Manage your business
How to Manage an Off-Site Team
When you first opened your small business, you might have found it easy to fill your office. But as COVID-19 set in, you’ve suddenly had to learn how to manage an off-site team. Even when your staff is working hard, you might be struggling to keep them motivated and on task.
You can no longer stop by people’s desks to check on their projects and offer encouragement. However, you still have ways to stay connected and engaged with your team while working remotely. Here are four tips on managing an off-site team.
Use video conferencing software or phone calls to meet with all of your employees regularly to share updates and sustain morale. During these meetings, you should cover items and projects that team members have recently finished, new items that they are working on and any issues with their projects. You can also use the time to make sure your employees are feeling okay and ask if they have questions or concerns.
Virtual morning meetings
You can help keep everyone on task and reassure yourself that work is humming along on schedule with a virtual morning meeting. This is a great time to discuss current and upcoming tasks and gauge the team’s feelings.
For example, if marketing is starting a new campaign but needs help with the artwork, you can assign someone from the graphic arts department who has time for that project without needing to send a flurry of emails and wait for replies.
Also, these morning meetings give you the chance to praise your staff and build morale. You can recognize completed projects and the hard work that went into them. It’s also a good time to tell everyone how much you appreciate their efforts and remind them that they can always reach out to you with questions and concerns.
Many of your off-site team members are at home with family. For them, working from home poses different challenges than working in an office setting. They may face more frequent interruptions. As part of effectively managing an off-site team, you need to help them set up quiet hours for both their home and work obligations.
For example, your marketing manager might take a lunch break in the early afternoon. During this quiet time, everyone who works on the team would know not to contact her except in an emergency.
Your off-site employees might also set quiet hours to complete their projects. In this case, the quiet hours would apply to other team members. Quiet hours create clear boundaries of communication with other members of an off-site team and the person’s family to make work hours more productive.
When you’re working in an office, you have the convenience of talking to coworkers frequently when you have a question or need to do a little brainstorming. But working off-site limits this easy communication. As an alternative, consider choosing a chat tool for employees to install on their computers.
With a chat tool, your team can ask essential questions and get responses faster than with email. For even quicker responses, set up the chat tool to push notifications when someone has a message waiting.
You can create group chats for people on a specific project to bounce ideas off each other. Team members can also initiate private chats when they need to discuss something with a single person.
Keep teams close and productive
Managing a remote team may be new to your company, but some of the same rules apply as in person. Connecting through technology and practicing courtesy can ensure that your team stays productive throughout the transition.
If you also need help managing your business finances, meet with a local business banker and see what a business bank account can do for your team as you transition between the office and remote work.
For informational/educational purposes only: The views expressed in this article may differ from those of other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Views and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.
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