Today, most companies have implemented some forms of virtual work, whether it is 100% virtual or having branches of a company located in different parts of the world have its team members work together. Therefore, it is important to learn how to work efficiently and effectively in remote teams. This is often a challenge. It can be even more challenging when working with new young fresh graduates who may already feel lost and confused.
Here are our top tips on how to manage a young team when working remotely. If you are a fresh graduate who has just entered the workforce or a team leader who has young employees in their team, this article can help you navigate the virtual work world challenges that the younger generation faces.
- Eliminate Distractions
They get distracted easily. Make sure to have a plan for the day and a system in place with clear goals and deadlines. Make it clear that work hours and task deadlines must be taken as seriously as they are in traditional offices.
Because the young team members won’t have the opportunity to have everyday interactions in the workplace, materials, task descriptions and instructions should be communicated clearly or provided online so they can have access to them when needed. Decide on a communication mode and frequency that works for the team and the projects at hand. Regular online video meetings, daily updates by email or calls are important to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Planning out larger projects into small tasks and setting clear goals helps everyone involved understand the plan. It is important to clearly define the expectations and goals required from everyone and make sure to reinforce them on a regular basis. Furthermore, as we mentioned, young team members get easily distracted especially when they try to multitask doing various tasks, therefore, we recommend giving them some tools to help them plan their week more efficiently and spend less time on regaining focus after being distracted. This will help them visualize their whole week at once and prioritize the tasks that are more important and urgent.
- Take Advantage of Online Tools
Having the proper technology allows us to feel connected, even more so for the young team members working remotely who may have not met their colleagues personally, this helps them establish a professional bond with them as well as work effectively and efficiently. Fortunately, the younger generation is usually very adaptable to technology and are able to learn how to use the tools quickly when taught.
The key is to select the right tools to help you communicate better such as video conference tools (Zoom or MS teams), group chatting tools for quick updates (Slack and Google chat) and document sharing tools for multiple team members to easily work on the same file (Google Drive or Dropbox). We also recommend asking the team what tools they are comfortable using.
- Regular Check-ins and Feedback
Schedule regular check-ins with your young team to make sure they are on the right track. Consistent interaction with them shows that you value their work, are invested in their experience and committed to their growth and development. Also, schedule time to provide feedback and recommendations for improvements.
Overall, virtual teams are becoming popular with companies who have worldwide branches and those who choose to have a non-traditional work environment, even young professionals nowadays are getting more attracted towards the idea of flexible or remote work and are seeking opportunities for it; therefore, it is important to know how to successfully manage them and get the best out of the virtual team.