Just as with traditional employment, remote workers need to have absolute control over themselves. What does this mean? I imagine you’re now saying to yourself; didn’t this promise answering questions you have about remote workers? And you’ll be right, which can be a loaded statement because you may be also wrong! Anyway, no more procrastinating – I promise.
Any professional or work situation requires one to be in control of themselves, their work, and how they go about managing their time to achieve the best results. This may be fairly simple when all productivity and output depends on you as an individual – because you may be committed enough to be productive whether you’re in a company office or home office setting.
What happens when you’re working remotely and are responsible for the output of an entire team? How do you even begin to manage even the best of teams remotely?
- The first thing we need to unpack is that, even as a traditional manager you are not solely responsible for the work allocated to each team member; you are not there to manage people but to manage the work itself.
- Each team member needs to be completely immersed in the values, culture, goals, and overall objectives of the organization.
- How do we create balance in remote teams? Trust, transparency, courtesy, honesty, and professionalism
By ‘balance’ we mean the precarious state of being efficient, productive, and happy without burning yourself or the team out.
And finally we answer question you have about remote workers (received from followers on Instagram – I hope the answers are satisfying):
- Does virtual mean remote? Yes. I’ve found that both terms have been interchangeably used to refer to team members in remote locations working in the same team for the same company.
- What do you mean by virtual? The most relevant response to this question is “occurring or existing primarily online” (Source: Merriam-Webster dictionary)
- What equipment do I need to work remotely? The simple and obvious answer is; everything you’ve ever needed in a company office setting to do your job. The only difference is that you’re in your own space or a remote location and you are mostly relying on internet-based systems instead of local servers.
- Are remote workers happier? I started working remotely before the international COVID-19 lockdown orders started rolling out because I was simply not happy or fulfilled within the traditional boundaries of full-time employment. It’s possible that the company was simply not a good fit but I found myself working harder, smarter, and remaining motivated to work toward my goal when I started freelancing. My long-winded answer is, I am much happier.
- Are virtual teams effective? Definitely. As long as everyone understands and appreciates the importance of their role to the goals of the “bigger picture” of the organization.
- How can I monitor employees working remotely? In my opinion and that of other hard-working and productive remote workers out there, there is absolutely no reason to monitor employees. Work with a team you trust and rely on to deliver, treat everyone as you’d wish to be treated when it comes to the quality of your work, and allow everyone to take full responsibility for their work. They will always rise to the occasion. Even in a traditional work environment, I found myself happier with my work and output when working with managers who trusted me to do my part and who allowed me to see to the work allocated to me instead of those who wanted to sign off on every little thing. My shoulders were never strong enough to carry hovering, constantly supervising managers.
- What is remote company culture / remote work culture? Let’s begin by defining culture by itself:
The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.
The set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic.
Remote work culture is an unconditional feeling of connection co-workers experience when they’re bonded by similar priorities, interests, and attitudes. This feeling of connection endures even when people don’t see each other frequently. Solid work cultures give people an unshakable sense of belonging and feeling of stability. We could also simplify it – a common feeling of connection within a group of people connected by similar beliefs and cares.
There are a lot of advantages and some disadvantages to being a manager to a virtual team and we’ll touch on that in one of our future posts. Comment below if you I missed a question or if you have more questions. You can simply share your own remote work experience!
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