In the current scenario of COVID-19, companies have asked their employees to work from home.

While remote working is different from the typical work scenario, it brings along several unique challenges for both employees and team managers.

The situation becomes even more difficult for first time managers to maintain the teams’ productivity, engagement, and motivation level.

To effectively manage your remote team, there are a few things that a manager should NEVER DO to keep his/her team productive and truly engaged.

Check out what you should not do as a manager.

1. Setting no expectations

It is always good to set clear expectations by sharing remote-work policies with employees.

The policies should include a clear description of work timings and virtual platforms to be used for internal communications and other guidelines.

This helps employees to know what the organization expects from them while working remotely.

2. Taking no time out for virtual social interactions

While working remotely, one of the most effective ways to engage with your team is to set some time for social interactions.

Having informal talks is equally important as work-related conversations with your team members.

While in the usual office scenario, managers get several opportunities to catch up informally with their team members, working in isolation makes it less possible.

On days when the workload is comparatively less, you can plan virtual events with your team members such as virtual burger parties or virtual games to give them a sense of belonging within the team.

3. Micro managing employees

Trust your team and be flexible as happy employees are the most productive.

In the situation where all your employees are located differently, as a manager you should be flexible in the work routine and focus primarily on the outcome and not the number of hours.

Many managers commit a common mistake of micro managing their employees, checking their breaks frequency, number of meetings in a day, logout time, and much more.

A successful manager always focuses on work quality and not on punching a clock.

4. Ignoring the importance of work-life balance

Working from home should never be taken as an opportunity to reach out to your employees for work at any time.

It is important to understand that while employees are staying at home but they also need to have some time for their families and kids after office hours.

Remote workers not only tend to spend more time on work but they usually never hesitate to put in extra time and effort.

However, this should not become a practice to keep asking your employees to come back to their laptops for one or the other tasks.

Give them enough time to enjoy their life out of work so that they feel rejuvenated and come back to work every morning with full energy and enthusiasm.

5. Forgetting to recognize good work

Managers should keep employees motivated by celebrating small or big achievements within the team.

Working remotely doesn’t mean that you have to focus only on getting the work done.

You can plan virtual meets to celebrate the success of employees in virtual catchup and recognize their work by sending them an appreciation mail.

This is the best way to make employees feel valued and an important part of the team even while working from home.

6. Ignoring the signs of distress in employees

Take out time to interact with employees and look out for any signs of distress in employees who are regularly facing an issue in maintaining their work quality and productivity.

They may be stressed out due to excessive work or any other problem.

Having a direct conversation with them and guiding them can prove helpful for you and the employee also.

Showing concerns for employees’ genuine reasons is one of the best ways to bring them back on the track and an environment where all can work happily and stay engaged with their work.

Hope these tips will help you to successfully keep your team productive and effective while working remotely.

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