While managing any team that is well-organized and ensuring that each individual team member is working effectively and productively can be difficult enough, it is made even more challenging when the team you are managing is a remote team.
To make this easier for you, we have put together four of our top tips on how to coordinate and manage a well-organized remote team.
Have Regular Meetings
Just because your team members are scatted around different offices, buildings, or even cities, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have regular meetings where you catch up with what everyone is doing.
If you aren’t able to head down to the different locations of all your team members, then you can hold a virtual meeting through Skype. This is a great way to get to know the members of your team without meeting them in person. While different time zones may be an obstacle to getting everyone together at the same time, you should be able to create a friendly online environment where everyone can communicate.
As a leader and manager, it is important that you lead by example, and if you can’t get your team members to communicate with you then you are unlikely to get the best out of them. This is why you should always be honest and transparent with your team members, and then you can expect them to be on the same page with you. You should get your team involved in every way that you can so that they feel like their opinion and contribution matters. It is also important that you praise members of your team that work remotely, and don’t focus on the achievements of only those who you work within close proximity every day.
Use Collaborative Tools
Due to the advancements in technology that have taken place over the last few decades, you can now stay in touch with those who are thousands of miles away just as easily as you can with someone sat in the same room as you. Therefore, you should use the collaborative tools and programs that are available to you.
For example, you can use the collaborative assistant TimeTackle which can transfer an existing Outlook calendar to an Excel sheet, making it easier to gain insights from your calendar events as well as maintain timesheets. You can use this for your entire remote team to help keep them organized and so that you have access to their meetings and appointments.
Create a Strong Company Culture
Sometimes when you are working with people who are millions of miles away, it can be easy to form alliances that can get in the way of your overall team efficiency and productivity. Therefore, as a manager, it is important that you create a strong sense of company culture so that everyone remembers the overall reason behind your work. Rather than dividing the team by office building or city, you may decide to divide tasks by roles, so that team members don’t necessarily always work with the person sitting next to them. Remind your team that you are all colleagues and that you are in this together.
Managing a well-organized remote team doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may think. By using the collaborative online tools that are available, and maintaining a sense of company culture amongst your employees, you can lead your team to success.