Career Advice

How to Effectively Manage and Organize Your Remote Team

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“You’d be amazed how much quality collective thought can be captured using two simple tools: a voice connection and a shared screen.”Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp

This isn’t another article that will fully credit Covid for enabling remote working. The independence to work from any part of the world is something corporates have demanded for a long time. However, it only took a global pandemic to realize that work can be done and companies can still make profits even when all their employees work from home

With that, the immediate burden falls on the managers managing people from different parts of the world. It is like maintaining a long-distance relationship of a professional nature. Thankfully, the availability of technology, resources, and tools has made face-to-face working a thing of the past. However, not everything can be a cakewalk, and this article hopes to help those managers who find this new setup challenging

remote employeesSource

8 best practices for managing and organizing remote teams

1. Invest in a good employee survey software

To make remote working a success, building an infrastructure that supports it is a must. But, more than buildings, the right technology is needed to sustain remote working. With proper software, your team will have access to the required resources and enjoy working at their pace. So, investing in good employee survey software is vital.

Some of the features you should look out for are:

  • Seamless employee scheduling
  • Time tracking work hours
  • Automated time tracking
  • Integrated communication systems across channels
  • Insights on employee management

Employee management will directly impact employee retention in the long run. Therefore, each team member must feel like they play an essential role in the decision-making process. Their feedback shouldn’t be ignored. If you are looking for software that supports all these features and a lot more, the Agendrix employee survey software is the perfect fit for you and your team

2. Set boundaries and timelines

Remote teams can be managed smoothly when you set boundaries that separate their professional and personal life. Since people will be working from different time zones, it is quite a task to get all of them to one place at an appointed time. Schedules must be planned so that your team doesn’t feel inconvenienced. 

We all know how annoying it can be to get a notification from work when asleep. The challenge with remote working is that most team members are based in different countries. As a manager, you can simplify matters for your team by discussing their schedules and respecting their time off. This will only help in creating an ideal work environment as your team feels cared for.

It took a global pandemic to realize that work can be done and companies can still make profits even when all their employees work from home. Click To Tweet

3. Schedule regular check-ins

Regular check-ins will help in boosting workplace performance. It will make time management like second nature to each team member. With 1-on-1 meetings and group calls, you give more space for your team to be accountable by ensuring work is on track, and none of it is unattended. 

Check-in meetings can be held daily, on alternate days, or weekly, based on what suits your team. You can use systems where team members can collaborate with your calendar and schedule meetings. Automated notifications can be sent through emails or messaging apps so that everyone is aware of such meetings and free themselves from prior commitments. 

4. Give access to the same set of collaboration tools

Your team will be engaging more with each other than you and as their manager, it is your duty to ensure they have access to tools. Collaboration tools like Google Drive will improve communication, make tasks manageable, and simplify project tracking. Get your team to use similar tools so that the technical aspect of using them is less complex.

The more tools you have at work, the more confusion there will be within your team. Do not equip a team member with a different set of tools just because their responsibilities are similar to another team member. This will hamper not only collaboration but also communication needed at the workplace. With time, when your team members become a pro and are confident of using more, you can think of introducing newer ones to them.

5. Provide different communication channels

We cannot emphasize more on the importance of communication in the workplace, especially in remote working. Create one or two reliable communication channels where your team is in the loop of the changes and updates happening within the company. Use only those channels that fulfill your business needs, 

Email in itself is insufficient, but video conferencing is what will suit remote working. Since face-to-face interactions barely happen, give your team a feeling of the workplace by encouraging video calls. Mobile-friendly messaging applications can also be used when there is time-sensitive work at hand. Before implementing these communication channels, ensure that data security isn’t overlooked in any of the selected applications. 

6. Credit where credit is due

Who doesn’t love appreciation? Make sure to boost your team’s morale by celebrating professional and personal wins. Whether it’s about bagging a big-scale project after months of chasing or a team member becoming a parent, acknowledge and appreciate the feat. Compliments and rewards are sure-shot methods to motivate your team to work harder. 

7. Offer encouragement and emotional support

You cannot expect your team to always be at their productive best. In a stress-infused world, some part of it will hit your team members. Instead of reprimanding or demanding explanations, it is better to address people you feel aren’t working as well as they once used to. Schedule meetings or visit them to understand what is happening behind the scenes.

Another helpful fact is that your team will look up to you for guidance, especially in demanding situations. The emotions of the entire work squad depend on how the team leader/manager is feeling. Encourage “WE” behavior at work and support your team in overcoming work-related and even life-related issues. Make mental health and people’s well-being a priority within your teams.

8. Embrace diversity within your team

With remote working, the opportunities to get a diverse group of people working with you have improved. But, at the same time, your group must address cultural differences so that work doesn’t get hit. Steer clear of topics and prohibit your team from indulging in banter that can lead to differences and divisions within the group. 

Accepting people from different backgrounds is a challenge, so embracing cultural diversity is better as part of the team-building process. First, connect with people from different backgrounds, understand their mindsets, and respect their way of working. Then, take it a step forward by promoting an ambiance where different cultures and their aspects, like festivals, are celebrated. 

Final thoughts on successfully managing remote teams

Managing and organizing remote teams won’t be an arduous task once you apply these practices. The right tools and software will simplify remote work management across states and countries. As the market is going global, nothing should stop your team from doing the same. 

By B Naomi Grace

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