How To Manage Your Remote Team Effectively
Today’s advanced technology have tremendously improved the way we communicate, delegate tasks and complete projects. Although working remotely with teams spread across the globe proved to be financially beneficial and can also increase productivity, there may be apparent challenges along the way. These roadblocks anyhow can be remediated or avoided so to speak. Here are some key points on how to manage your remote team effectively.
Let’s go through some essential aspects a leader of a virtual team should bear in mind.
True to all types of relationships including that of an employer and employee, being in constant and open communication is vital. Your visibility (at least virtually) makes your team feel at ease knowing that their one up is closely monitoring them and will always be available to extend help if needed.
Use Online Communication Tools
Since you can’t physically be there, you can make use of online communication tools like Skype and Viber. As long as internet connection is good, online communication tools will be your best weapon when battling the day to day obstacles of manning your virtual team. Just make sure you do it properly and moderately, excessive and unreasonable micro-managing will certainly do more harm than good.
Set Reasonable Goals
This will be the building blocks of your projects and tasks. You have to make sure your virtual team clearly comprehends the dynamics of their tasks, what is expected of them and when the output needs to be available. You also have to provide the materials , applications, and tools needed to complete the work. As long as you got this part right, you are already 85% successful in managing your team and a great result is expected.
Organize Meetings and Calibration
As the employer/ team manager, your virtual employees will depend on you when it comes to what they have to do and when to do it. It is important that you manage schedules for weekly meetings,calibration and coaching to make sure everyone in the team is on the same page and any problems will be addressed the soonest. You can use screen sharing tools like TeamViewer or join.me when conducting meetings with your team so they get to see the important information being talked about in the conversation. You can also send them the file through email or chat if needed.
Assign a Point of Contact (POC)
It is understood that sometimes you can’t always be online to look after your team. That is why it will be practical to assign a POC who can check on them if you are not available. It can be your secretary, a family member or a tenured employee who knows about the projects and tasks that were designated to your team.
Use Tools for Sharing Files and Documents
There are several tools you and the team can use to send, receive and view documents. One of which is Dropbox for files that need to be transferred or sent. For real-time viewing, editing and review the best option will be Google Docs and Google Drive.
Utilize Project Management System
More than anything else, you need to have a paradigm to follow, a process that will guide how your entire team will function every day. This is when using project management tools becomes really essential. There are a lot of project management system out there, it includes those that can help you in planning, scheduling, budget management, risk management, etc.
This is to help you and your team work in harmony, without rules it will be hard to manage delegation and meet the target. Your employees can just slack off and it’s fine if you haven’t set rules on work ethics. Moreover, it is also important that you practice what you preach. When you set rules on strictly meeting the deadline, for example, you have to actually show them you do the same. Release their pay on time, deliver as promised and respond accordingly. Otherwise, it will make no sense to impose something you don’t even follow.