Maintaining A Good Team Dynamic When Your Team Goes Remote

Good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members better.

There cannot be a better time to show how good you are as a leader than now. During this time of COVID-19 crisis, when teams have been confined to working remotely due to circumstance rather than choice, using the right tools and technology is a simple way to keep the work flowing.

But what about team dynamics? The biggest struggle that managers and leaders have to face is in maintaining the same level of enthusiasm and energy while working remotely that they do when working from the office.

So, how can they do this? Well, here are some ideas that can help:

  1. Effective delegation

Working in a team means that everyone’s contribution matters to achieve the goal. Everyone in the team needs to understand that they need each other to deliver the results. However, as a leader, you need to ensure that they know what is expected of them. This is where effective delegation becomes the key.

As a leader, you need to make your team members know what they are supposed to work on and when they are supposed to deliver their tasks. As the saying by Bob Proctor goes “accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the results.” You need to keep everyone in the team accountable.

A great way to achieve this is by assigning clearly defined tasks. And setting realistic deadlines for every task. This way everyone knows what they are supposed to do and how much time they have to do their job.

  1. Responsibility sharing

Being a leader in such circumstances could eventually mean that you have more on your plate than the regular days. While on one hand, you have to manage that the work continues to move smoothly, on the other hand, you also need to ensure that the employees are in their right frame of mind and have all the right resources available to work from home.

Add to this, the added responsibility of making team members who are completely new to remote work understand the dynamics of working remotely.

This is where looking up to your senior team members in the team can be a great idea. Share responsibilities between senior and junior team members to look after each other. By doing this you are not only mitigating the challenges of remote work but also doing a wonderful team bonding exercise.

  1. Communication and Feedback

Clear communication is the key to maintaining a productive team, especially when you are confined to remote work because of circumstances rather than choice. As you no longer have the liberty of non-verbal communication, it becomes important to establish a reliable communication channel accessible to everyone.

Make sure that you have frequent team discussions, be it using audio or video communication tools. Having an open channel of communication where you are accessible for the team works great in such a scenario. You can arrange for daily morning briefings via video conferencing and evening round up so that everyone is on the same page.

Also, make feedback sharing part of your communication. Let the employees also share what they are going through, the challenges they are facing and more so that communication becomes effective and not just a one-way process.

  1. Setting the Right Expectations

Working too much is one of the biggest downfalls of remote working. If you don’t create a line between when to work and when not, things can get pretty chaotic. After all, when you are running your personal and professional life under the same roof, switching off can be really hard.

What managers can do to avoid this from happening is to set expectations. Stick to a schedule and assign tasks according to the working number of hours for each team member. As mentioned in the previous point, wrap up things with a daily check-in so that everyone gets a clear message that ‘that’s all for today.’

Not setting the right expectations could lead to frustration in the employees, and excessive work can eventually lead to burnout. When there’s so much going around already, you cannot afford to lose a key resource to such problems that can easily be avoided. Can you?

  1. Virtual Reporting

Whether you are working in-house or remotely, the only way to ensure that things are not slipping through cracks is to have a concise reporting system in place. While team-meetings are an easy way to do this when you are working under the same roof, it can become quite difficult to do so when you are working from home.

This is where virtual reporting comes into the picture. Using a project management tool or an online reporting system is the way to go for this. With the help of such marketing tools, you can track project and resource progress, and get to know things are happening. This can be a great way to plan and delegate tasks according to the workload of team members, without having to ask individual team members.

  1. Showing Gratitude

Gratitude always goes a long way in maintaining a happy team. When everyone in the team knows that they are valued, they will put their best effort to achieve desired results.

At such a time, when everyone is worried about the pandemic, showing gratitude towards your team members must be the first thing on your agenda. Recognize everyone’s contribution and thank them.

You can start this by doing simple things like setting aside a few minutes in your weekly meeting to appreciate everyone’s efforts. Or better, starting an impromptu video call with your team to appreciate their efforts and contribution. Let it come as a pleasant surprise for everyone, and see how they respond to it.

While every team is different, there are certain aspects of team dynamics that apply to all. The ideas shared above work on those aspects to bring your team together and maintain them in a happy and productive mood as they switch to remote work.

Author headshotAuthor Bio: Vartika Kashyap is the CMO at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.

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