5 Important Tips On Managing A Remote Team. Especially #3 Is Key.

Working in a remote team can reap in huge benefits to your organization but when not carefully executed also bring significant disadvantages. Apart from saving on office space expenses and navigating around time constraints, pooling in talented and skilled individuals from across the globe can immensely boost the level of productivity and results. Read on to find out about five important tips you should put into practice right now.

Even though hiring remote workers sounds without doubt attractive, getting a successful process set up requires a lot of planning, preparation and constant tweaking. Effective communication is the key to success. In the same manner as any regular job, businesses should set clear guidelines prior to getting into such a job agreement including work schedules, job responsibilities, home office setups and secured computer networks.

1. Set Up Consistent Communication With Employees

When dealing with remote employees. communication should be planned and structured in such a way that possible time differences are not a problem. Having a clear communication schedule brings the level of consistency and clarity you want to envisage between you and the team member. The failure to thoroughly communicate results in a significant time waste, inefficient output, error-prone work and lastly unhappy clients – building up lost money and potentially no return business.

Employers have the choice to require remote workers to work at the same time when they are online. A couple hours a day of discussing work updates when both of you are online seems ideal. Chances are you may not get a high profile Virtual Assistant, Web Developer, or any position you’re hiring since not everybody is as flexible as you want them to be as far as work schedule is concerned.

2. Build A Strong Foundation Of Trust And Accountability

A critical aspect of success is having daily communication between managers and employees. A great deal of remote workers involves self-managing yet they require frequent connection with project managers and team members. Thus, trust and accountability comprise the integral foundation of communication.

It is ideal to allow remote employees to work as flexible as they need to as long as they are productive. Most companies seek to control and direct employees. A shift in focus from controlling remote employees to their self-management can yield to substantial productivity.

Another essential aspect to success is to provide training to managers concerning their communication skills. This training should focus on how to expand their communication skills such as maintaining a positive attitude to keep employees motivated as a team, providing positive feedback and constructive criticism over the phone, tracking schedules, and giving due appreciation to employees for a job well done.

3. Make Employees Feel They’re Part Of A Team

The setting of a virtual workforce adds more difficulty on achieving a sense of unity due to different geographical locations. To overcome the challenges of a remote workplace, create common goals to make employees feel that they’re part of a team.

Employees can then take the initiative to complete tasks and make more resourcefulness on their own. As a result, it is inspiring to see ideas and accomplishments from every employee – sparking new goals that help the envelope of the company’s vision.

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4. Keep Remote Employees As Motivated As Possible

Despite the advantages of working in a remote environment, you need to continually monitor whether employees stay motivated, happy, or satisfied. The last thing you want is remote workers feeling isolated and not taken care of.

One pointer to overcome feelings of isolation is to lay a solid schedule and policy for communication. It helps maintain collaboration among the team through regular virtual meetings as conference calls or video conferencing. A person’s voice gives you a lot more indication than a written comment on a task you have given. Each remote team member is reminded of their fundamental role in the company and to provide an avenue for them to know who is doing what and who is a resource.

If you have the chance, define specific points in time, for ex. every 3 months, where you meet in real life, spend time and work together. Only this way will you get to know the person better which will in turn help you for remote work relationships.

5. Use Business Tools Such As Project Management Platforms & Team Chats

There are different online applications out there but choosing the right one is not that easy. When it comes to managing a remote team, you should consider using the best project management platform that suits your needs.

Podio, for instance, is an online work platform that allows employers and employees a greater flexibility on managing their work better. It offers specialized apps with tasks, reporting, messaging, workflow, and contact management. Some of the benefits of using project management tools are to organize work routines, improve communication and to stay flexible during changes. It also serves to record real time updates of both scheduled and completed tasks on a single workspace and a single log in.

If you are looking for a very simple online tool with a handy interface I strongly recommend Basecamp. Its possibilities are not as full-fledged as Podio’s but for most remote work setups it will be perfectly fine.

The level of productivity and specialization outweigh the challenges with a remote team. Nevertheless, effective communication is vital to overcome these challenges, which is the core to having a successful team.

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