Managing a team of remote workers can sometimes feel like a juggling act where someone keeps throwing you chainsaws, antique Ming vases, and the occasional 400lb gorilla. Even in the best of circumstances, it can present unique challenges—and that can be a drain on both your time and productivity.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help ensure that things run as smoothly as possible. Your remote team should enhance your business instead of making things more complicated.
We want to share with you five strategies that can help you manage your remote team more efficiently:
The challenges of managing remote workers really start to manifest when you’re managing more than a couple of people. This especially holds true when everyone is working on the same project. Changes in project scope and other issues can and will eventually pop up, creating the potential for errors or delays.
The best way to get organized and everyone on track is to manage your team from a centralized online location. While there are many paid project management software options on the market, Trello Boards are a free and powerful way to help ensure that your workers are clear on their deliverables.
Set Proper Expectations
Due to the nature of remote work, sometimes lines of communication can get crossed. For example, if you ask two different people what their definition of “quickly” and “good” are, you’ll probably get two completely different answers. This is why it’s best to spell everything outright from the get-go.
Inform your workers about your expectations. The more information you give them and the clearer you are, the better they’ll understand precisely what you want out of them. You can accomplish this by sharing information such as calendars, emails, and other communications. Your remote workers want to do good work—it’s your responsibility to ensure that they understand your expectations.
Keeping in regular contact with your remote workers has two main benefits. First off, it helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and provides them with an opportunity to ask questions. Find one communication channel and stick to it—otherwise, it can get confusing for your workers as to the best way to reach out to you. Slack? Email? Smoke signal?
The second advantage of keeping in regular contact with your remote workers is the isolation and loneliness that some of them face. Over time, it can have a negative psychological effect upon their brains—and potentially their daily work. If you can’t take time out to have a remote 5-minute standup meeting every morning or afternoon, encourage your workers to head on out to a coffee shop or other public place every once in a while.
An excellent way to keep in regular communication is to pick a time and day of the week and schedule a 15-minute phone call with the entire team. Not only will it help with improve morale, but it will give everyone a chance to get to know one another. No matter if they’re located 5,000 miles away, they’re still your co-workers.
Use the Right Tools
While email and spreadsheets may work fine for managing smaller teams with minimal workload, there comes the point in time where you’ll need to invest in the right tools. There are thousands of free and paid software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools out there that can not only make life much easier but allow your team members to stay on track.
Screensharing tools such as Join.me and TeamViewer are invaluable when trying to explain something to your workers. They’ll be able to pick up on what you want them to do much quicker, as it removes any doubt as to what exactly you want done.
Get Your House in Order
Successfully managing a team starts with you, the business owner. If you’re disorganized and don’t have a system or process in place, it will have a cascading detrimental effect upon your workers.
If you’re working from home and managing a team, you might want to consider getting office space. Co-working spaces, such as VAZATA Workspaces, offer tremendous value for those businesses with remote workers.
High-tech office space, disaster recovery services, executive suites (complete with the latest in conference calling technology), and even a tier II data center are just a few of the many benefits that you’ll get from moving out of the home office and into a dedicated co-working space.
Office Space in McKinney, Texas
At VAZATA Workspaces, our goal is to provide you with the tools and services you need to help grow your business. We also offer extensive consulting and support services, such as finance, legal, accounting, programming, marketing, and sales. Give us a call at (469) 467-9231 or contact us to schedule a tour to learn more about the value that we can provide to you, your business, and your remote workers.