Five Tips to Manage Remote Teams
Managing remote teams can be an efficient, cost-effective way to do business. As long as everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction. These five tips will help you manage remote teams.
- Schedule one team meeting per month – Team meetings provide the opportunity for internal relationships while also educating each member on any updates. Being in the same room is optimal. Face time doesn’t necessarily mean face-to-face though. Before the pandemic, Zoom digital meetings joined individual faces to a virtual classroom or boardroom all over the globe, but post-coronavirus, it became a household name. Other options for digital meetings include Microsoft Teams, FaceTime and GoToMeeting.
- Disconnection demands personal connections – In a traditional office environment, Forbes reports 89% of people admit to wasting time socializing. It’s not necessarily wasted when bonds form and morale increases. Since the day-to-day interaction doesn’t exist in the remote workforce, managers of remote teams should look for other opportunities to create connections showing key players they matter. Celebrate birthdays or work anniversaries. Make an effort to remember family names and ask about them. During the monthly team meeting, point out specific individual efforts that each team member brought to the group that made a difference as a whole. With large teams, this may be harder, so have managers reach out to their team members to express gratitude for work well done.
- Do a weekly check-in – Depending on what system your company uses, a project management system, such as Asana, is a great way to keep team members accountable is the best way to stay on track. It does not require a Zoom meeting or a conference call. Just a point person to shoot out a reminder for everyone to take a look at the to-do list, check off any completed tasks, adjust any dates or put in notes on overdue projects. Provide a clear deadline for when you expect the team to comply. Once the clock ticks down, a quick overview of the calendar as a whole will give a broad picture of where each project stands and what adjustments, if any, need to be made.
- Be available – One area that can derail motivation, morale and a trickle down of other tasks is the inability to ask detailed questions of the leader. It’s important to your team can reach you for private conversations. However, because remote work schedules tend to flow outside the constructs of the typical 9-5 schedule, outline any restrictions you would like in place for phone calls or even text messages coming in during family time. Be sure to provide clear boundaries and do not deviate or it will confuse your team.
- Set the tone – Remote employers get minimal opportunities to connect with team members. It’s important during these phone calls, video chats, and even text messages or email conversations to provide a positive atmosphere, set clear boundaries and define expectations. As a leader of a remote team, challenge yourself to go above expectations. If your team feels comfortable with you at the helm, communication will flow easily, and that’s where the real magic happens.
Need help as you manage remote teams? Point Taken can help. Contact us today.
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