Aplin Group Blog

Remote work changes us, from working with your colleagues to managing teams, even participating in meetings and completing projects. But productivity doesn’t have to suffer. Effective virtual management can boost productivity while building trust among your staff.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, companies have had to pivot to virtual management strategies to support their remote working teams. This hasn’t been easy, especially for organizations that were not equipped with a technical infrastructure to support remote work.

For many, working from home is a new experience that takes some time to get used to, and this can be particularly challenging for managers to get right because it’s not ‘business as usual.’ Still, it’s also not the time to resort to micromanagement.
Be a good communicator
If your team is virtual, now is the time to focus on your communication strategy. The biggest mistake often made with company communications is to assume that the grapevine will do the work. But working remote means a significant shift from a typical ecosystem. We’re no longer able to rely on informal communication methods.

Be as clear as possible with all communications. You don’t have to worry about making your messaging concise currently, it’s much safer to over-communicate. When it comes to managing projects and tasks, ensure that strategies, objectives, and deadlines are clearly outlined for project owners. This also helps managers hold accountability among their teams.

The best way for managers to build relationships with their teams is through visibility and communication. Host regular video group calls or schedule one-to-one check-ins with your team members. Consider using different communication methods, maybe even some you’re not used to or ever tried before.
Be a user of collaboration tools
With such a sudden shift to working from home, managers are feeling the pressure not just to adjust to working themselves remotely, but the pressure to be an effective virtual leader to their team. What makes managing virtual teams even possible at all is the right technology. Don’t be afraid to rely on tools during this transitional period.

Collaboration tools and technologies will help to maintain the human connection, build trust, and support a constant stream of communication. Utilize video conferencing, document sharing, and chat channels to create a space for group and one-to-one interactions.

Measuring productivity and success should be focused on results. Remote workers are often working even harder these days. With such economic uncertainty, everyone wants to secure success, individually and corporately. Make sure goals are clearly defined and that everyone understands the metrics in place to measure performance.

If your organization is in the process of building new virtual management strategies while your employees work from home, consider downloading our free Guide to Managing Virtual Teams with general considerations. It will help you, the manager, prepare to implement and support virtual work arrangements.



Download Part 1: Virtual Onboarding  >


David Aplin Group is a private family and employee owned Canadian staffing agency founded in Alberta in 1975, recognized as one of Canada's most accomplished recruiting firms. Our mission is to positively impact lives.  Blog author, Jill Kantor, is the Principal of Organizational Development based in Winnipeg.