Virtual teams can be a great resource for business because teams can be comprised of members who have the expertise and talent that may not be available within the organization’s walls, the same city or same time zone. However, effectively managing remote teams can be a challenge for those managing them.
Some facts about remote employees
- According to Cisco, approximately 69% of the employees surveyed cites higher productivity when working remote their work productivity improved.
- A report from ConnectSolutions conclude that remote workers can lead to higher efficiency.
- By the year 2020, experts predict one half of the global adult workforce will be remote.
Remote team management can come with a few challenges, as well. Here are 11 best practices which explains you how to manage remote teams effectively in your business.
1) Find the right workflow management system for your team
To maximize the team output you need to find out the right workflow management systems for your team. Choosing the best ways can help you have more productivity. Benefits of having a right workflow,
- You can easily avoid the trap of micro management.
- Allow your team to control the work on each level.
- Team can easily establish specific goals.
Bonus tip: Instead of focusing on how the work is being done, focus on the work itself and set clear objectives for your each remote employee.
2) Create a workplace culture for your remote teams
While managing remote team, it is important to have a clear vision of team culture. Culture is about human beings, and people want to feel part of something positive and bigger than themselves.
Remote team managers who are able to create this sense of culture will increase the quality, productivity and commitment of their remote team members and their work. True workplace culture drive successful remote teams.
Bonus tip: Recognize their hard work and give them reward for their efforts.
3) Try different communication medium
To manage your virtual teams you need to apply different communication method. Here are some medium which works for communication purpose,
- Video Chat
- Web Chat
Bonus tip: Make sure every remote team communication is delivered on the right platform.
4) Have a culture of accountability and trust
It is important to have a culture of accountability. In order to bring strong working relationship with your team members is to create social bonding. Setting clear expectation for remote workers is also a key.
Bonus tip: Establish trust in between your remote workers. It will improve the confident level and trust.
5) Effective collaboration on documents
In remote team management, there are number of documents shared by employees with each other. In this scenario, Google drive has made a life of the virtual assistants easier than ever.
If you have a document which needs editing with the help of various people at a time, you can get it edited all at once when you share the document in the Google Drive or Drop box.
Bonus tip: Use Google Drive for seamless work on files without having to download and re-upload them.
6) Allow a degree of flexible working hours
These days, working from home have been given to prioritizing in the life of the people to get the flexibility with their working hours. It is an important aspect to include flexibility in working hours to manage remote teams, one requires to get collaborated is not necessary.
Staying available through virtual tools can also help the team to stay connected and at the same time, they can chat and resolve any sorts of upcoming issues.
Bonus tip: Make their working hour flexible so it will create an opportunity to create a structure of overbooking and micromanaging.
7) Track their performance
It is very important to implement a structure of tracking the performance of remote employees whether your team is virtual or not. Provide them flexibility but don’t completely leave them on their own. If they are getting paid based on working hours then track their attendance by using tracking software.
Bonus tip: You can use SalesHandy tool to streamline your communication with your remote team members. It will create transparency in the work environment and you will know quickly whether team member is productive or not.
8) Take regular feedback
Collecting regular feedback is one of the most important part of remote management strategy. It allows you to encourage hard work, put transparency in your work and also create good opportunity to explore new ways to keep in touch with your remote team.
Bonus tip: Create 360-degree feedback so that remote employee can motivate him/herself for doing better.
9) Keep communication simple and natural
It is important to maintain a communication through email service, product wiki, task board, instant messaging apps. By using virtual assistance tools you can keep the communication simple and natural. It is the best way to minimize setup overhead.
Bonus tip: Use the right tool for your communication and create a simplified workflow.
10) Take out time for small conversation
To work in a highly moderated management, the remote employees need to get indulged in the small conversations. If there is a deadline to maintain or have a quick meeting to attain, all things require a small talk that can help in clearing the doubts and help in fast indulge for execution of the tasks.
Bonus tip: Small conversation with your team members demonstrate that you care and this will also make them like working for you more.
11) Get together face to face at least once in a year
At least once in a year you can bring all your virtual teams together for a small face to face meeting. This type of gatherings helps in increasing the possibilities of discussing business at a substantial stage.
With warm get together and team building activities directly impact on productivity, team morale and overall team performance. No matter whether your team is big or small, it is important to focus on team building activities, and create a sense of connectedness across the company.
Bonus tip: Small gathering with your team members will give an opportunity to have big discussion around culture, vision and team future.
12) Respect cultural differences
No matter whether we are managing small or big remote team, managing a culturally diversity in the team can be challenging sometime. Dealing with cultural differences, language barriers in remote team members are some of the issue that today’s managers and leaders face. So, it is important to successfully navigate the cultural diversity in the workplace.
Bonus tip: Educate your team members about the cultural ethics, language and religious holidays. This will help to solve the problems and keep cultural misunderstanding at minimum level.
The explosion of technological advancements has redefined every aspect of our lives, especially the way we work. Having and managing remote employees are now a mundane aspect of today’s workplace. So, if you are a leader then you need to follow above-mentioned best practices of managing the remote teams to create a truly united team.