Effective Management Techniques for Remote Teams

It helps in keeping remote teams on track by setting standards for what you expect from top priorities, milestones and performance metrics. You also want to document processes so that employees can be aware of what they are responsible for and what they are supposed to do more easily.

Respect work-life boundaries: leave people alone during rest hours. Discover more about remote teams management in this Remote Connect session with Charles Feltman.

Create a Culture of Collaboration

While they work at a distance, team members have to depend on one another in order to build a functioning team culture. It takes commitment from employers, as well as tools from video conferencing, instant messaging tools and project management suites. Communicate your expectations proper. Poor communication can translate into misguided plans and incorrectly set or misaligned targets, which in turn result in delays in projects or not getting the job done correctly. Set your guidelines properly; reinforcing one’s goals will regularly keep everyone in step with any changes and ensure that they are all on the same page, so to speak. Help them learn, get promoted and generally do better at work: for example, by providing training resources and conducting appraisals; remotely. Involvement groups or channels create space for social interactions between remote teams because, although few workers do, many are willing to engage socially outside work if there is opportunity, community and the right working style.

Invest in Technology

The second important thing in helping your team work remotely is to provide them with the correct set of tools for the job. Not only does this make them work more effectively, but it also demonstrates your dedication to their welfare and success. Additionally, investing in communication and project management tools helps keep teams together and, in using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom for meetings, communication increases as does contact frequency, reducing the phenomenon of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. For example, buy productivity applications such as Focus@Will, which are scientifically designed playlists of music used in order to strengthen concentration and focus while working remotely, which may boost work performance of members of your global team. Buy some cloud storage so that files are easily accessible to and reduce the risk of data corruption or loss for the team member.

Create a Shared Calendar

Having a common calendar is vital for everyone to stay up-to-date with the work schedule. In the same way, it could be applied as a reference of deadlines and significant milestones of a project or a milestone. Furthermore, you can utilise this an effective resource manager, like a conference room. Have remote members develop a one-on-one with a team member during hours when they are present.Consider the shy or less confident team member. Provide channels of communication that allow your shy team members to engage more easily. Calendly simplifies the process for all parties involved by synchronising between applications, allowing its users to invite guests, and schedule a meeting time, without having to switch tabs – saving time, effort and ultimately increasing productivity.

Encourage Feedback

Good managers know that in order to be effective they need to do as much as possible to facilitate communication from the recipient. It is especially important in remote working to establish regular communications channels that are clear and direct – since remote employees cannot easily stand at the boss’s desk and explain the problems, they need to have regular channels where this is possible. Even if you can’t read body language very easily through email or Zoom calls, great remote managers are focused on empathy and goodwill towards their reports. This requires managers to be very proactive about asking their direct report how they’re doing and what their learning needs are. For example, if there’s an employee who is having trouble meeting deadlines on a project, feedback like this already won’t see their motivation diminish – it will be a bit of additional guidance in a positive and motivating way to show them this is the light at the end of the tunnel and, if they give it another push, they should see results.

Create a Culture of Accountability

An accountability culture is a vital element of effective remote working. It helps to bind the team together by empowering them to be responsible for process and outcomes. At the same time, it provides a means for managers to prioritise the high-value work, whilst also eliminating the time-suckers. Provide continuous feedback and have a process to manage the work but to do so in an accountable manner and with the expectation that team members will have full visibility and satisfaction in their work. Ensure a healthy work-life balance and make it easy for employees to pick up the slack by increasing flexibility to work the hours that suit them best. Set your policies and procedures and discuss them frankly at meetings on a regular basis, so that everyone knows them and is committed to them. Coming together for a clear statement of the core values and ambitions of every business helps to set the tone for that kind of unified team spirit that enables remote workers free of jealousy to keep noise to a minimum, to use several types of media (email, phone calls, video-conferencing, WebEx, instant messaging, and so on), so that the quieter team members don’t get left out and have a chance to speak. It means that they don’t feel left out when things get discussed while they’re not there. And it means that no one on the team gets confused – or has time to think he or she is being left out – because the email string from a previous meeting, which would have told them all, came in while they were in the loo.

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