June 2, 2022

6 good practices for managing your teleworking team



5 min reading

With the spread of hybrid work and teleworking, how can you manage your teams from a distance?

In the context of the health and environmental crisis, hybrid working, combining teleworking days and on-site presence of employees, is becoming a new standard in work organization.

According to a survey carried out by Malakoff Humanis, in 2022, 82% of eligible employees aspire to work in a hybrid mode, and 84% of company managers wish to roll out teleworking within their structure.

However, according to the same study, only 48% of managers are in favour of remote working. In the eyes of managers, teleworking represents a real challenge that forces them to reinvent their management methods.

Are you also facing difficulties in adopting hybrid work? Mozzaik presents 6 good practices to manage your teleworking team.

Read the following carefully.

Best practices in teleworking management

Telework: an opportunity for the company, a challenge for management  

Telework represents both a real opportunity for the company and its employees and a major challenge for managers.

The benefits of telework for the company and its employees

There are numerous benefits of teleworking for companies and their employees.

And for good reason, this form of work organization promotes the well-being and productivity of employees. It allows them to maintain a certain balance between professional and personal life, to avoid long and tedious hours of transport or to concentrate on their tasks without being interrupted.

The icing on the cake is that according to a recent study published by Robert Walters, 45% of employees feel more productive when they telework. This impression is corroborated by the Sapiens Institute, according to which widespread teleworking would have increased employee productivity by 22% by 2020.

In addition to allowing some optimization of office space and widening the recruitment pool, teleworking is therefore an asset for the employer brand and a performance lever for the company.

Telework, a challenge for management

However, not all teams are equal when it comes to remote work.

According to Robert Walters, 25% of employees say they work less when working from home. Worse still, according to a study published in 2020 by Harris Interactive, a similar proportion believe that working remotely has a negative impact on their psychological health.

For some people, teleworking is a source of stress and disengagement. This is due to the sometimes inconvenient working spaces and tools, but also to difficulties in managing one's tasks and schedule alone, problems of organization and communication within the team, a feeling of isolation or even heavy managerial pressure.

In a context of widespread hybrid working, it is therefore essential to adapt management practices to meet the challenges posed by teleworking.  

Managing teleworkers

Good management practices for managing your teleworking team

Whether it is hybrid working or Full Remote working, the adoption of teleworking requires a change in management practices.

Here are 6 good practices to implement in order to better manage your team remotely:

# 1 Set clear rules and SMART goals

In times of teleworking, the manager must more than ever assume the role of conductor. Away from the communal office, employees can feel left to their own devices and be affected by demotivation.

To avoid this situation, each person should be given SMART objectives, i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Thanks to this management method, each employee knows and understands what is expected of them. This is an indispensable condition for carrying out their tasks independently.

In addition, to prevent employees from becoming disoriented, it is necessary to organize teamwork. To do this, set time slots for joint working, give instructions on the desired responsiveness (e.g. respond within 24 hours), and set up collaborative remote communication tools, such as Microsoft Teams.

To make sure that every teleworker is aware of the rules of the game, don't hesitate to formulate them in writing. Better still, if you have one, post your charter in your Digital Workplace. This will allow everyone to remember the rules if they need to.

💡 Also read our article to take your teams to the next level with Microsoft Teams!

# 2 Establish a climate of trust between manager and employee

While setting a framework and rules for telework is important, so is establishing a climate of trust between manager and employee.

When working remotely, employees must be able to manage their daily tasks and schedules independently. This is a responsibility that they can only take on if they are 'allowed' to do so by their management.

To empower your team members, avoid at all costs the pitfall of over-control, micro-management and surveillance. In short, avoid tracking tools and abolish time-consuming daily reports.

Instead, build a real culture of trust within your team.

To do this, encourage initiative and the right to make mistakes. Also make sure that you allow your employees a certain amount of flexibility, both in the organization of their working time and in the choice of methods used to achieve their objectives.

# 3 Establish regular monitoring of objectives

Of course, trusting your staff and giving them autonomy does not mean giving up your role as a guide.

So make sure you regularly monitor the achievement of the objectives you have set for your team members.

Project management tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Planner, will allow you to easily set up and share a task list, a Kanban board or a shared schedule. This makes it easy to monitor the progress of each person and the joint project.

In addition, think about setting up times for collective exchanges and regular individual reviews (weekly, for example) in order to ensure that everyone's tasks are being carried out properly, to answer any questions and to support your employees in the event of a blockage.

