4 Best Practices for Remote Team Management
With our increasing connectivity, it’s easier than ever to work with others online. Despite this, there are still distinct differences that need to be kept in mind for remote team management.
- Project Management Systems
Even if your company has a small team, you should invest in a project management system. Emails and other forms of communication can easily get lost or buried, but an open task on a management system keeps everyone accountable. Work with your team to make a habit of checking their tasks daily, ensuring they know their priorities and aren’t missing any new items. These systems make it easy to assign tasks to individuals, review their progress, and inspect their work.
- Quick Calls for Issues
If you’re having a miscommunication, get on a video call. You’ll solve the problem more quickly and clearly than though a long text conversation. With a remote team, you don't have the benefit of being in the same place, so it's important to simulate that as much as possible. Tone can also be difficult to interpret through text only, which can lead to more miscommunications. If anyone on your team is unsure of something, take the time to get on a short call. You’ll not only clear things up, but you’ll get face-to-face time which can be rare in remote work.
- Clear Expectations and Instructions
Your team members need clear instructions so they know exactly what should be done. Screen share to show them information or examples that would be useful to their task, and leave thorough written notes that they can reference later. If you work with a team that has more freedom day-to-day, don’t forget to set expectations. Is there a deadline coming up or a specific way you need a report done? Make sure you’re communicating everything to your remote workers and not just your in-house team. This is another area that truly benefits from a project management system.
- Check-in Regularly
Short and simple, but frequent check-ins with team members will allow you to make sure everyone has what they need to succeed. Regular team meetings are a necessity, but don’t forget to talk one-on-one too. Make yourself available for the times when your remote team has a quick question; they can’t just pop into your office to ask.
Overall, the main thing is communication. It’s key in every relationship, but even more so when you don’t regularly see each other in person. Set your team and yourself up for success by utilizing organized communication avenues and frequent video calls.
Not sure how to focus on team building for your virtual employees? Forget the company retreats, check out these four simple steps you can take to nurture a strong and connected team.