Author: Mike Scaletti
Whether you're a future team leader or a seasoned executive, if you're reading this, you're probably interested in remote team management, and you're curious about how it's best done in a tech-savvy, innovative way. Well, you're in luck! In this article, we'll dive deep into the best practices for managing remote teams, all from our perspective here in San Francisco. So grab a cup of coffee, and let's get started.
What's Unique About San Francisco?
First things first, though The Job Shop has employees all over the country, we're located here in San Francisco. The City is a global hub for technology and innovation, home to countless startups and tech giants alike. The work culture here is often seen as a benchmark for other cities and industries. Plus, San Francisco has a rich history of remote work, making it an ideal lens through which to explore this topic. In a post pandemic world, that as only increased.
You may have heard about the dreaded "death spiral" of San Francisco's downtown, with office buildings lying empty as employees have not come back to the office. The rumors of San Francisco's demise have been greatly exaggerated. At The Job Shop, we see this as a fantastic opportunity where a new standard of work-life balance can be established and our downtown can be re-imagined focused on people instead of on offices.
That said, the question many managers and executives have been asking themselves is, how do we set our business up for success in this new environment.
Communication is Key
In the City by the Bay, we know that communication is the cornerstone of any relationship, and managing a successful remote team is no exception. Regular check-ins are a must. Whether it's a daily stand-up meeting or a weekly team catch-up, keeping the lines of communication open is crucial.
At The Job Shop we meet weekly via Zoom to check-in, get a bead on how everyone is doing, and go over ongoing projects and needs. This lets us stay on the same page as well as feel connected to our co-workers.
Use the Right Tools
There are many communication and organizational tools that remote teams across the world use. Tools like Slack, Zoom, and Asana can be incredibly helpful in keeping your team connected and productive. Managing a remote team certainly has its own unique logistical challenges, but with the tools now available these challenges shouldn't dissuade you from moving those who wish to do so to a remote working arrangement.
Flexibility and Autonomy
Trust Your Team
Remote employees value their independence; it's likely one of the main reasons they wanted to go remote to begin with. This is true here in San Francisco, and around the world. Trust your team members to manage their tasks and time effectively. Micromanagement can be a productivity killer, especially in a remote setting.
The 9-to-5 workday is increasingly becoming a thing of the past, especially in tech companies. Offering flexible work hours can be a great way to accommodate different time zones and personal schedules. One of the best ways to ensure you're getting what you need out of your employees for your company's success is to move to a deliverable schedule rather than an hourly schedule. What do your employees need to accomplish each week? Consider making the delivery of those items the thing you track, rather than their hours.
Inclusion and Diversity
One of the most valuable benefits of investing in remote work is the increase in diversity. Studies have shown that more diverse perspectives in the workplace translate to more productivity and, ultimately, more success for businesses. With remote work you can have employees all over the world! It doesn't get much more diverse than that.
That said, there are some challenges that come with more diverse workplaces that a good manager will be aware of.
Be aware of cultural differences that may affect communication styles, workplace values, and even the way feedback is given and received. Try to accommodate the needs of your employees regardless of what you have come to expect based on the culture you are native to.
Ensure that remote team members have the same opportunities for career growth and development as in-office employees. This can be achieved through regular performance reviews, training sessions, and promotions.
Encourage Breaks and Vacation
In the last few years work-life balance has been a hot topic among employees, and more and more it is seen as one of the most highly valued aspects of a good employer.
One of the best ways to support a healthy work-life balance is to encourage your employees to take short breaks, step away from their desks, and even enjoy the great outdoors—whether that's a walk in Golden Gate Park or a trip to their local coffee shop. Additionally, people need vacations, they need time away from work. Make it clear that you encourage and expect your employees to take vacations.
Mental Health Support
Sometimes remote work can be isolating. While ideally people use a better work-life balance to connect with their friends and loved ones outside of work, it can be hard to monitor the mental health of remote employees. By offering resources for mental health support, such as online counseling services or mindfulness apps, you can ensure that your team is healthy and happy, and a happy team is a productive team.
Managing a remote team can be a challenge, whether you're doing it from an office in San Francisco like The Job Shop is, or anywhere else. That said, the rewards of doing so well are immense. Having an option for remote work means you are exponentially increasing the size of your talent pool and setting yourself up to attract the best talent, and by adopting these best practices, you'll not only make your remote team more productive but also happier and more engaged.
If you're wondering how you might get started finding remote staff, The Job Shop can help! Get in touch with us, and we will start filling your roles with top talent from the Bay Area and elsewhere!