Managing remote team management can be challenging and requires different strategies.
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the way we work, accelerating the remote work trend out of necessity. With health concerns, business closures, and travel restrictions, companies worldwide had to rapidly shift to operating with a dispersed workforce. What started as a temporary solution has become the new normal. Remote work is here to stay, but managing a distributed team comes with unique challenges.
As a business leader, effectively guiding your remote employees is crucial to engagement, productivity and success. Without the ability to connect face-to-face daily, extra effort is required to set clear guidelines, promote transparent communication, build trust, foster collaboration, judge performance fairly, create an inclusive culture, and handle payroll and compliance. With the right strategies, a remote team can thrive, but it requires an adaptive leadership approach.
7 Tips for Managing a Remote Team
Fortunately, there are proven tips to help organizations embrace the remote work revolution smoothly. Here are tips for effectively managing a remote team:
1Set Clear Expectations
It’s vital to proactively communicate responsibilities, goals, schedules, and procedures to remote employees. Ensure everyone comprehends their individual roles and understands broader team objectives. Provide clear guidelines on expected working hours, response times, meeting etiquette, communication preferences, and other policies. Setting defined expectations from the outset prevents confusion down the road.
2Promote Transparent Communication
Frequent and open communication is imperative for remote teams. Schedule regular video conferences to touch base, provide project updates, and facilitate collaboration. Encourage employees to over-communicate if anything is unclear rather than make assumptions. Make sure communication platforms like Slack, Zoom, and email are used effectively. Promote transparency by promptly sharing company news and celebrations to foster inclusivity.
When managing remote employees, establishing trust is crucial. Avoid micromanaging and treat your team as responsible professionals who will deliver quality work. Demonstrate that you believe in their skills and abilities. Build personal connections through regular one-on-one meetings and getting to know each other better. Increased trust will lead to greater independence and productivity.
4Utilize Collaboration Tools
Digital tools enable seamless remote collaboration. Leverage solutions like Zoom, Skype, Google Docs, Trello, Monday.com, Asana, and Slack to work cohesively as a dispersed team. Enable employees to easily communicate, share files, assign tasks, track projects, have discussions, manage workflows, and more. Embrace technology to mimic the connectivity of an in-person team.
5Focus on Results
Judge remote employees based on their outputs and results rather than face time. Establish clear deliverables, expectations, and deadlines. Review work products objectively, not based on effort or hours worked. Praise great results instead of long hours. Asynchronous communication allows people to contribute when they work best. Empower your team to perform at their peak, regardless of when or where.
6Create Inclusive Virtual Events
Don’t underestimate the importance of fun and socialization. Organize inclusive virtual events to unite your remote team. Celebrate employee birthdays, work anniversaries, and achievements together online. Host team-building activities like digital trivia nights or coffee chats to interact socially. Send care packages or branded swag to employees’ homes so they feel part of the group.
7Leverage an Employer of Record
Consider utilizing an employer of record (EOR) service to simplify managing an international remote team. EORs legally employ remote workers on your behalf, handling payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and more based on local laws. This allows you to onboard top talent globally without establishing foreign legal entities. EORs provide the infrastructure and HR support for building successful international remote teams.
Specifically, EORs manage employee contracts, payroll processing, benefits, onboarding, background checks, and ensure hiring and termination compliance in other countries. This lifts the administrative burden so you can focus on strategic objectives. EORs also provide visibility by consolidating data and reporting across locations. The right EOR partner makes managing a global remote team seamless.
Managing a remote team presents unique challenges but can be extremely effective if you set clear expectations, promote open communication, build trust, collaborate online, judge by results, connect socially, and leverage EOR services. With the right approach, remote teams can thrive and accomplish great things.