With the rise of web businesses – but not only for this reason – remote management of work teams has become an issue of increasing interest to a growing number of people.
Although this is a novel way of working – which can sometimes cause some sort of vertigo – it doesn’t have to be a problem if you do things right. Today we are going to look at some ideas to prove that managing of remote teams doesn’t have to be a torment that makes you have the strangest ideas you would never had been able to imagine, like wanting to go back to an office.
The leader is fundamental
Put away your Napoleon suit, we’re not talking about that. In any work group it is necessary for a person to assume command and guide the boat; when it comes to remote work, it becomes fundamental. If it’s going to be your role, you’ll probably have to make sure that some of the points you see below are met. Being active, kind and using common sense will be the basic tools you should never leave behind.
Choose your team well
Some people, because of their character, can be excellent face-to-face workers but have a lot of problems with distance work. Others, on the other hand, are much more efficient remotely than they would be in person. If you are going to form a remote team, it will be essential that you learn how to identify the people who will best adapt to this type of work, in order to avoid conflict and poor performance.
Personal responsibility goes first
The people on the work team are adults, right? They know how to get dressed all by themselves, and they’re over 18, right? Well, then you shouldn’t have to be on top of them all day. Each person must take responsibility for his or her own work. That doesn’t mean that the team leader should ignore everything, but if he spends the day supervising what others do, he won’t work himself or let others work in peace.
Organization is essential
The distance from the remote work itself makes an excellent organisation of work absolutely essential. Each team member should be clear about what to do and how to do it. To achieve this, you can help with useful tools, such as creating a manual that includes the most common tasks and procedures of the company. You can also include some pointers on how to use the software that team members will need to use on a day-to-day basis, or the schedule and availability policy (remote working does not mean there are no schedules, be it for good or bad).
The definition of objectives is essential
As a fundamental part of the work structure, we find the definition of objectives. Each team member should be clear about what goals he or she must achieve and the deadline for achieving them. Otherwise, neither the organization nor the definition of responsibilities will be clear, and the work could crumble like a house of cards.
Communication is the basis
If you have an online store that sells net curtains and your copywriter keeps writing articles about sardine fishing in Zimbabwe, something might be wrong. Without good communication, it is impossible for a remote work team to function. It is the only way to ensure that tasks are coordinated, that everyone has clear objectives, that ideas are shared. To achieve this, it is important that all the people in the group not only communicate with each other, but also know what work the others are doing. In addition, you should also bear in mind that remote communication is often more limited than personal communication, so misunderstandings can arise and may even create conflicts between peers. Remember that this is key in the emotional aspect. Good communication creates bonds; bad communication destroys them.
Promoting a team spirit is necessary
The fact that each one works in a different place (or even in different countries) and has their own responsibilities does not mean that they have to work in a grey and dark cubicle, separated from the rest of the group and completely isolated from them. In addition to having good communication, you have to make the different members feel like part of a team. To achieve this, it will be necessary to define the team’s objectives and to make each of its members aware of how important their work is so that the group’s goals can be met.
For communication to be effective, it should not be limited to just two people, but should include the whole team. A daily or weekly meeting via videoconference can be a great help in updating objectives and sharing ideas, progress, problems, etc. It also encourages team spirit (it’s good to see the faces from time to time). Other tools, such as internal chats, are often quite flexible and can also promote communication. And they will even allow you to send funny photos (always with moderation…).
Don’t let it be just remote
Are you really not curious to know if Whoever is as short as they say? Although technology provides us with unthinkable possibilities a few years ago and allows us to work in our dreamed place and collaborating with people who are thousands of miles away, we are still human beings, and personal contact is irreplaceable. Whenever possible, scheduling an annual meeting to meet face-to-face and shake hands (or even a hug, if possible), will be very positive and will unite team members.
Use the appropriate technological tools
If your team is going to work remotely, carrier pigeons may not be the best way to communicate. Nowadays, there are multiple technological tools that can help you in your task. You have Skype for video conferencing, Google Drive for editing shared documents, Mattermost for internal chat, or eHorus for remote computer management.
What? Are you saying you still don’t know what eHorus is? How can it be? eHorus is looking forward to your meeting him! If you want to know what it has to offer, click here.