Working remotely is growing exponentially. Being adaptable and knowledgeable to the changing work environment is crucial. Some conventional ways of managing a team are no longer going to be applicable. While the foundations remain, the steps we take, are going to be changing.
Maintaining a high performing remote team takes patience, continuous education and the ability to adapt. Be prepared to propel your remote team forward.
Being remote, your team cannot simply walk into your office and say 'hello'. In a virtual environment you have to create it. Having an open chat feature and encouraging your team to check in and out with you throughout the day will help set a standard of a working virtual office. Keep the lines of communication open, listen, ask questions, and make sure your team has a voice and an outlet for their ideas, opinions and comments.
Schedule frequent reviews
Check in with your team, conduct face to face video performance reviews. Reviews are important so that your team is aware of their improvements and areas that need focus. Create an environment that has an 'in office' feel and that is conducive to working remotely. Seeing facial expressions and interacting one-on-one helps to create physiological perceptions for an in office experience.
Using tools to set quantifiable goals
Set goals for your team members that can be quantified and obtainable. There are numerous project management software's available at your finger tips. Using these software's will allow your entire team access to be up to speed on each project regardless of when they are available to check in. Take full advantage of this and list out the projects and detailed descriptions.
Deadlines and expectations
Be as clear as possible on expectations and deadlines on projects. Setting expectations in person can sometimes lead to misconceptions. Working virtually, that chance of miscommunication increases significantly. Setting deadlines and explicit expectations will help bridge this gap. Also, lead by example and make sure you are accountable for your mistakes as well.
During video chat meetings set guidelines. Conference calls are rough and communication can be difficult. Enable 'raise your hand' and 'mute' features. Make sure team members have adequate internet connection and if that fails, knows what backup measures to take in order to have a seamless call and not make disruptions.
It is no surprise that it is difficult and time consuming to tell someone step by step instructions over the phone. The 'can you repeat that' and 'I don't see that button' becomes quite frustrating. Utilizing technological applications such a screen-share can make this more efficient.
Ongoing training is imperative. New applications, platforms and software's are developed on a daily basis. If your team is not proactively learning new material, they will quickly fall behind. Use these training's to help project your team above board.
Consistency and accountability
Routines and creating accountability, enables your team to understand what is expected from them. Adhering to an overall team routine will aid members to time manage their day and set their own cadence with work. We all have different work styles, but it is important to have an overall schedule.
Everyone has unique skill sets
Remember that we all think differently, and bring different skill sets to the able. Use this to your advantage in the virtual field. Encourage your team to share what they know. The internet is seemingly infinite and cross communicating can logistically increase your teams knowledge base two-fold.
The typical work environment is changing rapidly. Be prepared to consistently learn new applications, tips and tricks, new methods of how to execute everyday tasks.
Utilizing the technological tools available will drive your virtual team into a new work space era. Combining new technology with traditional ideologies will create an environment for a high performing virtual team.
Interested in learning how to effectively manage a remote team? Read more here