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Managing Remote Teams Effectively: Expert Insights from Audiobooks and Podcasts

managing remote teams effectively

Flexible work setups have allowed employees to do their work anywhere that’s convenient. However, while the benefits of remote work include greater work-life balance and cost savings, remote work can also pose challenges for some workers. To address these issues, managing remote teams effectively is crucial in ensuring that both the company and its employees thrive in this flexible work environment.

According to a Forbes report, remote employees may feel lonely as they grapple with work, which can lead to burnout. These workers may also encounter roadblocks in communication and engagement, hampering their productivity. This prompts the need for an effective way to manage remote teams, but how?

Remote work management thus requires a specific approach that many leaders may feel they aren’t equipped to handle. Fortunately, one way to address these emerging challenges is by learning and listening to key tips from industry leaders, which are readily available via podcasts and audiobooks.

Below, we take a closer look at why podcasts and audiobooks are the best options for leaders and what key lessons can be learned from some titles.

Why audiobooks and podcasts? 

Rising Popularity of Audio-Based Learning

Audiobooks and podcasts have been enjoying popularity over the recent years as more users maximize smartphone and tech innovations. In contrast to traditional books, listening to these audio-based platforms is a hands-free activity that enables users to do other things while remaining engaged in a particular topic.

According to a consumer survey released by the Audio Publishers Association, 46% of the US population listened to an audiobook from March 2020 to March 2021. Meanwhile, Edison Research reported that 42% of Americans have listened to a podcast in 2023. Since audiobooks and podcasts are easily accessible through a smartphone, these platforms can easily grow further with the rise of digital consumption in a tech-driven world. 

Impact of a Fast-Paced Digital World

Additionally, living in a fast-paced digital environment can make it difficult to allot extra time for other activities like reading. A Gallup poll found that Americans read an average of 12.6 books in 2021, down from 15.6 in 2016.

Although the actual reason behind this decline is uncertain, it can be partly attributed to the rise of other forms of smartphone entertainment and, in the case of busy managers, the lack of time to pick up a book and read.

Audiobooks and Podcasts as a Solution

Thankfully, audiobooks and podcasts are filling the gap, especially since these platforms provide information even while listeners are commuting, working, and doing other chores. Listeners can thus leverage the benefits of accessing audiobooks and podcasts through smartphones to learn useful tips and insights for their careers.   

Convenient Access for Busy Managers

As we all know, being a manager means having to juggle a busy schedule with team management. Fortunately, audiobooks and podcasts allow you to conveniently access professional advice even when you’re on the go.

The digital library Everand hosts a rich catalog of resources you can listen to, such as David Burkus’ Leading from Anywhere and Dave Stachowiak’s Coaching for Leaders. The app also lets you set a sleep timer so the audio can stop when you want it to – perfect for when tasks are piling up or if you’re about to sign off for the day.

Utilizing Public Libraries for More Resources

Similarly, Library Journal notes that public libraries are a popular option for audiobooks and reports that audiobook circulation has increased significantly over the past couple of years.

If you’re on the lookout for more options, you can check your local library’s database to see if they have specific titles available, including Camille Fournier’s The Manager’s Path and Julie Zhuo’s The Making of a Manager

Leadership Lessons from Audiobooks and Podcasts

These audiobooks and podcasts are just some resources that can help you better manage your remote team. Let’s take a look at some specific leadership lessons from audiobooks and podcasts that can help with managing your remote team:

Key insights from podcasts and audiobooks

Developing new working habits is essential

Embracing and adjusting to a remote working culture can be difficult for some of your employees, especially newer ones who are used to working from the office.

In Laura Vanderkam’s The New Corner Office, she mentions key experiences and insights from those who have been working remotely way before WFH setups became the norm. The book emphasizes the benefits of creating new work habits and rituals that can foster productivity, engagement, and stronger connections among your team members.

