Better communication and business platforms have made it possible for employees to work remotely, while still being able to achieve their business goals and maintain efficiency. There are a number of things that you can do to ensure that your team is working effectively towards attaining your organization’s goals. If you are just starting to manage remote teams or you are looking for tips on how to manage your remote team, here are some do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind.
Do stay in touch
You need to be available to your team members whenever they need you. Otherwise, you might end up losing valuable time, when one person gets stuck and cannot move ahead on their project. Therefore, you should not be too busy to offer support to your team members when they need you. Check-in with them from time to time.
Do have regular meetings
Don’t let the fact that you are not in the same office be an excuse for all of you not to act as a team. Gather around a virtual table with a good audio conference call service to update each other about how everyone is progressing with their work. Invest in good technology, so as to enable you to have quality online meetings. This is a great way to communicate and to build relationships among team members.
If you need to share something with the group, you can take advantage of conference call screen sharing, so that you and your online audience can view your computer screen during a live call. This is a great way to make presentations while keeping everyone engaged. You can start up and show different programs during the meeting.
Remote team management through conference calling is a great way to communicate regularly with your team. Good communication is a crucial element to the success of your team.
Do consider time zones
Consider that your team members are in different time zones. So when you are assigning tasks or suggesting meeting times, allow a bit of flexibility. You can do this by organizing meetings to be held at different times of the day or days of the week so that you always don’t have the same person waking up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning to attend the meeting.
Do know team members expectations
Members might have different expectations, for instance, they might expect to be moved to a different country or to headquarters when they consistently perform well. Know what your worker’s expectations are and manage them. Also, clearly state what the rewards for various things are. So, know right from the start what you can offer your employees and what you can’t offer.
Don’t check in too frequently
Don’t micromanage your team members, instead, provide them with the long-term goals of the project and the details that they need and leave them to work on the project. Delegate your responsibilities and communicate well to team members, so that they know what your expectations are.
Don’t have a strict schedule
People are in different time zones and your members come from different cultural backgrounds. That means that they have different ways of doing things. Just tell them what the priorities are and the timeframe they have to get the job done.
Don’t ignore conflicts
Know how to manage a conflict when it arises. You should quickly identify the main cause of the conflict and de-escalate it as fast as possible before things get out of hand. Since remote teams do not deal with each other on a face to face basis, they may tend not to be empathetic to each other. So, do not assume conflicts do not happen among remote team members but find a way to deal with issues instead of assuming things will work themselves out.