It’s no secret that remote work is on the rise. A recent study by Gallup showed that 45 percent of full-time employees in the United States worked remotely, partly, and fully in September 2021.
There are plenty of advantages to having a remote team. For one, you can hire the best talent from anywhere, and you’re also not limited by geographic location when it comes to finding top talent.
Additionally, remote teams can be more productive and have more flexible hours than traditional office-based teams. However, some challenges come with managing a remote team.
The biggest challenge is communication, and it can be challenging to keep everyone on the same page when you’re not in the same room. There’s also the issue of trust, and it can be hard to build trust with team members you don’t see regularly.
With more and more people working remotely, managers must know how to manage remote teams spread out across different locations. Here are ten tips and best practices worthy of replicating.
Table of Contents
- 1. Define expectations and roles clearly from the outset
- 2. Use video conferencing tools for regular meetings
- 3. Set rules for off-topic conversations
- 4. Encourage team members to communicate frequently
- 5. Use productivity tools
- 6. Celebrate successes together
- 7. Keep an open mind to different working styles and schedules
- 8. Offer flexible benefits and perks
- 9. Invest in training and development opportunities
- 10. Promote work-life balance
- Final Thoughts
1. Define expectations and roles clearly from the outset
It’s important to have a clear understanding of everyone’s role and expectations, and it helps you avoid any misunderstandings down the road. Make sure to set ground rules for communication, too. This is one of the first tips on how to manage remote teams effectively.
Create a shared understanding of when and how team members should check in with one another. It ensures that everyone is aware of what their responsibilities are. Each team member should also be clear on the company’s goals and objectives.
2. Use video conferencing tools for regular meetings
Video conferences are essential for maintaining remote workers connected. Face-to-face meetings with team members are easy to organize using programs like Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts.
Schedule regular meetings, not just when there is a problem or issue to discuss. Team members need to feel like they’re part of a cohesive unit, and regular meetings help to reinforce that.
3. Set rules for off-topic conversations
While it’s great to have a casual conversation with team members, it can be disruptive when these conversations occur during work hours. Establish rules for off-topic discussions so that everyone is aware of what is and isn’t appropriate.
It’s also important to set boundaries when working from home. Some people find it difficult to focus when working from home, while others may face the temptation to take advantage of the flexible hours. Define what is and isn’t acceptable behavior when working from home.
4. Encourage team members to communicate frequently
This strategy is one of the best ways to overcome the challenges of remote work. Ensure everyone has access to the necessary tools, such as email, chat programs, and video conferencing software.
Encourage team members to communicate through other channels, such as social media, forums, and wikis. This strategy helps keep everyone in the loop and prevents any misunderstandings.
5. Use productivity tools
Productivity tools can be a lifesaver as they help you on how to manage remote teams across different locations. Tools like Asana and Trello can help team members track their tasks and deadlines, and they can also help with collaborating on projects.
Tools like Slack can also be helpful for communication among team members, and it allows team members to have quick and easy access to one another without going through email chains.
6. Celebrate successes together
Working in a remote team has several advantages, one of which is that it’s simple to celebrate accomplishments together. When someone achieves a goal, inform the rest of the crew about it, promoting employee camaraderie and team spirit.
Having discussions about ways to improve your company as a whole that may help you grow and attract more clients is an excellent method to maintain morale high. It’s also critical to have periodic check-ins to see how everyone is doing. It helps you identify any potential issues early on, allowing you to remedy them quickly.
7. Keep an open mind to different working styles and schedules
Not everyone is the same, and that’s okay. Remote teams should embrace different working styles and schedules, allowing team members to work in a way that suits them best.
Some people may prefer to work from home, while others may only want to work a few days a week remotely. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for managing a remote team. As long as everyone is on the same page, it doesn’t matter how or when team members work.
8. Offer flexible benefits and perks
Employers are always looking for ways to improve their productivity, and they will offer remote workers greater flexibility and choice. Flexible benefits and perks are a must-have for remote teams, and these incentives allow team members to take advantage of the freedom of working remotely.
Telecommuting, flexible hours, and job sharing are the most popular flexible benefits. Free snacks, gym memberships, and massages are examples of perks.
9. Invest in training and development opportunities
Teams that operate remotely should provide training and development for their team members. It allows workers to acquire new talents and stay updated on the latest trends. It’s also a great way to build camaraderie among team members.
Training and development opportunities can help employees feel like part of a cohesive unit.
10. Promote work-life balance
Working remotely might be difficult, especially if team members don’t have an excellent work-life balance. Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day by promoting a work-life balance. Allow them to take time off when they need it and avoid penalizing them for being away from the office.
Encourage employees to disconnect from their workplace after working hours. This will help in their unwinding and recharging for the next day.
Creating a remote team can be a challenge, but it’s worth it. You can create a productive and successful team that works well together with the right strategies.
Final Thoughts on How to Manage Remote Teams
So, there you have it. These are our top tips on how to manage remote teams. Of course, every company is different and will have its own needs, so don’t be afraid to experiment with what works best for you.
The most important thing is to start on the right foot by setting expectations and roles clearly from the outset and then encouraging regular communication between team members.
With the right tools in place, your remote team can be just as productive – if not more so – than your traditional office-based one. Plus, you can also use Fill as one of your must-have productivity tools to help you manage your documents online.
Whether you need to sign documents, track its status, or use the logs for audit trail, Fill can do it for you. Explore its features for free and see how it will improve your remote team’s workflow.