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Remote Team Managers: Are You Using These Tips To Manage Your Team?

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by Startacus Admin

remote working management
Having a remote team has many advantages. Reduced office expenses, access to better talent, better talent at low cost, 24 X 7 availability, productive employees are some of the advantages that remote companies enjoy. Given no-investment in office set-up, more and more start-ups are preferring going remote.

But what makes these companies successful in remote work? It’s how successfully they manage their virtual teams. People, processes and tools are the backbone of remote organizations. 

If you have a remote team or planning to go remote, here’re some tips and tools that will make your work a lot easier and successful. 

Zero investment in infrastructure sounds interesting. But you must invest in some tools to make remote work work for your team. Don’t worry, the investment in tools is not as huge as setting up a real office.

Careful Hiring

When you decide to hire remote employees, be very careful about the skills they possess. Consider their work-related skills as well as their attitude towards remote working. It is possible that a person with great work related skills may not be able to work in isolation or he / she may take undue advantage of the flexibility you offer.

Our recommendation is try before you hire. Set a trial period and assess the outcome. If you think he / she is a good fit, onboard; else look for someone better. You cannot afford to keep unproductive employees.

Communication:

When you don't see your team everyday, it’s necessary to communicate with each of them on regular basis.

It has two major advantages -

  • You can clarify the tasks and what you expect from the employee. Most projects fail because the requirements are not clear. Even there needs to be a communication with the team on a day-to-day basis for getting status, resolving queries, allocating resources etc.
  • The employees feel connected even if they are not working in the same office. Remote work sometimes may lead to boredom. Not everyone enjoys working alone. To overcome this challenge and make your team feel connected, communication is the solution.

Use Skype, Google Hangout or Slack to communication with you team. You can always make sure everyone’s on the same page if you communicate regularly. Although these communication tools offer more functionality in paid version, the free version is more than enough to get started. 

Project Management:

Be it a physical or remote team, project management is essential. Without it, the team will lose the track and the project will fail. Sending status updates, milestones, allocating resources, assigning and tracking tasks and issues, everything is covered in project management.

Working on a project is a collaborative effort. Multiple people work on the same document or file at the same time in a team. Setting up a remote project management process and using various online collaboration tools would help. 

Project management tools list is infinite. Here’re basic tools that will cover all areas of project management.

  • For collaborating on documents - Google Drive, Dropbox or Basecamp
  • For collaborative development - GitHub. It makes version control easier and multiple people can work on the same code
  • For keeping track of tasks - Trello and Asana for
  • For issue tracking - JIRA
remote working management

Don’t Micromanage

Although you’re supposed to manage each of your employees, make sure you’re not micromanaging. Employees feel valued when they’re given the freedom, when they’re given the responsibility.

Delegation is the most important managerial skill. By giving your employees, ownership of tasks or projects, their performance improves, they feel important and encouraged. This results in decreased employee turnover rate in the long run.

Apps like Dropbox, Slack, Time Doctor would help to manage your employees without being a micro-manager.

Track Their Time

When the employees work from home, they may get distracted easily. Also they might work as and when they feel like working. This may result in collaboration issues and poor performance. You cannot scold them or ask them about the irregular work patterns given  the fear of losing them.

It’s always better to have a work policy in place. Use a time tracking tool to track their time right after they start working for you. This will eliminate all the ugly discussions you’d need to have with them in case they are not working as and when expected. They will soon feel confident about how good time tracking is. They will be more productive.

Track Their Performance

To always keep your team on track and motivated, have a performance review process in place. Make the employees aware of it and assess each employee’s performance regularly.  

The performance evaluation helps the employees improve at work. Give positive feedback if they’ve done an amazing job. Don’t hesitate to give suggestions where improvements are needed. Also, take this opportunity to make sure everything in the remote set-up is working for them.

Pay Them On Time

It is always said that nowadays, employees prefer flexibility over pay. But nobody will be happy to work for you if you don’t pay them on time. Making the payments exactly on the date even before they realize will make them happy and increase their loyalty.

Use online payroll software for easy and accurate payments. An integration of time-tracking and payroll works best to make payments based on hours worked.

remote working management

Meet In Person

Meeting in person helps build team bonding and increase employee morale. Plan a team team meeting at least once in a year at a convenient location. There are many advantages of the team retreat -

  • It helps to build team morale
  • Team members feel more connected and much better at working together
  • You can brainstorm new ideas and initiatives
  • You will observe increased performance and dedication in your team 

These are tips you can follow to better manage your remote team and make your remote organization successful. Remote work is going to be the prefered mode of working. Many companies are already successfully running a remote business. If you want to be the next big thing in the remote world, get started now.  Be organised and be process oriented. 

Vaishali is a digital marketer at Time Doctor, a SaaS time tracking & productivity tool for companies & freelancers. 


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Published on: 20th November 2017

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