5 Rules of Managing Your Team Distantly
Every manager is concerned about his business functioning during his (her) absence in summer or winter vacation season. Some of them have faced tough situations (e.g. server crash and complete breakdown) while they were away. Such events force some owners and managers to think pessimistically and they tend to avoid taking vacations.
There are some business statistics that show that only around 10% of business owners plan a full two-week vacation. Around 60 % responded that they use 1 week vacation per year. And a significant percentage does not use vacations at all. Even those who take some time off, in most cases will contact the firm at least once per day.
Today we have a very advanced IT and communication technology, so the question is: can you handle the situation of your absence, without anxiety? In this article we will give you some advice to take the stress out of managing your company while you’re away, having calm vacation period.
1. Assign your replacement: Technology is always welcomed and it can help you well enough, but the first thing that you should consider is to choose one of your trusted employees to replace you while you are away. Such a reliable person who understands complete business and its operation will make you feel safe during your vacation period. You should prepare the transition in advance, and inform your stand-in about the unexpected tasks, together with the relevant recovery procedures.
2. Inform the team about what can happen: Many things can happen in just one day. Before your vacation, you have to check different scenarios and estimate how often they will contact in case of some emergency. The absence itself may affect your team, so you should inform them that you will check regularly the everyday situation. You should make clear the authority and the role of the person you will designate as your replacement. You should point out the emergency events that can occur and define what should be undertaken in such situations. Your expectations must be clearly defined so your team will know how and when to contact you.
3. Define limitations for yourself: You should also ensure how frequently you’ll be in touch with the company. Large portion of business people agree that while they are absent – their smartphone is the most important item; and they use it almost every day. And they continue to check work e-mails several times per day. Of course, you will not feel as on a vacation if you’re stuck to your phone. If you decide to check your business mail just once per day, choose a time and respect that. This habit will lower your concerns and will enable you the break you need. If you promise a checking dynamics – you must stick to it. If your team knows your dynamics, they won’t hurry for non-stop response.
4. Stay informed by web-based collaboration tools: If your business has a web-based collaboration tool, you can use it to stay in touch – but not over the limits you have defined at the start. These collaboration tools will enable you to follow the working situation in real time, no matter of your current location. So far – you will conclude that your vacation anxiety was baseless, and that your teammates can replace you successfully for a while.
5. Make sporadic video calls: You have prepared your stand-in to be ready for all undesired situations, but some issue may still need your involvement. In these cases, an online video call, even just for a few minutes, could calm down the situation and will help resolving the problem quicker.
So, running your business remotely is a major concern that you might face, but it could be easily overcome with some planning and preparation.