7 Tips for Managing a Remote Team

#1  Hire the right people

Not everyone is up to the task of working alone.  Remote work places are usually less social than traditional work locations.  People on remote teams need to be okay with that.  For best results, it is imperative to hire people who are up for this challenge and capable of working independently, but yet in a team. Competencies to look for are the ability to deal with unexpected challenges; someone to take ownership in individual results and looking inward for ways to improve performance.; and sense of self awareness or self-knowledge of strengths and needs to identify resources where there are gaps.

#2  Use the right remote work tools

Tools are important in a remote workplace because they enable you to better organize the team and keep everyone on the same page.  A truly effective remote work team will have all the vital remote work tools such as:  email, a file sharing system, an instant messaging platform, screen sharing capabilities, project management software as well as the tools & resources specific to your specific industry. There are many free or very inexpensive cloud systems available that can assist if your office does not have these tools currently available.  It is important that your team be on the same page / platform.

#3  Organize a work plan

One of the most important ingredients in a powerful remote team is the processes or how you work in a virtual team.  Each person may develop their own unique processes and procedures that don’t mesh with the way others team members are working.  It best to utilize a project management system to keep everyone in touch and on the same page.

#4  Clearly communicate goals and objectives clearly

Help remote workers understand what they are working towards by setting the correct priorities and goals.  In a virtual work setting, the importance of having clear project goals and objectives can not be overstated.  These goals need to be clearly communicated during meetings, regular check-ins, and periodic reviews.

#5  Keep communication lines open

Communication is key in any situation. However, this importance is magnified when you have a completely remote workforce.  You have to get really good at deliberate, structured communication.  Make sure the team is checking in daily.  Set aside time for your one-on-ones with your staff.  Also, encouraging team members to keep in touch with each other can be invaluable for additional points of communication.  It is easy to lose sight of team members when they are not “in sight”.  Effective communication will help you build a team that is innovative, efficient, and results-driven.

#6  Trust is key

Recruiting workers you can trust can be a time-consuming process when you’re trying to run a business.  Since not everyone can work in a remote situation, it is important to find people you can trust to completely their tasks and stay productive when wo9rking under their own steam.  Hire doers, people you know they will get stuff done.

#7  Develop a happy and engaged team

Compensate for the fact that you are not bumping into each other by trying to create some social aspects with your remote team members.  Creating bonds with your company can be as simple as using videos to inspire your team.  Meeting in person periodically, having and maintaining non-work-related communication, or anything that creates a feeling that the team members are not working separately but are truly part of a team.