Working from home became the new normal after the COVID-19 outbreak. Information and resources have become available to everyone with an internet connection in every part of the world as technology advances. Many people are affected by the officeless working model and are forced to work from home. But a substantial number of people do not want to return to work in the office.  Some of them would like to be able to work from home occasionally. Face-to-face teamwork is becoming less popular. People are opting for the “work from home” model.

Even before the pandemic, about 40% of people in Germany preferred to work from home at least part of the time. Germany is now drafting legislation to grant citizens the legal right to work from home. It’s not surprising, given that 98% of employees would like to work remotely at least part of the time for the rest of their careers. 97% said they would suggest remote work to others, according to the Buffet report.

As a result, a new question arises. How do you maintain a long-distance working relationship with your team? Long-distance relationships are not easy. We might expect that the distance will not affect our relationship in any sense, but it will. It can be seen in both professional and personal relationships.

While CEOs believe their companies have done a good job handling the transition to new ways of operating, workers don’t always agree. Many employees are burnt out. Only 46% of workers believe their employers are doing enough to support their well-being, according to IBM’s recent report.

We’ve compiled a list of 8 tips for managers dealing with remote team management. We hope you find it useful and easy to implement. Let’s start!

1. Invest in the right remote working tools

Using the right tools to remain efficient and connected while working remotely is the key to success. Are your employees using the right tools to communicate efficiently in remote teams? Today’s technology allows for a globally productive team, and the right resources can assist in organizing remote work and keeping everyone on the same page. Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Mattermost are all good options for instant communication. Trello, Avaza, and Asana are good time management tools. Zoom, Skype for Business, and Join.me are all great options for video meetings. Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box are all attractive options for document storage. It’s a good idea to use work collaboration software to keep track of the team’s progress and achievements without a shower of requests for updates.

2. Establish team norms

It is critical to establish clear work instructions within the team so that workers can understand how they should respond to emails and the terms in which they should submit their responses. Also, you should design guidelines for using the tools listed above. Once the team has chosen its toolset, it’s time to have a thorough discussion about how they’ll be used. It’s also important to specify when employees should and shouldn’t attend meetings. Everyone should be mindful of time zone differences and the time after which employees should not bother each other with work-related issues.

3. Make meaningful personal relationships

When people who work together feel comfortable interacting with one another, they will be more effective. Instead of instantly moving to work-related issues, it is more beneficial to have a small talk on different subjects. It will help to create a friendly environment in the team and make all workers feel more comfortable. Employees will be able to find like-minded coworkers and form close relationships with them in this way. Let your colleagues know that they can focus not only on specific tasks but also on achieving team unity. Each employee should respect the work of others and see the situation from his or her own perspective.

4. Arrange one-on-one meetings regularly

Give employees more one-on-one time, and allow them to contact you via any video communication app without regard to time zones. At these sessions, positive and negative events, as well as their consequences, can be addressed. This type of open communication would allow team members to see what they’re doing well and where they need to improve. To hold more productive meetings, add agenda items and follow-up notes on items to complete before the one-on-one meeting.

5. Avoid micromanagement

Micromanagement irritates all. It’s difficult for your team to remain focused because of the constant process interventions. Remember that spending a lot of time on reporting means spending less time on serious work. Also, it’s difficult to grow your development team if you can’t recruit people you can trust and then motivate them with that trust.

6. Prioritize the work

A manager who can adequately protect and prioritize the work that comes to the team is critical to the success of every team, whether remote or co-located. As a leader, you should devise a strategy to keep your staff free of distractions. It will greatly simplify things and give you peace of mind that nothing will fall through the cracks if you create a single place where you can submit, prioritize and monitor all requests. You may use a kanban workflow, for example, to make the process more agile.

7. Show empathy

Managers must consider stress and empathize with employees’ challenges, particularly in the context of a sudden change to remote work. Empathy means being aware of the teammates’ feelings and emotions. As a leader, you should pay attention to your employees’ anxieties and concerns in order to understand what’s going on in their lives and be prepared to assist when needed. You always should be open to different perspectives.

8. Make time for your remote team’s fun

One of the most important things you can do to help the remote team succeed is to get them used to virtual socializing. You can do the same things in a digital world that you used to do at your workplace, such as play table football and board games, chat at lunch, or go out for team-building events. You can find substitutes for board games online, as well as table football online. You can facetime each other in a more relaxed atmosphere and, for example, show each other’s pet or room. People form stronger bonds as a result of such activities. You can also share your bucket list with others. Tell your coworkers about your ideal vacation spot, a big purchase you’d like to make, or a plant you’d like to get for your house. Encourage the rest of the team to do the same.