About 70% of the workforce is expected to be working remotely by 2025. This shift indicates that more businesses are starting to see the benefits of having a remote team. A remote team can offer several advantages, including increased productivity, engagement, and flexibility.
However, managing them effectively can be a challenge. When managing a remote team, from setting clear expectations to maintaining open communication, some factors need to be considered. In today’s article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to manage a remote team effectively.
How to manage a remote team
Remote work can be challenging for any business or company to manage. It can still be a successful endeavour with proper guidance for all involved. These eleven effective tips can help you manage a remote team more effectively:
- Set clear expectations
One of the most important things you can do when managing a remote team is to set clear expectations. This means clearly defining roles and responsibilities and setting measurable goals. Without clear expectations, it can be difficult for team members to stay on track and feel motivated.
For example, if you’re working on a project with a deadline, communicate this to your team. Let them know what you expect from them and when the project is due. It will help your team stay focused and on track.
- Maintain open communication
Another important aspect of managing a remote team is maintaining open communication. This means being available to answer questions, give feedback, and provide support when needed.
It’s also vital to create clear communication guidelines with your team. Some examples of communications guidelines include:
- Preferred lines of communication: What is the preferred method of communication for your team? This could be email, instant messaging, or video chat.
- Communication frequency: How often should team members check in with you? This will depend on the project, but it’s important to set a clear expectation.
- Communication style: What is the preferred communication style for your team? This includes things like tone, level of detail, and level of formality.
- Preferred time: What is the preferred time of day or week for team members to check-in? Again, this will depend on the project, but it’s important to set clear expectations, adjust time zones, and finalise deadlines.
This will help them feel more engaged and motivated.
- Define and delegate responsibilities
When working with a remote team, delegating responsibilities and giving team members ownership of their projects is important. This will help them feel more engaged and motivated.
It’s also important to define roles and responsibilities clearly. This way, everyone on the team knows the expectations and goals. For instance, if you’re working on a marketing campaign, you may want to assign team members to specific tasks, such as writing copy, designing graphics, or managing the budget.
- Define or identify the work: Ensure that you understand what needs to be done. This will help you delegate tasks more effectively.
- Set goals and breakdown: Once you understand the work that needs to be done, set goals and break down the task into smaller pieces. This will help team members better understand their roles and what is expected of them.
- Assign specific roles: Delegate tasks by assigning specific roles to team members. This will assist in establishing a clear understanding of everyone’s responsibilities.
- Discuss with the team: Once you have assigned roles, discuss the tasks with the team. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.
- Monitor: After tasks have been assigned, it’s important to monitor the progress and give feedback. You’ll see where they’re at with their work, who’s behind schedule, and what needs to be done.
Incentivise: Provide incentives for team members to complete their tasks. This will help motivate them and ensure that they work towards the project’s goals.
- Use the right tools
There are various tools available to help you manage a remote team. These tools can help with communication, collaboration, and task management. Some of the best tools for managing a remote team include:
- Communication tools: Communication is vital when working with a remote team. Various communication tools are available, such as Horizon Collaborate, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
- Collaboration tools: Collaboration is essential for a remote team to be successful. There are various collaboration tools available, such as Trello, Asana, and Google Drive.
- Task management tools: Task management tools can help you track what needs to be done and who is responsible for what. Some of the best task management tools include Asana, Trello, and Todoist.
- Establish ground rules
When working with a remote team, it’s important to establish ground rules. These ground rules will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them. Some things you may want to include in your ground rules are:
- Communication: How often should team members check in with you? What is the preferred communication style?
- Responsibilities: What are the roles and responsibilities of each team member?
- Deadlines: When are deadlines, and what time zone should be used?
- Expectations: What are the expectations for each team member?
- Confidentiality: What is the policy on sharing confidential information?
These ground rules will help ensure that everyone is clear on their expectations. It’s also important to review these ground rules periodically to ensure that they are still relevant and up-to-date.
If you notice that team members are struggling, it’s essential to discuss it.
- Remain sensitive to overloading and overworking
When you’re working with a remote team, remain sensitive to team members. They may be overloaded or overworked. It can happen if there’s too much work to be done or if deadlines are unrealistic.
If you notice that team members are struggling, it’s important to discuss it. You may need to adjust the workload or deadlines. Some tips you can do include:
- Regular check-ins: Have regular check-ins with team members to see how they’re doing. This will help you catch any signs of overload or overwork.
- Flexible deadlines: Be flexible with deadlines and allow team members flexibility with their work, to avoid any unnecessary stress.
- Communication: Encourage team members to communicate with you if they’re struggling. This will help you catch any issues early on.
- Encourage a positive and productive work environment
When working with a remote team, encourage a positive and productive work environment. It can be achieved by creating a positive culture, promoting collaboration, and providing support.
Some tips you can use to encourage a positive and productive work environment include:
- Encourage team building: Plan team-building activities and encourage team members to get to know each other. This will help promote collaboration and teamwork.
- Provide support: Make sure team members have the resources and support to succeed. It may include training materials, access to experts, and a clear job description.
- Encourage feedback: Encourage team members to give feedback to each other. It will help to improve communication and collaboration.
- Be prepared for challenges
When you’re working with a remote team, there will be challenges. It’s important to be prepared for these challenges to address them quickly. Some of the most common challenges include:
- Communication: Miscommunication can happen when team members are in different time zones or if there is a language barrier.
- Trust: It can be difficult to build trust with team members who are not in the same physical location. Additionally, team members may be hesitant to share information if they don’t feel like they can trust each other.
- Accountability: It can be challenging to hold team members accountable when you’re not in the same location. That means you need to have clear expectations and communication.
- Technical: There can be technical challenges when team members use different devices or software. For example, team members may not be able to access specific files or applications.
- Connectivity: Connectivity issues can happen when team members are in different parts of the world, especially when the internet is unreliable. This can make it challenging to connect with team members or stay connected.
- Be flexible
When working with a remote team, be flexible. It may mean being flexible with deadlines, work hours, or meeting times. It’s also important to be flexible with the way work is done.
For example, you may need to allow team members to work from somewhere else if they have a terrible internet connection at home. You may also need to be flexible with meeting times if team members are in different time zones.
The important thing is to be open to new ideas and ways of working. It will help to make the team more successful.
- Don’t forget one-to-ones
One-to-ones are an essential part of working with a remote team. They allow you to check in with team members, see how they’re doing, and address any issues. One-to-ones should be scheduled regularly, even if they’re just a quick check-in. This will help you stay connected with team members and address any problems quickly.
- Celebrate success
When working with a remote team, it’s important to celebrate successes. This will help to build morale and keep team members motivated. Some ways you can celebrate success include:
- Send a congratulatory email: Send an email to the team when someone has done a great job. This is a quick and easy way to show appreciation.
- Give a shout-out: Give a shout-out to team members who have done a great job during a team meeting. This is a quick way to show appreciation in front of the whole team.
- Send a gift: Send a small gift to team members when they’ve done a great job. This is a thoughtful way to show appreciation.
Whatever the method, it’s essential to show team members that their hard work is appreciated. This will help to keep them motivated and engaged.
Manage remote teams with rase
Working with a remote team can be challenging but rewarding. With clear communication, trust, and accountability, you can create a strong remote unit that can accomplish great things.
Sooner or later, you’ll be able to manage your remote team with ease and expertise. The tips mentioned in this article should give you a head start you need to be a great remote team leader.
If you’re looking for the perfect tools to support your remote teams, consider working with Gamma. We are a leading Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provider in the UK business markets and offer a number of communications and collaboration solutions. Contact us today and let us help you find the right solutions for your business.