Whether you are asked to manage a virtual team or activity-based workspaces for remote work, you will need a good plan in place. Hiring remote teams is same as traditional hiring in the sense that you are aiming to find resources that will finish your tasks in an effective and timely manner. But, while the idea of doing this without creating physical office space is cost-effective, it requires quite a different approach and management strategy.
Challenges of Managing Remote Teams
Remote work is known to boost worker productivity and therefore lead to higher efficiency in a company or organization. But, nothing is as simple as it seems. Creating a successful remote team plan requires a carefully-researched and planned strategy.
Take for example the majority of top rated resume writing services – most of the writers aren’t based in an office but work remotely from the commodity of their home or a coworking space. Managing people on different locations is very different from managing those in an office, and only those with an excellent strategy to do so can get on the top of such lists.
Some of the challenges include:
- Lack of face-to-face interaction
- Coordinating people from different time zones
- Collaboration between different cultures
- Communication clarity among all members
The process is as tough as it sounds, but it certainly isn’t unsolvable. As a matter of fact, once you master managing a remote team, you can enjoy the numerous benefits that come with it.
Managing Different Kinds of Remote Teams
If you are interested in creating a remote team or already started doing this, you first need to learn about the different kinds of remote teams. Fortunately, the main strategies for managing of such teams are common between all three types. Here is what you should know about remote team management:
Focus on Minimizing the Time Zone Difficulties
If you are lucky, you may find team members that are located in your own city and are willing to work remotely. Of course, this almost never happens. When you decide to go remote, you will be seeking talent over location, which means that you are bound to have people from different time zones and locations.
This makes traditional communication more complicated since you cannot possibly work 24/7 to manage all team members. Some will be sleeping while others are working, and vice versa.
But, you can actually find that timeframe where both parties are available to work out the daily plans. As soon as you do, you can use the timeframe to discuss work and avoid all those communication gaps.
Build a Solid Rapport with and Between Members
Communication is key in every organization, but it is especially important when it comes to remote teams. If you want your team to be effective, you need to work on building a strong rapport with and between the members. Such actions will minimize the errors, boost the employees’ morale and build more trust within the team.
Create opportunities and give the team some time to build relationships with each other. Use video calls to allow them to put a face to the name and gather them for team-building once in a while. The biggest mistake you can make when managing a remote team is limiting the interaction between your members.
Use Organization and Management Tools
Your tool for organizing the remote team is, of course, a calendar. But, not a calendar that you keep to yourself, but one that is available to all team members, at all times. Seeing that your team will be working at different hours, you need to make sure that they can all get access to the calendar at their own work time.
Such calendar will also allow you to keep track of when the team members are available, as well as track their progress and finished tasks. Share online schedules, post updates, and use a variety of management tools and apps to make remote work simpler for everyone.
Set Up a ‘Break Room’
This is yet another team-building strategy you can use to compensate for the absence of a break room or a spot where employees gather when they need some time away from the work. In an office, this may be a lunch table at a buffet or a break room where you can get some free coffee and grab a bite. In remote teams, there is no room for this.
You distributed team does not have to miss such a spot. Since this is a virtual team who prefers working online, create an online ‘break room’ on some of the most popular social media platforms. A Facebook group or chat room can be the spot where your team members go to chill and share content that is just for fun. Not work related.
Never allow your employees to feel like they are not acknowledged. They should not feel disconnected. By praising and celebrating success, you can keep the team morale high.
Managing a remote team can cause you many headaches. Follow the tips above, and you can create a much simpler and more effective strategy.
About the Author:
Julie Petersen is a remote team chief editor. Also, she runs her personal blog AskPetersen where she shares tips related to content writing.
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