#4 Keeping employees engaged

While telework is, by definition, synonymous with physical distance, it should not weaken the sense of belonging and attachment that employees have to their organization.

Far from the collective spaces, the convivial relations between colleagues and the events that keep the company culture alive, the role of the manager is essential. Employee support for the common project is closely linked to the feelings of consideration and recognition they experience.

As a manager, therefore, make sure that you create a real feedback culture within your team. In particular, make sure you encourage and thank your employees when they achieve their objectives, but also when they adopt commendable behaviour and methods.

Also, give your employees a voice. To engage your teams, there's nothing like asking employees for their opinions and encouraging them to be a source of ideas. The Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace offers particularly useful features in this area, such as the idea box and the survey tool, which are essential for fluid bottom-up communication.  

By offering your employees a unique and engaging workspace, you give them the opportunity to get involved in your company and in your projects by opening up communication between each of the stakeholders and creating real cohesion between them, even at a distance.  

# 5 Use communication to strengthen cohesion

Cultivating remote communication and a sense of belonging to the group is another lever enabling management to engage its teams and strengthen internal cohesion.

In a teleworking situation, managers can strengthen the ties that unite their team members by facilitating interactions between them. Collaborative communication applications, such as Microsoft Teams, will allow them to facilitate synchronous or asynchronous discussions within a project.

With tools such as Teams, management will also be able to set up rituals and occasional convivial events.

A "Teams Coffee" in the morning or a "Teams Video Aperitif" at the end of the week will allow employees to interact informally and break the isolation.

💡 Furthermore, why not plan a meeting from time to time to celebrate a collective success (release of a product, end of a project, etc.) or a significant date (professional anniversary for example)?

Finally, if your organization has a digital workspace (DWS) or a corporate social network (CSN), such as Microsoft Yammer, consider setting up a discussion channel where your team members can talk to each other spontaneously and keep the corporate culture alive.

# 6 Use simple and effective tools

The working environment and the quality of the tools available to employees play a major role in the success of telework and hybrid work.

As you will have understood from the previous points, as a manager you can implement various digital tools within your team to make remote work more fluid.

Consider equipping your employees with the following solutions:

- A collaborative communication and project management application such as Microsoft Teams, to facilitate remote communication within your projects by centralizing and structuring your exchanges with your team;

- Task planning software, such as Microsoft Planner (Tasks), to assign tasks to your staff and monitor the progress of your project collectively;

- An application to prepare and hold dynamic, interactive and engaging video conferencing meetings, such as Microsoft Whiteboard;

- A corporate social network (CSN), such as Microsoft Yammer, to exchange with your employees in a user-friendly way and share targeted information;

- A Digital Workplace to gather all your digital tools on a single interface, interconnect them and make their use more fluid. A true digital workspace, the Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace is a Microsoft extension. It adds features to SharePoint and simplifies internal communication, access to information, knowledge sharing and collaborative work.

Our Digital Workplace allows you to create beautiful intranets in Microsoft 365, connect your employees with a tailored and engaging digital workspace, and make it easy to share with others through features such as the "Company Directory" and Teams and Outlook shortcuts.

But that's not all. Mozzaik365 also gives your employees a voice through social features and surveys. What's more, our collaborative intranet facilitates knowledge sharing by providing your teams with key resources, and brings your corporate culture to life with a platform that reflects your organization.

Finally, the Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace offers your company a secure workspace, even when your employees are telecommuting. Indeed, as seen previously, Mozzaik365 is a natural extension of Microsoft , so no data is hosted by Mozzaik, limiting any risk of data leakage. Your users will have secure access to a unique working environment within Microsoft. Enough to counter the risks related to Shadow IT!

💡 Read also: to know the good practices to accompany your employees in this transformation with our article on change management

6 good practices for managing your teleworking team: conclusion

Telework, whether full-time or in the context of hybrid working, is a real opportunity for the company and its employees. However, this model of work organization poses many challenges to managers, who are not happy with its widespread use.

Although they are well-founded, the managers' fears can nevertheless be resolved by adjusting their supervision and coordination practices, but also by adopting software adapted to remote work and communication.

As the queen of digital tools dedicated to work, the Digital Workplace provides a complete response to managers who wish to transform their management methods and make the most of teleworking. So, it's up to you!

Things to remember

Good management practices are :

📌 The establishment of clear rules with SMART objectives;

📌 Building trust;

📌 The establishment of regular monitoring of targets;

📌 Maintaining employee engagement;

📌 Improving communication to strengthen cohesion;

📌 The use of simple and effective tools.

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