Remote working has become an essential and useful benefit that any business can offer, and it’s clear why. Remote work options have become popular among employers and employees to unlock better productivity. Companies that have remote workforces can save money on office space and other overheads. In contrast, remote employees enjoy the perk of working from anywhere they want. There is no doubt that remote working can be beneficial. Still, it does come with some challenges, especially for managers or supervisors. If you are currently managing a remote team, then you have to find ways to guide, support and nurture your team members. Before we tell you ways to do just that, let’s look into what a remote team is.
What is a remote working team?
A remote team is a group of professionals that doesn’t work from a particular location like an office space. The individuals in this team may belong to different time zones, cultures and have different skills. But, mostly, they all depend on the same collaborations tools to get the work done. According to a survey done in 2017, almost 62% of the working population has flexible roles, while 98% of those employees believe that remote work makes them more productive.
The growing trend of remote working opportunities will continue to grow as more businesses are exploring possibilities of digital transformation. New collaborative tools like file sharing, video conferencing make it easier for people to work from anywhere, at any time. With the right collaborative tools and an internet connection, you can get to work. Allowing employees to work remotely has many benefits; however, you need to manage the team efficiently.
How to Manage Remote Teams?
Over the last few years, the concept of remote working has become very common. Employers feel more comfortable in allowing their staff to work from home or remotely. The managers also understand the value of accessing talented employees that are not restricted by a geographical location.
All businesses are always looking to perfect the remote working experience for their workforce. Hence the demand of collaborative tools has increased. To empower your remote team, you need the right collaboration tools, commitment and right attitude.
Tips on Managing Remote Teams
1. Practice Constant communication with Voice over IP
With tools like VoIP telephony it has become easier to ensure ongoing communication with distributed teams. Thus, the trend of remote working has become more popular nowadays. Every successful team needs communication to thrive and the only way to do so it to have different means of communication. Then you can decide which mean to use to connect with your employees. For daily conversations, you can use conferencing and instant messaging in real-time. If you want to conduct more in-depth meetings, then you should try regular calls over IP phones and video conferencing. However, conversations with remote teams don’t always have to be business-related either. It would be best if you gave your employees the time to bond and chat to boost the effectiveness of team collaboration.
2. Encourage Transparency
As the manager of your team, you will be the one to whom others turn for guidance. You cannot expect your remote team to communicate openly if you don’t talk in the same way with them. You have to make sure every team member is updated about what is going in the company with regular alerts or newsletters. As a manager, you have to ensure that your remote team can quickly come to you whenever they are concerned and have queries. Even something like video conferencing can make you appear more transparent. According to research, 87% of the workforce feels more connected to their colleagues whenever video is available. To run a successful and productive remote team, you have to remember the following:
- Make clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
- Schedule work hours, meetings, and holidays
- Encourage transparency and honestly in work.
- Discuss expectations, goals, and concerns team members
- Track performances and projects through remote work management tools
3. Encourage Better Relationships between Employees
One of the most common problems that a business faces when managing remote teams is encouraging buy-in from the remote workers. With employees’ distributed around the globe, it can be hard for remote workers to feel an emotional connection with you or other colleagues. Therefore, you need to commit some time to develop a relationship with your remote workers. If you want a high-performing team, then you have to become mindful of their feelings. Look for opportunities to connect with your employees and to develop a bond. For example, you can set up a group chat where employees can talk to each other about random things. Also, you could schedule regular breakout sessions where your team can get to know each other.
4. Use the Right Tools to Keep Teams Organised
Managing a remote workforce means you have to know how to structure your team so that they can deliver better productivity in every environment. Since you won’t be in the same place to oversee them, you will need tools to empower teams and keep them organised. For example, you can use tools like Dropbox or Google Drive to share files with everyone so that your team has access to all kind of information. You can also use tools like Trello to set deadlines and manage projects better. There are many other tools that you can use to monitor the time that each employee spends on a task or project.
While remote teams do benefit from the freedom to work independently, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need tools that keep them on track. Even a simple tool like a cloud-based calendar can help in arranging meetings with colleagues or a collaboration tool like VoIP Business can help you monitor your team’s performances actively.
Consider these things to manage teams:
- Audio and video conferencing and instant messaging
- File sharing tools
- Storage and automatic backup tools
- Project management and time tracking software
- Calendar and scheduling tools
Out of Sight but Not Out of Mind
In the modern business landscape, remote teams are everywhere, and their popularity will continue to grow. While managing a remote team may seem difficult, tools like VoIP Business conferencing and more can help better the process of management. VoIP Business aims to provide you with best business phone system to manage remote workforce. Just remember, your employees might be out of sight; they don’t have to be out of mind. As a manager, provide them with structure and tools that can help them thrive along with your business.