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5 min read • May 03, 2020
For the last couple of
weeks, our private and personal lives have been turned upside down. We are
facing an unknown situation on how to run our workplace as well as our
There is no success without people in times like these. Companies that did not pay attention to their employees learned
that a successful business must focus on employees as the reflection of their
team leaders and management.
Over the past days, I had the chance to meet with 8 of our
managers and team leaders from different locations and regions of our offices. I
wanted to know how they manage leading their teams remotely. The talks were insightful,
as each has a slightly different approach to making sure everything is up and
running, and what is most important is that our leaders focus on the same core
So, here are the 5 most important first-hand insights for
managing remote employees from our experts.
isolated in a way we are now produces problems we can all relate to. In times
when one-on-one meetings are missing out and personal contact is limited,
leaders need to be much more sensitive to avoid potential conflicts between
team members. Any potential arguments need to be addressed immediately – being
angry at home will influence productivity and motivation much greater than
Paying attention to employees' feelings helps raise productivity and motivates them to put even more effort into their
Having to rely on video or phone calls only, leaders need to take
initiative by asking questions and listening carefully. Every member of the
team needs to be heard and given a role in conversations. Rituals like daily
stand-up meetings tend to be longer because members of the team also check on
each other besides discussing project-related tasks.
Being clear on tasks, expectations, and deadlines (Who | What
| When) is crucial since team members cannot communicate face-to-face. In
times like these, it is even more necessary to focus on clarity. Working remotely means that fixing problems and besting
challenges over a cup of coffee is hardly an option anymore. Leaders need to
find a good balance between intense communication and letting people work
without constant interruptions.
Clarity reduces the risk of re-doing tasks or misunderstanding
them, which is why every member of the team must
know the rules of remote work clarity. Working remotely may feel like being we’re available 24/7, so
team managers must make sure that office hours are respected and that digital
detox is necessary from time to time.
Empower your team! People will gladly work if you let them know
that they can take initiative for some of the tasks where there is no need to
wait for others. It is also important that you do not expect your team
members to answer your question instantaneously. Team members must trust their
colleagues and know that they will be back with the answer as soon as possible.
Time is money but the combination of working from home and taking care of your
little ones means that a new rule must be set – the wait for answers can be a
few minutes longer. The wait will pay off.
Trusting your employees and knowing none of them will let you down are the most important things to keep in mind.
An important part of our business is not just implementing
advanced business solutions for our customers but also educating them and
learning about their needs. Traditionally, we present our business solutions in
various workshops taking place at the beginning of projects. The 8-hour long
on-site workshops with some coffee and launch breaks throughout the day can
help keep attendees’ concentrations high. However, hosting an 8
hour on-line workshop is torture for everyone. The solution is to divide
workshops into 3 or more sessions and find the best communication
technology solutions that fill in the gap of not having a virtual board,
cameras, systems for document sharing, etc.
To summarize, being efficient should not be rocket science if
you follow these five tips by our team leaders. Paying attention to your people
should be everyone's priority on-site and even more so when working remotely. Ask
questions, listen to your people, and be a coach as well as a student. We
never stop learning and that is truer now than ever.
Thanks to Thomas Holzer, Christoph Schnauder, Heiko Härer,
Mathias Eggert, Staša Kotnik, Ivan Kaselj, Gordana Pelević and Mirko
Marković for sharing your insights with me.
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