3 Tips for supporting teams in remote environments

Written by Carly Simon-Gersuk

A sense of normalcy has started to hit many of us as restaurants, storefronts, and businesses reopen. As some venture out of their homes and return to some activities, many of us are still enjoying the perk of working remotely - especially since we have found ourselves in a productive flow a year after the shutdown. 

We have found ways to stay connected to our businesses and how to coordinate with every member of our teams. In these uncertain times we have strengthened relationships, values, and outreach efforts. Moving forward, businesses will continue to adapt as their support for teams will continue to grow as they thrive in remote environments. Here are 3 tips for how you and your business can support teams remotely. 

1.Take advantage of technology

We have the digital world at our fingertips and it has helped tremendously through the transition to remote work. While it could have taken businesses months, or even years, to effectively and efficiently switch to working remotely, various platforms have been developed and altered to help businesses adapt more rapidly. A big advantage of these technologies is how they have improved the way people communicate. From daily check-ins to team meetings, communicating is imperative to successfully achieving desired outcomes. With various communication tools - email, Slack, Zoom, Google Chat and more - it is important for teams to find the right communication balance with these tools and to decide which digital format is best for their types of communications. 

2.Mentor more than manage

It is important to remember that everyone is experiencing things differently. Some teammates may be juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities at home, such as caretaking for others and schooling, and others may be more laxed. As a manager, it may be more beneficial to everyone to remember you are part of the team and you too may also be juggling more than others. As a mentor rather than a manager, you can set the precedent that time, attention, and consistency is on your team's side. Teams need to work together and be patient with one another, ask for help, and have realistic expectations. While some of these actions may seem simple, they are not easy. Lead by example, take initiative, and support your team as everyone navigates through personal and professional challenges.

3.Focus on outcomes

While you collaborate with team members, focus on outcomes rather than activity. How is the team's engagement? Are they developing new strategies and healthy behaviors in their remote environments? To piggyback off mentoring instead of managing, give teams clear goals and the opportunity to develop a plan. With unexpected or unknown obstacles, teams may need to refocus or pivot to accomplish tasks. As long as outcomes are met in an efficient and effective manner, do not stress teammates by nitpicking how things may have been completed. Someone may have even found an easier way to accomplish day-to-day tasks or projects. 

While it may have been preferred to have established clear remote-work policies and training, in this time of crisis businesses made do with the circumstances. Moving forward, keep yourself and your teams engaged and productive. Remember the business as a whole is a team, and with ease you and your business can support teams remotely.

 

Written by Carly Simon-Gersuk