A manager’s troubles while handling long distance relationships

Vartika Kashyap
Apr 3, 2017 · 5 min read

Remote work has become the new work culture. Everyone is talking about it. Businesses are implementing it. Employees are loving it. But there is one creed which is at the receiving end during all this. That creed is — Managers!

‘Don’t be a manager that cannot handle remote teams. Start using ProofHub.’

They are the ones who have to manage the teams. They are the ones under the questioning radar when things go out of hand. They are the ones who function as the bridge between the management and the employees. They are the ones going through constant trouble while handling teams.

Here is a look at some of the common problems associated with remote working that a manager has to face -

Making the first move

The first move is the hardest in a relationship. And the first move in building a team is hiring the right people. This becomes even critical when you are creating a remote team. After all, you won’t have them sitting across the desk to keep an eye on how they are performing.

You won’t be having a face to face interaction with the people you are hiring. This increases the chances of making a mistake while hiring. That’s where a manager’s job becomes the toughest; as he’s going to be the person to take the final call on hiring.

Solution: Well, a great tip for hiring the best remote talent is to ask them about the experience of working independently. Work skills are not the only factor to consider here. Independent working and organizational skills become equally important.

Getting on the right track

Now that the first move is made, the relationship has started comes the next important phase. And that is to get on the right track while on-boarding them. Remote employees won’t have the luxury of stopping by your desk to ask quick questions. Or ask for help when they are stuck with understanding the process.

You cannot expect remote team members to get to know about the processes on their own. Remote workers don’t get the opportunity to have casual conversations with their other team members, like they do in traditional working style.

Solution: A manager’s role becomes even more important here. Having a system in place for their thorough training of the employees becomes vital. As a matter of fact, a manager needs to make an even greater effort to ensure everyone is able to understand the process, business requirements and gets their queries resolved.

Miscommunication seeping through the cracks

Communication problems rank amongst the top factors when it comes to project failures. And these stats are for teams working from the same premise. Just imagine, when people working from the same location have so much miscommunication, what would be the scenario for teams scattered across different locations.

Project requirements. Team discussions. Client feedback and lot more. There is so much data to exchange while working with remote teams that it can give nightmares to a manager. And a slight communication error can lead to an eventual fatality of the project.

Solution: Making use of the right technology can be the best help here. For instance, rather than sticking to conventional method of using emails for communication, using a project management tool can work wonders. This way, everything is at a central place. And chances of miscommunication are significantly lowered.

Failing to keep the spark alive

The biggest problem with long distance relationships is that it becomes difficult to keep the spark alive. And same is the case with handling remote teams. It becomes difficult for a manager to maintain a strong culture within the team as everyone is scattered across different locations.

Keeping the team aligned towards a single goal becomes the key to creating a winning combination. But, if you don’t have people who are self-motivated to go the extra mile to work, maintaining your team on track becomes an even tougher challenge.

Solution: It’s a manager’s job to create work culture, while handling remote teams, where everyone shares equal accountability and responsibility. Hiring the right people for the job comes of use here. When you have a team where each individual is proactive enough to share accountability, it becomes easier to move in the right direction in every project. And that’s how successful remote teams are born.

You can see that handling a remote team is quite similar to being in a long-distance relationship. The problems a manager has to face are like what a couple has to go through. But with the right resources and some smart tricks, you can make a winning combination for your remote team with ease!

“Want to become a leader who gets things done. Start using ProofHub.”

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Vartika Kashyap is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016. She currently runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.

Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.

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Originally published at LinkedIn.

Vartika Kashyap

Written by

Marketing Manager@ProofHub. Featured writer on LinkedIn. Contributor at Elearning Industry, Dzone, Your Story and Business.com.

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