A remote team is always going to be a powerful asset to your organization. There is, generally, more flexibility than what a local in-office team offers, allowing for greater productivity overall; but how does one effectively manage such a team from a distance? While it may seem like a complicated task, it’s quite simple when you follow the 5 simple tips given here for managing a remote team.

5 Tips for Managing a Remote Team

1. Communication

Of course, as with any team, good communication simply isn’t an option; it’s a requirement. Creating project guidelines, determining when the remote team is available, and assigning payment scales are just few important details you can work out with good communication. It is obvious that a leader communicating effectively with their team is much more likely to find success.

Be sure to have several lines of communication open for the remote team, including email, phone, and/or virtual chat rooms or a conference call app. Having open lines of communication sends the message that you’re available to have discussions and you’re easy to get ahold of; which is something your remote team will definitely appreciate.

5 Tips for Managing a Remote Team

2. Set Expectations

Along with good communication comes setting the right expectations. If you expect a project to be completed following certain guidelines, it is essential to communicate that openly and clearly with the team. If deadlines are absolutely 100% non-negotiable, you need to express that as well. How can your team meet your expectations if you never set them? This can lead to disagreements, disputes, or even members falling off the team.

Set expectations clearly, and, if you can, set them in both written form as well as verbal form. There are always limitations to the scope of verbal communication, and written format always acts as a sort of receipt for what you’ve said. If someone claims to not remember the expectations, you can refer them to the handout or email every team member received.

It’s also crucial to keep the expectations as real as possible. Setting mountainous expectations for new team members especially is a good way to encourage burnout and even failure. You want to ensure your employees excel at what they’re doing, so you need to match expectations to their particular talents. While you should have a universal standard for what you expect from everyone, certain team members will have different skills and require more specific expectations.

 Managing a Remote Team

3. The Right Tools

Right tools are critical for accomplishing all of this. This includes things like email accounts, cloud storage/sharing, and video conferencing tools; among others. There are so many digital mediums from which to manage a remote team that it’s become much easier than it was in the past. You can also find apps for both keeping track of time and managing your teams. This means managing multiple aspects simultaneously.

By providing the right tools to keep everyone in touch, aware of expectations and deadlines, and focused on their work, you’ll likely experience a much more efficient and productive remote team. The web is home to some of the best tools available for remote and local teams alike, so don’t be afraid to try some of them out!

One of the most important tools for a remote team is cloud storage and sharing. Compared to saving projects and documents on a hard drive (although it is a good idea too), your documents get stored on a cloud account that can be accessed by anyone who is given the authority. This means that team members can download, upload, and edit projects from anywhere in the world without having to use their email.

is cloud storage and sharing

4. Assigning Deadlines

Deadlines should be assigned with plenty of time for your team members to reach the goal. This pretty much falls into the category of expectations and communication. Without clear deadlines, your employees won’t know when something is due (or how important it is that the project is delivered on time). A good way to ensure everyone is aware of deadlines is to set up an online calendar for the whole team.

Google Calendar and many team management apps allow you to set goals and deadlines and mark specific dates; from there, you can share this information with just about anyone. You’ll be much better off if you make deadlines as clear as possible!

5. Pay on Time

It often occurs that your paycheck arrives late. Then there are clients who are known for making late payments. The level of frustration such actions can cause goes beyond words. People want their money on time, and if you’re paying remote workers, they’re no different than a local employee. If you’re sub-contracting, pay invoices on time every time. What’s the quickest way to lose a good worker? Pay them late.

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