Projecting management remotely requires a keen sense of generality, leadership, and reinforcement. What’s more, a remote manager’s goals are not exclusively centered around company revenue, but the well-being and overall contentment of each team member within their own remote domain.
According to an editorial from Tech.co approximately 24 percent of staff in a conventional office setting enjoy their jobs. Whereas 38 percent of mobile employees and an overwhelming 48 percent of remote workers are thrilled with their jobs.
A Harvard Business Review article affirmed that “remote workers accomplished roughly 13.5 percent more work than in-office workers.” They also discovered that remote workers quit at half-the-rate than in-office staff and were more satisfied with their job.” What they don’t mention is how much remote project management plays an invaluable role in each study.
Remote teams today are not the equivalent of the bone-idle apathetic employee fictionalized in movies and tabloids. Remote workers are proficient working from various locations around the world in multiple time zones, diversified professions, and contrast cultures, thereby shaping remote project management into another challenge altogether. Consider the time zones. A manager living in an Eastern Standard Time zone and a remote worker living in Beijing, China, is a 12 hour time difference! Projecting remote management under such conditions is no easy feat. Imagine meeting a deadline for a project with remote workers in two or possibly three different time zones and thousands of miles between them.
For a brief moment, let’s go into the challenges surrounding remote project management. When the subject of remote work arises, it’s not uncommon for those involved to bestow a hackneyed approach as to how remote projects can succeed. The task can overwhelm even the most experienced company manager as bridging and monitoring remote individuals is a 24/7 endeavor.
Remote team managers incur a number of challenges that face-to-face interaction bypasses, or at a minimum seldom experience. Luckily, there are just as many remedies. For example, monitoring performance remotely is an immense issue. Even though many best project management tools are available to ease obstructions that naturally accompany remote management setups.
Remote challenges are also manageable using software that incorporates applications for language hurdles, cultural disparities, and aggregate time zones.
Here are six essentials a remote manager should consider for all-around success.
Getting acquainted with each team member’s strengths and weaknesses is a matter of course for any project to run productively. For example, assigning a project to a worker not up to the task, but too afraid to say so could mean failure for the entire undertaking. For this reason, granting each member a “get acquainted” moment is much like insurance against blunders due to miscalculation.
Essentially, a proficient remote manager is informed about the plus and minuses of each remote worker’s skill level and prepared to offer additional reinforcement when called for.
An apathetic remote manager is a prelude to failure. Things may go unnoticed and as a consequence, remote team members will lack confidence in company operations. If team concerns are to be dealt with properly and projects run smoothly, a manager must stay on-top of issues.
When it comes to communication, email is at the top of the ineffective list. An email inbox can easily become a jumbled mess with spam, read and unread mail, company messages overlooked or unexpectedly deleted. There are a number of apps specifically designed to help companies categorize projects and manage communication to keep human activity flowing.
In addition, a superb infrastructure is pivotal as bandwidth needs will likely increase. An able-bodied network with room for expansion is an astute investment and key to maintaining good virtual communication.
When a remote employee goes beyond the call-of-duty, show appreciation. Be a supreme motivator by celebrating successes frequently even if it’s a one-to-one conference call using software like Skype. Inspire team members to drop a hello to other members for feedback about shared projects. Accolades, acknowledgment, and team familiarization junctures are stimulating. Bolster individual ideas and solutions to develop a more cooperative atmosphere so team members won’t feel, well, remote.
Feedback from team members is crucial for remote project management success. If feedback is disregarded, or if a manager responds on the defensive, the situation becomes a tinderbox. An experienced remote manager will applaud honest feedback in contrast to total compliance that results in a worker’s discontentment. After all, no one is right all the time and that includes managers!
Do team members and shareholders share identical or similar outlooks about the project? Ensuring that everyone is in agreement from the start, facilitates a more genial journey throughout the trek of the assignment.
Companies are increasingly embracing the trend of no-wall work spaces, therefore a surplus of remotely skilled managers with intuitive discernment and a down-to-earth mindset are in great demand. Success will depend upon cultivating human interaction in a virtually remote world.