3 Best ways to effectively manage a remote team
Managing a remote team can make you want to tear your hair out.
Sometimes, remote employees work efficiently while at other times, their quality of work may deteriorate. And sometimes, you might feel like you have no idea about what they are doing and cannot communicate effectively with them.
But, remote employees can give you competitive strength and flexibility. You can hire talented people from around the globe and build a team that is equipped with the necessary skills and expertise.
You spend less or nothing on office space. This means that you can save on expenses such as renting or buying office space, water and electricity bills, maintenance costs, and internet charges.
Building a remote team allows you to cut down on most of these expenses.
But the question is: How can you ensure that your remote team is productive?
How can you carry out seamless collaboration?
How can you ensure that each team member understands their responsibilities and spends the assigned time to work on them?
Read on to discover the best practices that can help you manage your remote team effectively.
1. Set clear goals
Unlike in a physical office setup, you can't just pop in at an employee's desk to check on them.
Even though they may have the freedom to work from wherever (and possibly even whenever) they want, remote employees still need clear directions to help them stay on track. Therefore, it is essential to communicate clear goals and define expectations, timelines, evaluation periods, etc.
Where should you start?
Before setting expectations from your employees, you need to figure out your business goals and create a marketing plan to achieve them.
Once you’ve listed what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it, you’ll be in a better position to define targets for each department, team, and employee.
Along with planning your business goals, you should discuss the personal and professional goals of each employee. This will help you ensure that everyone is on the same page and you’ll be able to work together towards a tangible goal that keeps the company growing.
However, remember that goal setting is more than identifying targets and asking employees to hit them. Instead, work on setting goals that make sense to each employee.
The goals you set should be:
2. Have a strong communication strategy
Geographic distances no longer affect how teams communicate today. Thanks to the numerous technological advancements and team management tools. They have made it easy to initiate and hold conversations with people around the globe.
Despite all of this, establishing seamless communication continues to be one of the biggest challenges for teams working remotely.
What makes it such a major challenge?
Issues with internet connectivity and technological hitches can cause problems. It can also be challenging to sense the intent of every message without face-to-face communications.
An employee can assume negative intent if they lack context or feel that feedback or questions have a negative tone.
How can you prevent this?
You should create more opportunities for your remote team to chat informally and formally by choosing the right communication tools.
These channels may include:
- Chat programs like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Slack
- Virtual phone systems that allow you to make quick calls, manage tasks, and send messages
What about visual communication?
You can leverage video creation tools, online meeting tools, screen sharing tools, and video chat tools to talk to each other virtually.
These can help you:
- Hold online visual meetings.
- Create explainer videos.
- Share screens and files.
- Control other computers remotely.
- Hold video chats.
Pro tip: Hold regular team meetings with an agenda to discuss projects, workflows, challenges, non-work related issues, and specific task guidelines. Having these kinds of interactions can help team members bond with each other.
However, you should not use too many communication channels as it can be overwhelming and cause distractions.
3. Track productivity
Working remotely will require your company to transition from a traditional workspace mentality to a remote setup that leverages digital tools and communication.
Why is this important?
Not adapting to the remote work setup can make it difficult for you to track who came to work, how many hours they worked for, and the number of tasks they handled. Your employees might also find it challenging to connect with project managers.
For example, if you are in the business of digital marketing as an internet marketer, you need to have proper tasks for all teams (content, design, SEO, social media) and manage every task’s deadlines properly. Also, if you are a content writing agency and have a large remote content writing team then you can define all aspects of content that can provide good content ROI to your clients.
How can you manage your out-of-office team?
Here are a few tools that can help everyone work effectively and help you track productivity:
- Tools like Clockify and Time Doctor can help you monitor projects in real-time. You can tell how much time an employee spent on a project and how many breaks they took (and the duration of each).
- Tools like Asana, Basecamp, and Trello can help you track the progress of your projects and tasks. They allow you to plan, collaborate, organise, and monitor each task and project.
- Tools like Email Analytics and Everhour can help you track employee productivity - how much time employees spend and whether their time translates into profitability.
- Tools like Airtable, ClickUp, and Glip can help you schedule, track, and prioritise tasks. You can also collaborate in real-time, add comments, and share files. Apart from this if you are going to develop a remote team landing page then you can create it using these landing page softwares.
Ready to build and manage your remote team?
We are living in an age where remote working has become a necessity, despite the numerous challenges it presents. However, you can overcome them by laying out stellar strategies and leveraging team management tools.
By establishing a remote team setup, you can hire talented individuals from anywhere in the world depending on the skillsets you need. You can hire good help desk employees who have the skills like- self-motivated, quick response and professionalism toward their work.
Do you need help with any of the tactics mentioned above? Leave a comment below and we will gladly provide more information.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the Co-Founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with...