5 Top Tips To Manage Your Remote Teams Successfully
Remote teams are easy to manage, said nobody. It can be a stressful job at times. Things can get out of hand in no time, and uncertainty constantly hangs over your head.
Managing work from home efficiently can be a fun project or something you dread, all in all, after a while, it doesn’t turn out to be a very pretty picture. Figuring out what may go wrong and what the best solution is, isn’t easy. The system lacks consonance.
If your mates are scattered all over the country, or even on different continents, don’t worry; with the right temperament and the right tools, you are a cool-headed leader of a well-functioning remote team.
Working around the concept of remote work, it can be said that there are more problems than there are solutions. So, I have compiled what I think are the five best tips to manage your remote team successfully.
Differences and Flexibility
Imagine you are a boss who is a master of facilitating collaboration in the workplace. What happens if we take the work out? It’s alright; it can be tough to push the team spirit mantra when your team does not share a tangible, physical space.
Going remote can mean a drop in communication. That can further lead to miscommunication, which can lead to misunderstandings. How would we resolve conflicts when we have gone remote? Following these tips, there wouldn’t be any conflicts for one to resolve.
Accept Everyone’s Space
As a leader, you will need to be okay with people who have large families, medical issues, infants, and limited resources. People are an indispensable part of your team, so at these sensitive times, do nothing to jeopardize that.
Respecting Everyone’s Culture
The fact that we have been confined to our homes is no excuse for not celebrating personal milestones and cultural differences. It is important that we recognize people for who they really are and respect their perspective when we have limited space for communication.
When respect and acceptance are in the mix, you get partners who are extremely loyal and accounted for. These are just some of the rewards of being an understanding and flexible boss.
However, communication is a must to keep the magic alive across teams; because Ryan from marketing and Becky from support are incommunicado since they don’t meet at the coffee machine every day.
For team inclusion and proper collaboration, you must spare time out for elaborate team bonding events or team building activities for WFH teams. Doing something unique to your team would be great to reassure your people that you are a respectable and flexible leader. For example, you may:
- Provide them with a shared space for brainstorming sessions.
- Give them puzzles to work on together by dividing them into teams.
- Have group discussions using a platform where they can freely communicate.
- Provide them a platform and an activity to share personal anecdotes.
- Guide your team to solve certain trivia quizzes so that they can discuss the results with their team members.
Setting Clear Directives
Everyone likes to be respected. Respect cultivates from honesty, honesty from trust, and trust comes from transparency. A team that trusts is a team that triumphs. Therefore, setting achievable goals and making them known to your employees is highly important.
Every boss has his expectations, every business has its requirements, and every employee, their tasks. What is best for your team while they work remotely is to know what the agenda is, what the scope of the mission is, what the grand ambition is, and what their role is in achieving said goal.
My piece of advice to struggling managers would be this:
- Set goals that resonate with the times that we are in. These should be achievable and acceptable at the same time.
- You must share the plans and notify your team of the changes in a tactful way.
- Present them with milestones and goals that are doable and attainable deadlines.
- Use a task management software for managing and tracking resources used and the progress made.
- Assign roles to these tasks and projects by being direct and reasonable.
- Do not forget to give your team constant feedback so they can know if and where there is room for improvement.
Apart from stating and visualizing goals for your team, you will also need to set guidelines. A team without discipline is not a team at all. You might as well say goodbye to your project if you haven’t set a list of regulations. You need to map out all the mandatory factors that can directly affect your team’s functioning, and, hence your business.
However, you must not forget about the panic and the uncertainty surrounding your employees. They need a wide berth at the moment, and thus the foundation of your established guidelines must be “flexibility”.
- Define work hours and the login as well as the sign off time.
- Set targets on available and response time to emails.
- Define communication channels for all the teams.
- Discuss platforms and timings of the regular meetings.
- Discuss problems regularly and work out solutions.
Choosing Tools That Uncomplicate
This is a very crucial part of being a remote team leader. Who to trust and what works best are age-old questions. The undeniable fact is that a modern remote team needs an array of automation software platforms to keep the company afloat.
Communication and collaboration aren’t the only factors that help you succeed with managing WFH teams; you also need to have a medium through which you can manage time, track progress, and meet quotas. And this is where project planning software and feedback documenting software platforms come into play.
Here’s why you should spend your time and money on such type of a tool:
- These tools can cut your work time in half by sorting out your tasks into different views and organizing them in different categories.
- You get to view your daily agenda against their deadlines with the click of a button.
- Collaborate with your team better by sharing files instantly.
- Receive timely notifications and updates on your tasks or projects.
