Successfully taking your bookkeeping team remote means making some adjustments to your management style. Managing a group of people you don’t see regularly can be difficult. You might find it’s harder to establish connections with your staff OR you might be worried about work getting done with little oversight.
So… it DEFINITELY takes some adjusting. If you want to manage a successful bookkeeping team, you’ll need to manage your expectations and redefine how you think of the workday. Sound challenging? Here are some tips from our remote business to yours!
Provide your team with the tools they need
Working remotely means relying heavily on the technology that is available to you. If you’re moving your bookkeeping team to remote work, it’s important that you provide them with all the tools they need to complete their work. This could include providing laptops for your staff to conduct their work on, investing in good accounting software, and providing training for every tool they’re going to be using in their new, remote workspace.
Have regular check-ins
While you don’t need to micromanage your team, having regular check-ins can be a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page about timelines and deadlines. Business professionals recommend having daily check-ins with your team, but that doesn’t mean you have to have a 30-minute conference call every morning. There are all sorts of methods of communication at your disposal. A check-in might be a Slack message, an email, or even a text.
Establish rules for communicating
Just because you can contact a remote worker at any time, via a variety of channels, doesn’t mean you should – and vice versa. Maintaining some element of formality is very important. When moving a team member remote or onboarding a new employee, you should make sure the “rules of engagement” are outlined right away. Make sure you’re staff knows who to contact, when to contact them, and how they should be contacted.
Focus on end-goals
Perhaps the scariest aspect of remote work for those in leadership roles is the lack of oversight. A lot of people have begun seeking work-from-home opportunities for this exact reason, however. Flexible hours mean you can finish that project early in the morning OR late at night, all while working around other commitments you might have. As a leader, your role is going to change a bit when managing a remote bookkeeping team. Namely, the focus is going to be on emphasizing end goals rather than activity throughout the day. Having regular check-ins and good communication should eliminate surprises, and allowing more flexibility throughout the day results in a happier work environment.
One of the greatest drawbacks to working remotely is the lack of social opportunities. It’s hard to connect with co-workers when your interactions are limited to emails. That’s why it’s important to provide ways for your staff to socialize despite the digital obstacles. Try to take some time for catching up before your virtual meetings. Create channels for socializing instead of talking shop. You might even look into scheduling a virtual hangout or an occasional in-person event to celebrate their accomplishments!
We often think of the digital world as the antithesis of genuine human connection, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Managing your remote team successfully hinges on your ability to create camaraderie among your team through digital barriers and adjust your expectations. Working from home doesn’t look the same as working in an office, and that’s okay! Being more flexible doesn’t mean forgoing all formalities or clearly outlining the results you expect to see.