How to Manage a Remote Team
Working remotely can come with many rewards such as flexible schedules, the ability to travel without using vacation days, and saving money. It can also come with many challenges such as trouble with effective communication, employees feeling isolated, and difficulty collaborating.
If you are currently managing a remote team, or want to manage one soon, keep reading to learn how to manage your remote team.
The Rise of Remote Teams
Currently, 43% of all U.S. employees work off-site at least part of the time, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report.
As technology continues to advance, more companies across more industries are allowing their teams to work remotely.
Best Practices for Managing a Remote Team
With physical and cultural distance barriers such as time zones and different work styles, managers should strive to build an engaging culture with consistent processes for remote teams to thrive.
- Focus on Training and Onboarding
To effectively manage a remote team, it’s important to clarify expectations from the start. Make sure everyone understands the company’s goals and objectives and create a consistent onboarding process. Creating on-going training programs helps keep remote workers engaged and increases morale.
- Allow Flexible Work Hours
When your team is allowed to set their own hours, they work during the hours when they are most productive. For example, you may have a team member who can’t start their workday at 8:30 because they have to take their children to school. But when they get back home, have breakfast, and get settled in, they may be ready to start working at 9:30.
Keep the team connected through virtual tools so they can communicate as needed.
- Use the Right Technology
With online collaboration tools and file-sharing software, you can ensure your remote team members have an engaging and collaborative work experience. Having a reliable and secure infrastructure is imperative for seamless collaboration and effective remote work.
- Make Sure That Collaboration and Communication are Simple
Maintain communication through email, instant messaging, and task manager apps. Every team member’s laptop should have all of the necessary software installed and ready to go.
- Create a Culture of Accountability
Set clear expectations of your team and hold them to those. Set up weekly check-in calls, schedule regular one-on-one meetings, and encourage constant communication. Maintain a balance of accountability and trust and do your best not to micromanage.
Creating a Great Work Place for Remote Employees
The best way to manage a remote team is by building trust, fostering communication, and focusing on efficiency by utilizing appropriate technology. Provide channels for remote workers to provide feedback and make personal connections.
If your company or organization is not used to managing remote teams, you can purchase software and other tools that will make the transition easier. Embracing change is a crucial first step.