- These platforms make the reviewing process easier by facilitating a platform for annotation with markup tools.
- Helpful in scheduling meetings and establishing milestones.
- It helps you divide people, tasks, and projects into manageable categories.
- Split your big tasks into subtasks so that work becomes more doable.
- Aids in team discussions and quick back and forth.
- Good project management platforms provide you the ability to white-label and make the tool completely your own.
What is certain with the top remote work software is that it never hurts to have everything under one roof. Planning, scheduling, organizing, delivering, reviewing, submitting, and communicating are just some of the facilities that can be provided by a good software platform that can help you manage projects.
Are you already on the hunt for an all-purpose tool to gain maximum control over your remote team’s operations? Here are some factors that can help you effectively narrow down your search. You must look for a tool that helps you:
- Communicate ideas better.
- Share files and documents.
- Visualize goals and milestones.
- Set deadlines and fill timesheets.
- Create and share reports.
- Recognize talent and celebrate success.
- Keep everyone on the same page.
- View clear objectives and allow quick action.
- Work with a customizable interface.
- Create shortcuts.
- Bookmark certain notes or discussions.
- Work across platforms because of its several integrations.
From Messy to Streamlined
Making one’s tasks streamlined and one’s team on track is not an easy feat. But it is not impossible to accomplish as well. Managing remote teams is not easy and comes with unique challenges every day.
First, it will be the boredom and the distractions; and then it will be the miscommunication and falling out of sync. It seems the way to facilitate smooth team management is to provide a platform for constant communication, for example, Troop Messenger and Google Hangouts.
There can be two ways in which you can give your team the gift of remote team communication to smoothen things out, resolve conflicts that are waiting to happen, clear out the doubts, and convey goals and recent changes:
Instant Chat Software Platforms
These are platforms that provide you a chance to be in regular communication with your team. Ask your team members for their insights, ask your project manager questions about the deadlines and development of the task instantly. However, these tools also come with the facility to share files of virtually any kind and ask for quick reviews.
Video Conferencing Tools
If you are managing a remote team, you must know that nothing beats communication problems quite like scheduled video calls. Communicating face to face brings trust into the equation, increases morale, and helps you stay on the same page with your employees. Regular brainstorming sessions and end of the day reporting meetings can be very helpful to your cause.
What are some tips on making the work process streamlined after working out the “being on the same page” part? Well, there are a lot of ways to do that, for example:
- Set guidelines and make sure your team follows through.
- Discuss with your team some work strategies that are doable for all.
- Make a workflow that suits everyone’s work ethic.
- The workflow must contain every important benchmark that your task passes through.
- Make sure that your team members abide by this workflow and follow every step.
Once a workflow has been established, it will be very unlikely for your team members to fall out of sync.
Remote workers are hard workers who have to navigate work through the lulls in working from home and the distractions that come with it. Therefore, to keep the engine running, you need to charge your team with inspiration and motivation.
Taking care of conflicts, managing teams works great, but what you really have to do to breed inclusion in your team is to appreciate your employees. Being respectful of their services to the company and recognizing their role in team success can be the key to unlocking their potential.
Motivation comes from communication and being positive, but it also comes from acknowledgment and appreciation. Managing remote teams is a sensitive job. Therefore, to be on top of the recognition game, be sure to:
- Send heartfelt messages to your employees when they are sick or have family engagements.
- Congratulate your team members on achieving milestones and beating targets.
- Send emails or video call your employees to congratulate them on their success.
- Use a software platform that helps you calculate employee engagement.
- Depend on a project management tool to keep tabs on the success rate of your campaign.
- Use tools that can help you create portals for announcements where you get to congratulate the employee publicly.
All these things will factor into what motivates your employees to keep working hard at their respective jobs from home all day. Motivation and communication go hand in hand, but only when you do it through the right channels.
Here are some tools that I feel can help you with the problem of remote employee engagement.
- To create surveys and quizzes:15Five, Hi5.
- To prepare announcement portals: ProofHub, Zoho People.
- To measure employee engagement: Kazoo, Reflektive, Culture Amp.
- To reward and celebrate achievement: Energage, Fond.
In a Nutshell
From this article, you might have understood how important it is to keep your employees engaged if you want to drive remote work productivity. There are many ways to keep your employees on track, your managing style, and the tools you use, determine it all.
Keeping your chin out for the employees working at home is very important since they deal with their kind of problems. Creating a flexible space for them to collaborate will be a great start. Then you will be able to move on with streamlining your workflow and celebrating accomplishments.
Organizations no longer consider remote work as a threat to the productivity and tenacity of their workforce. Businesses have realized that contingency remote work plans ... continue reading