Managing Remote Teams
How to keep your remote teams efficient, productive, and happy!
Nowadays, more and more companies choose to have remote or virtual teams spread across the globe, rather than having all employees work from a single location. There are a number of reasons for this. Some companies value the freedom and flexibility that comes with remote work while some appreciate the opportunity to work with talented professionals unrestricted by geographical boundaries. Others choose to work with remote teams as it can bring significant savings to the labour budget of a company.
“Getting the best talent wherever they landed. Belief that people work their best when working autonomously. We are big believers in Daniel Pink’s work that champions autonomy, mastery and purpose. We believe the remote environment reinforces all of these principles.” -- Articulate, Inc.
However, managing remote teams while creating the right team culture across the globe can be quite challenging. In this article, we’ll cover the main challenges facing remote collaboration and some solutions to overcome them.
One of the biggest reasons why virtual teams don’t succeed is because it's really hard to compensate for a lack of "in-person communication". Managers don’t know how to replicate what happens when team members bump into each other in a common office space. On the other hand, remote team members are often accused of living in their independent worlds and not communicating as much as they need to. To ensure the success of a remote team, everyone needs to focus on engaging the other side. It's really important to ask questions, share ideas, and work together on updates. Also, it’s essential to keep all communication between the different teams, locations, and departments, centralized and in context. Things can get messy when communication doesn't happen in the right place, gets lost in tons of emails or chat messages, etc. Keeping all communication in context will maximise efficient for your entire team.
Start communicating in context with your remote team
Collaboration and transparency
When working remotely, it may take extra effort to keep people feeling committed to a team. They need to know that not only are they contributing true value to the team’s common goal but they're also essential to the team’s success in achieving its goal. It’s important to keep all team members motivated and accountable for the work they do. By creating a transparent work culture, managers empower team members to be accountable for the results (both successful and not). It’s important to make sure that everyone on the team knows and understands the bigger picture and their value to it. When working with an effective project collaboration tool, you can create a company-wide overview where each team member can see progress in a glance. This helps keep everyone aligned and on the same page.
Setting expectations and deadlines
If you don’t communicate your expectations effectively, you are doing a great disservice to your virtual team. The productivity, efficiency, and deadlines of your remote workforce can only be successful if you have clear and concise directions in place. Remote work can sometimes be less structured than the traditional office work space, but it doesn’t need to be. By having clear expectations and timelines in place, your remote team, regardless of location or time zone, will have the structure to be successful. Set clear expectations during on-boarding, and keep the conversation going. Don’t just set deadlines but work together on a timeline that can help different teams collaborate together.
Managing a remote team is not an easy task but the results of working effectively together can be amazing. The benefits of a diverse culture, across multiple time zones, with a local team on the ground and a unique team abroad plus significant cost savings is totally worth it. And if you follow these tips, you will make your work more enjoyable for all!