How to Manage a Remote Team Without Skipping a Beat
Whether by choice or default, thousands of companies have recently transitioned from physical office setups to remote teams. If your business is among this swelling contingency, you’re likely experiencing some friction as it relates to managing your team and ensuring you get optimum productivity and output.
While every team is different, it’s often helpful to have some strategies and frameworks in place to help manage a remote team and get the best possible results. In this article, we’ll explore a few of these top tips - giving you the freedom to pick and choose the ones that align with your objectives.
The Benefits of Remote Teams
If you zoom out and look at remote teams from a wide-lens perspective, it’s easy to see the benefits and advantages that come with operating remotely. Here are some of the top ones that come to mind:
This is just a small taste. There are dozens of smaller benefits that businesses enjoy when they make the switch to remote teams. And whether it’s your plan to eventually return to a physical workplace, or you’ve made a permanent switch, perks like these make it easy to see why so many companies opt for virtual teams.
The Challenges of Remote Teams
Managing a remote team isn’t always ideal. There are plenty of challenges that must be identified, addressed, and overcome. They include:
While these challenges are real, they don’t have to inhibit your success. By identifying them early, you can address them in a timely manner and ensure they don’t define your organization.
4 Tips for Remote Team Management
Managing a remote team isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Here are some powerful tips that will help reduce friction and improve your odds of success.
According to Dev.co, which advocates for remote software development teams, the key is to hire the right people. In particular, you want to:
Your team needs to know what your expectations are for them from the very start. This includes everything from when they should be at their “desk” to how often they’re required to check in or provide reports. Good communication is a must with any remote team - and it starts with management.
While we don’t advocate for unnecessary meetings, there is something to be said for leveraging video communication as much as possible. In situations where it isn’t possible to interact in a face-to-face capacity, video is the next best option. It eliminates confusion and helps create stronger bonds and rapport between co-workers.
When you work in a physical office, your team gets to rub shoulders at the proverbial water cooler. These thousands of small interactions are what establish strong connections and vibrant workplace culture. Without physical proximity, it’s harder to establish these bonds. But it’s not impossible.
One suggestion is to always make time for small talk at the beginning of meetings, in emails, and all other internal forms of collaboration. This small talk might seem like a waste of time, but it ultimately helps your team connect with one another - resulting in greater loyalty and satisfaction.
Set Your Team Up for Success
There’s no formula for managing a remote team. Every team is unique - in terms of people, skills, resources, and desired outcomes. But if you implement some of the tips discussed in this article, you’ll find it easier to amplify the benefits of having a remote team, while simultaneously working through the challenges to overcome potential pitfalls. Mistakes will still be made, but you’ll rest easy knowing that you’re doing everything within your control to generate results.