By leveraging the wisdom of those who have years of experience in working from home, the book offers tips on how you can turn the remote setup to your team’s advantage. 

Clear communication is key

Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel’s audiobook The Long-Distance Leader underscores the importance of using proper online channels where you can establish clear communication with your employees, especially in a remote setup. That way, you’re able to manage your team better.

Plus, it allows you to effectively cascade information like work instructions to avoid mishaps and crucial mistakes that can affect your company’s bottom line and reputation.

The book also highlights the importance of holding informal, one-on-one conversations with your team members to build an authentic connection that can make your colleagues feel safe and comfortable around you not just as their boss, but also their friend.

Establishing boundaries is essential 

A survey by The Conference Board revealed that 47% of remote workers in the US raised concerns about the blurred boundaries between their work and personal lives. When these boundaries are blurred, it’s easy for your employees to feel burnt out or pressured, which can hamper your overall productivity.

To avoid this, you can listen to Karen Mangia’s Working from Home to get useful insights such as encouraging your employees to prioritize self-care after work. The book mentions the importance of establishing clear boundaries between personal time and work, as well as tips on staying focused, managing distractions, and taking breaks that you can share with your workers.

Simply avoiding sending work-related messages or emails to your employees after work hours can go a long way in helping you build strong relationships with your colleagues.

Psychological safety is important

Prioritizing the well-being of your employees is one way to foster a healthy remote working environment. The Managing Remote Teams podcast hosted by entrepreneur Lukasz Szyrmer touches on useful topics such as psychological safety in the workplace.

It enables you to learn how to create a welcoming virtual space where you can encourage your workers to speak their minds and share their opinions without fear of being dismissed or invalidated. When your team feels nurtured and heard, it’s easier to motivate them to work harder.

Burnout can affect everyone

According to WorkLife, a podcast hosted by Professor Adam Grant, burnout in the workplace affects everyone. This is especially true in a remote setup where workers can experience higher rates of stress, according to a CNBC news report.

Burnout can impact employee performance and motivation, which can, in turn, hamper your business’s overall productivity. This podcast offers insights on tackling burnout, such as organizing online mindfulness training and providing emotional support to help your employees feel that they’re not alone despite working remotely.

Foster a sense of connection

Larry English’s Office Optional emphasizes the importance of maximizing online tools to foster a sense of connection among your employees.

The book cites many ways for you to build this sense of connection, such as providing clear goals for your team, offering development opportunities, and recognizing employees’ hard work.

Workers can feel motivated to perform better if they feel rewarded. Following these insights means you can promote a sense of unity among the team despite the physical barriers and boost their motivation to work harder.

Ensure clear policies on flexible arrangements

Remote Works, a podcast launched by software company Citrix, delves into the different aspects of working remotely. One particular topic that the podcast has discussed is how to make flexible work manageable for you and your workers.

If you’re thinking about implementing a flexible working arrangement for your employees instead of the usual 9 to 5 schedule, the podcast suggests that you ensure clear policies so that flexibility doesn’t affect company workflow.

For instance, you can allow your workers to work flexibly, but at the same time establish rules about submitting deadlines, sending updates regularly, and joining regular meetings so you can track progress and productivity.

Use the right technology for remote work

Hassan Osman’s book Influencing Virtual Teams is a useful guide for managers looking to have an impact on their workers. One way of doing so, according to the book, is through effective feedback and communication, which is made possible through reliable tech tools.

The book provides helpful advice on using technology that can support a remote work setup and improve teamwork through the right tools.

For example, selecting a platform like Zoom or Google Hangouts for your virtual meetings may require you to consider if it’s user-friendly and can foster fun interactions that can develop relationships among your team members. The book also highlights the crucial role of managers in coaching their employees to improve performance and productivity.

Remote work setups can be rewarding, but they also pose diverse challenges. Listening to these audiobooks and podcasts can help you effectively manage your remote team better. For more articles like this, visit the Outsource School website



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