19.10.2017   00:32    Project Management

How to manage a remote team: best tools and practices

Many small businesses and startups tend to work remotely, because it helps to cut the expenses greatly. Commonly encountered remote workers are among others designers, accountants and customer support agents. To successfully handle such teams you’ll need to master the basic principles of employee management. But to get the best out of your remote team, you’ll have to use the new strategies and recent digital tools. We’d like to share some of the best such tools and practices in this article.

Prioritize consistent communications

To truly succeed with a remote team you need to make your employees feel engaged. It’s quite a daunting task if you don’t see them every day. That’s why you need to make your communications consistent, so that every employee feels they are a part of a unified team.

  1. Everyday briefings will show your employees support from your side and genuine interest in their work.
  2. Weekly feedback is very important, too. Especially if you make it less formal. Schedule an online meeting where you can discuss work results and plans for the next week, share ideas and insights. Don’t forget to thank your employees for the work.
  3. Quarterly meetings contribute to improved team collaboration as well. You can analyze current team performance and outline further development plans.

Choose the best digital tools

It doesn’t matter if you have a huge enterprise or a small startup, you’ll benefit from using modern technologies and tools regardless. For effective work of a remote team you’ll need tools for project management and task tracking, project collaboration and discussion, collaborative document editing, document sharing.

  1. Use messengers like Slack, Telegram or WhatsApp for team collaboration and project discussions.
  2. For document sharing, meeting planning and video calls there are Google Drive, Hangouts, Google Meet.
  3. For task management within a remote team use ourDeskun plugin.
  4. For online meetings and discussions there are tools like Join.me, GoToMeeting.

Invest in personal meetings

When working with remote employees, it’s really important to organize personal meetings. Hold offline events for all employees, and you’ll be able to effectively rally your team. We know that hotel rooms and plane flights are quite expensive, but consider it an investment in your business stability and prosperity.

Clearly define roles and responsibilities

When you clearly state the roles in your team and define the work order, you’ll shuffle off misunderstanding, and your employees will prioritize tasks and plan their time more accurately. Usually remote workers are quite organized and disciplined themselves. However even most confident people might feel anxious when the roles and responsibilities are blurred. When you start a journey with a new remote team member, be sure to clearly state the duties and expectations. Provide the following information:

  1. Clearly defined tasks with deadlines
  2. Contacts of the team members who can help
  3. The place where those tasks are fixed (e.g. task management app), KPIs
  4. Weekly or quarterly plan to fulfill
  5. Internal support contacts for any questions or problems, contacts of a senior manager to appeal to in emergency cases
  6. Information about other company employees: current positions and contacts

Demonstrate their contribution to the company growth

Nowadays employees don’t stay with one company for decades anymore. So it’s really important to motivate them for professional development within a certain company and demonstrate how they contribute to its growth. When people their contribution to the overall company success, their efforts will pay off even after dismissal.

The main tip for remote team management is to treat each employee as an individual because teams with identical people don’t exist. Use the best digital tools to always be in touch, make your expectations and roles clear and don’t forget to guide and encourage your workers. Then your remote team will become a valuable asset.

25.09.2017   22:05
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