How to Manage a Remote Team? 6 Tips for Sustained Success
More and more people and positions are going remote these days—in fact, 63 percent of companies hire remote workers. What makes remote work so appealing are its flexibility, money-saving opportunities, better work-life balance, and improved focus. However, if not supported correctly, a remote team can become more chaotic than cohesive, which can lead to issues with quality work getting done on time. Whether you are building a remote team and want to set them up for success from the start, or you have a remote team in place but need stronger managing techniques, here are six tips that you can implement now and see results right away.
You can use freelancers to complement your team and help sustain workflow and productivity. These days you can use staffing firms to help find a freelancer for just about any role, from web design to admin support. Assess their soft skills, too, like communication, problem solving and collaboration. These freelancers can support your work as an ongoing resource or become a permanent player on your team.
Making sure communication is clear and that outcomes are understood and agreed upon is central to a successful remote team. Use online video-conferencing software so that everyone can communicate during meetings. Try to get a transcript of meetings created so that your team can reference them later. It’s less time consuming than taking notes, and most automated speech-to-text transcription services have high accuracy rates depending on audio quality, turnaround times in under an hour, and rates as low as ten cents per minute.
Allow your team to communicate on various topics
Using a communication tool like Skype or Slack, you can give your remote team the opportunity for “water cooler” interactions. It may worry you to think that your team is wasting time, but opportunities to connect more deeply are the building blocks for successful collaboration. Team building activities for remote workers might not always look like the kinds we participate in face-to-face. Activities like mentoring, team trivia and shared journaling can be extremely effective in the digital world.
Manage Time and Productivity
Tracking time and project progress is a critical way to make sure your customers and clients get the high-quality care they expect. Keep your remote team organized by offering time tracking software so they are paid fairly and accurately for their work—it also comes in hand for billing. Productivity software like Basecamp, Asana or Trello will make collaboration more effective by helping your team share files, assign tasks, monitor due dates and edit PDFs.
Set a Flexible, Consistent Tone
One of the biggest work-life perks of remote work is the flexible schedule. Since they can step into their home office any time, remote workers are more productive, more responsive and more committed. But that can also lead to inconsistency. Set a tone that prioritizes flexibility with consistency, and compassion with firmness.
Be Compliant with Paperwork
Documenting remote workers may take different kinds of tax and legal forms, especially if they are freelancers, contractors or consultants. For instance, some people will fill out a 1040 and others a 1099 to claim taxes. If you have full-time or part-time remote employees, you need to make sure they have access to access to documents that are state and federally mandated, like employment standards, OSHA information, and other important safety information.
Managing remote employees can sometimes be challenging and even frustrating, but many companies quickly find that remote workers are a great asset. Working with people from any location around the world makes it a lot easier to hire talented, high-performance individuals that propel your business toward success.
Bringing it all together
By now you have should have a few resources that will help you manage your remote workforce. Sometimes access to them is not enough and you need someone to help optimize the usage of these tools and get the engine running smoothly. If you would like to talk with a JaxonLabs team member about optimizing your remote team, connect with us.