3 Ways To Successfully Manage A Fully Remote Team
By Thomas Griffin, co-founder and president of OptinMonster. Entrepreneur, investor and software expert. Helping you be a better leader in your organization.
In the post-pandemic era, many businesses have shifted toward a remote work culture.
A lot of people love the idea of being able to work from home and are embracing it with open arms. And why wouldn’t they? Working remotely has its own set of benefits, after all.
First, you save a lot of time and money by not having to commute every day. Second, you get to work on your own schedule as long as you meet your goals regularly.
And the third and biggest advantage of working remotely is that you get to spend a lot of time with your loved ones. So maintaining a work-life balance is not a struggle anymore.
But guess what? Running an all-remote company and managing the entire team virtually is not equal fun, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. So while working for a remote company can be an exciting experience, managing a remote team can be a challenging task to handle.
Common Challenges Of Remote-Working Managers
Unlike working at a physical office where you get to meet your coworkers and team members every day, in the remote work culture, you rarely get to do it. And this has been the major cause of concern for many remote managers.
Due to the lack of physical interaction, many managers find it difficult to bridge the communication gap between team members. This ends up creating a lot of misunderstandings and miscommunications.
And not just that. There’s also rising concern about how people in the team would embrace the company culture without physically interacting with each other.
Some have even complained that moving to a fully-remote model has affected the productivity of their team. They fear that it’s impossible to know if the team is on the same page when you’re not working together in close proximity.
Now the question is: Is it really possible to successfully manage a remote team? The quick answer to this question is a big yes. In the following section, we’ll talk about how to do that in a detailed manner.
So let’s get started.
1. Set Clear Communication Guidelines
One of the main factors to consider when managing a remote team is to set clear communication guidelines. When you run a remote business, your team is spread across different countries and different time zones. This can hamper effective communication between team members.
But in order to create a unified digital workplace, you have to streamline the way your team communicates with each other. So look for ways to bridge any communication gap that might exist in the team. There are various tools available for that.
Sure, you can stick to emails, chats and video conferencing platforms. But as a team spread across different time zones, it’s always best to use communication tools like Slack that are designed specifically for remote workplaces.
Such tools can help you transform the way your organization communicates. Once that happens, effective communication should never be a problem, no matter where your team members are.
2. Focus On Outcomes
When you’re working with a virtual team, it’s important that you create a culture of trust that prioritizes outcome rather than the hours spent on a certain task. So instead of trying to micromanage your team, give them the autonomy and freedom to get their work done at their own convenience.
As long as goals are met on time, you shouldn’t worry about how they do the work and when. This not only can make them more efficient but can boost their productivity as well.
There are various task management tools available online for remote companies. For example, tools like Asana can be a wonderful way to help your team track their goals, assign tasks to other team members, set a deadline, add comments, add a project, etc.
Just do a quick Google search and find the tool that best fits your requirements.
3. Remove Obstacles
Working with a global team can sometimes be really challenging, especially if you have two members from different time zones working in the same team. But you can make things easier by removing any obstacles that might come their way.
One way of doing this is to create well-documented procedures. So if an employee isn’t available at a particular time and another employee needs a briefing, he/she knows exactly where to find it. Documenting different work processes can help you streamline the flow of work by removing obstacles and boosting the efficiency of the team.
Managing a remote team can be hard. But it can be a lot easier if you have the right tools and know the right way to use them. Also, the success of any remote company depends on trust and mutual understanding. So it’s important to create a culture that prioritizes these factors. Once you can do that, managing a remote team is not a challenge anymore.