This is part 2 in a series on how to get remote. Part 1 can be found here.
Many of you have found yourself in remote work situations over the past few days. There are many resources available to help you maximize your productivity while working remotely, but not much for managers who need to adapt to this new environment. Management of your team remotely is a challenge.
TeamGantt has been working remotely since the beginning. We have some tips to offer. We wanted to hear what other remote-first businesses had to say.
We reached out to the top remote companies to find their best advice for managers and leaders. Although most of these tips are from software companies, many of them can be applied to any remote workforce.
We’ll share some of our own lessons learned, and then we’ll discuss what we learned from other leaders who manage remote teams.
Establish a shared communication etiquette
Proper communication is essential for leaders. People could end up spending a lot of time on Slack responding in real-time to every message. This can reduce output and productivity. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to inform your team about the expected response time so that people can focus on their work.
Rally around a Plan
It can be difficult to keep everyone on the right page when working remotely. It is a great way to accomplish this is to create a visual plan that everyone can refer to and update together. Modern project planning is a great communication tool.
It might also be useful to track progress against your plan. I recommend asking your team to keep track of their progress on tasks each Friday. This will allow you to see if there is any work that is behind and help you address it as soon as possible. Your team will be more productive if everyone is following the same plan.
The easiest way to create a project plan
In just 10 minutes, you can create a beautiful project plan. You can switch between gantt and calendar views with a single click.
Get your free plan
When work is done, unplug
According to the Buffer State of Remote Work survey, remote workers report that their biggest challenge is disconnecting from work. It can be difficult to distinguish between home and work, which can lead to burnout.
You can influence the behavior of your team by setting an example. Your team will see that you unplug at a specific time every day, and it will encourage them to do the same.
Productivity is measured by output and not input.
Source: Matt Mullenweg (CEO of Automattic WordPress), Harvard Business Review
It all starts with how we think about work. My experience is that many people in many companies are just going through the motions. We assume that someone is working if he shows up at work in appropriate clothes and isn’t drunk. We assume he is working hard if he is creating spreadsheets and to-do list. This is not a comprehensive look at what an employee creates in a day. It is possible, and unfortunately not uncommon, for an employee to sit at a computer for eight hours without producing any results.
Automattic is all about what you create, and not how well you perform. We measure work according the outputs. It doesn’t matter how many hours you work. I don’t care whether you get up at 3 AM or go to bed late. I don’t care whether you spend the afternoon on a golf course and then go to work at 2 – 5 AM. What do you actually produce?
Use asynchronous communication more
Source: Darren Murph Head of Remote at GitLab
“Asynchronous communication works best when there’s a company-wide agreement on where and how to input communication. Leaders need to carefully choose the right leaders