5 Effective Tips on How to Manage a Remote Team
The amount of remote teams is growing every year. Among the reasons behind are increasing popularity of virtual entrepreneurship, a desire to hire the best talents from all over the world and an effort to gain employees’ loyalty by providing more flexible work arrangements.
Managing a remote team is different from managing a traditional team. How to be sure that employees are actually doing what they are paid for? How to communicate with them? How make them more engaged? These are just some of the struggles that managers of the remote teams face.
Here are the recommendations that will answer some of your questions and help you to manage a successful team from anywhere in the world:
1. Introduce regular meetings
Virtual meetings serve several goals at once. They help you to get the people from different parts of the world to get to know each other. Try your best to create a friendly and open environment so that everyone feels welcomed.
The other issue that is addressed with virtual meeting are misunderstandings. Communication is a tough thing for remote teams. Misunderstood message or a lack of communication can lead to delays and mistakes. Regular meetings help to identify problems before they grow into serious complications.
Think of the meetings as of regular cup of coffee with your employees. Eventually, all of you will feel like a real team.
2. Make work more structured
With a team spread all over the world and timezones, the work can quickly turn into chaos. Your job is to bring the structure and organize every aspect of work. You need to define workflow, set procedures and rules.
Start with organizing all the data and let the team know how they can find any necessary information. Define the way of communication for all typical situations. For instance, you can expect email to be the primary communication channel, but you should organize a chat room that is open 24/7 for an urgent situation.
Define the work scope for the project and set deadlines for each step. Project management software can be of great help here. Make sure that every employee knows what he needs to do and what are his colleagues’ roles.
3. Implement time tracking
Besides using a project management tool, you need to implement timekeeping software into your work process. It will help you to review your staff performance, balance workload and make a better estimation for the upcoming project. Time tracking can also help your team to stay on track and to increase their productivity.
A habit of tracking time will help your team members to be more mindful in their work, to concentrate better and to fight distractions. They would feel in charge of their time. And at the same time, they can spot their weaknesses and work on improving them.
4. Be transparent
As a team leader, you need to set an example. You can’t expect your employees to open up and to express their opinions, share ideas and participate in a discussion if you yourself don’t do it.
You can be transparent by openly sharing your business vision, the company’s goals and objectives. Involve your team and let them feel engaged. Then let them talk and listen to them. Your team is a valuable resource.
5. Aim at building a strong culture
Do your best to create a strong corporate culture. It is harder with a distributed workforce, but it pays back by having a team that works on the same goals and values each other’s skills and opinions. Eventually, it would make your business stronger.
Managing a remote team brings its own challenges: keeping track of work progress, monitoring team activities and organizing the work process is much harder. Follow our tips, and it will become simpler. And in the end, you will have a team of engaged and loyal talented people.