second. They are adults who can make decisions and who you need to rely on to have an effective and functioning team.

#3 Updating on The News Very Rarely or Infrequently

One of the reasons why communication is so important is that it allows you to update your employees on the latest news and make sure that everyone knows what the current situation is. Likewise, one of the biggest mistakes you can make while managing remote teams is updating on the news very rarely or infrequently.

On one hand, your employees will be confused when you suddenly start making remarks about the way they complete tasks based on new requirements that they haven’t heard of. On the other hand, you aren’t being open with your employees and keeping them in the dark which can significantly decrease their trust in you and make them suspicious.

Make sure that you send out regular updates via the communication channel you chose. The best way to do this is by using emails because you can write lengthy texts and attach relevant files. Of course, it’s best to choose a platform for communication that everyone will love.

#4 Ignoring the Possibilities of Outsourcing

Outsourcing is the process of getting some of your company’s tasks done by other companies or professionals outside of your business. Outsourcing can be very helpful when you are struggling with time, budget, or resources. However, many business owners and entrepreneurs seem to shy away from it afraid that something will go on.

One of the best things about outsourcing is that it can help you reduce costs if used correctly. Some of the simple tasks can be done outside of your company for a lower price allowing your team to focus on more important projects. The money you save can be redirected to other aspects of your business that need improvement.

Material and human resources also matter in this situation. When several members of your team get sick, the remaining employees might not be able to manage all the projects. This is when outsourcing can be extremely useful because it lets your company function as it used to while your employees are away.

That being said, not all tasks can be outsourced. For example, you can use a professional writer from a writing services review site like Best Writers Online who will create content for your website, but you might not be able to outsource other tasks that need to be done.

#5 Managing Remote Teams with No Goals or Expectations

One of the easiest ways to demotivate your remote team is by having no goals or expectations. If you don’t set an aim for your team, you won’t be able to show them that you have some kind of vision in mind about what you want your company to be in a day, a week, a month, a year, and so on.

To determine what the goals and expectations for your employees and company might be, look back at your past experiences. Firstly, check the productivity of your team and determine what daily quota you want to set. Secondly, look at the performance of your marketing campaigns and set goals for such campaigns in the future.

Don’t be afraid of setting your goals a little higher than you initially want to. This will help improve your employees’ motivation and encourage them to aim higher. And, of course, once the goals are achieved, don’t hesitate to reward your team. Give out discount and gift cards to their favorite stores, add more days to their vacation, and so on!

#6 Rushing Through Meetings and Decreasing Interactions

Rushing through meetings and decreasing interactions seems to be an issue that isn’t talked about much. However, it is a very important one and can influence the productivity of your team, happiness levels in employees, organization, and so much more. Here are some tips for improving your meetings and interactions within the team:

  • Schedule Your Meetings: Always schedule meetings for a time when everyone can attend. In addition to that, make sure that you have an outline of all the topics you want to discuss and how much time you want to dedicate to each topic.
  • Let Others Speak: Instead of talking all the time yourself, let others speak and listen to what they have to say. Make sure that everyone is heard. You don’t want to be a commanding and controlling boss.
  • Always Find A Compromise: Compromises are hard at times, that’s true. But they are necessary if you want your remote team to function properly. Everyone needs to be satisfied with the result at least to some extent.
  • Be Polite and Respectful: Being polite and respectful is a must. If your employees start arguing or screaming at each other, it’s your responsibility to settle the matter. After all, everyone needs to be professional!

#7 Being Inconsiderate About Employees’ Circumstances

Last but not least, being inconsiderate about your employees’ circumstances can be a huge problem both for you and for your team. Nobody wants to feel like they don’t matter at all. Besides, it’s your obligation to ensure that the working conditions are good and your employees are satisfied with their jobs. Otherwise, you risk losing professionals, decreasing productivity in your team, and so on.

If someone is sick, you should let them take a sick leave. Indeed, they would still be at home, but someone with a running nose and high temperature won’t be able to perform their job as well as someone who is perfectly healthy. If there is a force majeure situation, try to be understanding and let your employees miss work to solve the problem. Once they are done, they will be both grateful to you and full of energy to continue working.

Final Thoughts

All in all, managing remote teams can be difficult at times, but it shouldn’t be a problem once you figure out the best approach to your team. Use the tips in this article to start managing your own remote team better!