It is said that distance actually exists only in the mind. Now while that sinks in, let me connect this thought with work. So, when you have a remote team working on a project, are you bound to have success? Or are you going to end up going insane trying to keep the team together? The answer to this is it depends on your strategy.
Now, if we go back to when the concept of remote work was just born, there was a lot of skcepticism around. However, if we fast forward to today, with the help of the right tools and processes, many limitations related to communication and collaboration can be overcome in remote work. As per Buffer who has carried out an in-depth analysis of businesses, 44% of employees say that part of their team is full- time remote.
With remote work on the rise day by day, one of the questions that companies need to think about is how to manage remote teams effectively so that they can actually experience the benefits of remote work style. To help answer this tough question, we have some ideas which may just work for your team.
1. Hold regular meetings with team members
While your team members may be working in different time zones or at different work hours, it is still important to figure out when the whole team can come together from time to time. These sorts of meetings may not revolve around daily tasks but rather things such as major roadblocks, overall progress and so forth. So, ask everyone about their preference and then set the event on the calendar. To ensure that the meetings are as fruitful, make use of communication tools such as GoogleMeet, Slack call, and others.
2. Be crystal clear on the processes
This strategy is not limited to remote work management. Even when you are managing people in- house, there must be a very clear process for everyone to follow. However, the importance of this increases when your team is working from different places. There needs to be clear communication given from the management regarding how all the members need to report on their daily progress, any issues they may be facing related to work or not, any ideas they may have and much more. The goal is to have the team use the right tool for the right purpose so that all the information is in one place and everyone stays updated.
3. Be ready to make changes
As remote work heavily depends on the use of tools, it becomes important to use those tools which everyone is comfortable with. Of course, you will need to provide training to everyone on how to use it. However, if the usage of a certain collaborative or communication tool isn’t working for the team, then consider using alternatives. You have to understand that the success of remote work greatly depends on flexibility. For this reason, evaluate the processes you have in place with your team and make changes accordingly.
4. Think as a team
One of the biggest (and natural) limitations that remote work presents is how the team is not physically together to brainstorm. Managers would probably agree that brainstorming sessions are so much more productive and time-saving when the entire team is present rather than meeting with different team members at different times. With the help of collaborative tools, you can still bring together the team on board to brainstorm. Some of the tools that we love include Google Docx, Trello, and InVision. So whenever there is a project to be delivered or a problem to be solved, try to bring the appropriate members together at the same time so that you don’t end up spending too much time on the brainstorming phase.
5. Create a friendly environment
Last but not least, if you want your remote team to work productively and happily, you will have to work on creating a friendly environment. Now one may ask but how is it possible with the team scattered? In small ways, this is perfectly achievable. For instance, you can create an informal channel on the communication tools you may be using such as Slack. Or there can be some days where everyone joins a fun online meeting where non-work related things such as hobbies, aspirations and furthermore can be discussed. In addition to these, it’s important that as a manager, you encourage all the team members to always be open to any issues they may be facing. By creating a room for laughter and openness, your remote team will come closer together, mentally and emotionally.
For any business, two of the most important goals are to be cost-effective and have abundant opportunities to deliver quality. One of the best ways to do this is to build remote teams that will translate the client requirements into the expected product or service. However, for this to be successful, you must figure out how you can best manage your remote team and overcome the limitations it brings. We have shared just some ways you can do that. Is there another tip or trick which you use to keep together with your remote team? Let us know! Are you looking for an expert, easily manageable remote team that can design or develop for your online business? We can help. Click here to get started talking!