(Remote Team) When it comes to enhancing the work efficiency of a team in general – the key is always in the management. Now, this isn’t an easy task by any means, and things get even more complicated when we’re talking long distance.
There are plenty of barriers that make managing a remote team, most of them based on the simple fact that a lot of information is lost by you not being on-site.
Not to mention those cases in which the distance between you and your team is so large that you operate in different time zones.
Now, it’s not all doom and gloom – there are plenty of people that are indeed able to keep their remote team in sync without any issues.
Keeping a remote team in sync requires a lot of finessing, understanding, and planning, but it is totally achievable!
In fact, in this article, you will be able to find everything that you need to know in order to keep a remote team in check and maximize work efficiency. Let’s start!
Performance tracking – the why’s and the how’s
One of the most prominent issues with managing a remote team is that you’re lacking direct insight into the state of a project or a task.
For on-site managers, this aspect is easily resolved by the sheer fact that your colleagues are no further than a couple of rooms away.
When you’re managing a remote team, you have to get a bit more creative. Luckily, as this issue is a commonly occurring one, there already are solutions to your problem that can help.
The best way for you to easily ensure that you regain the aforementioned insight is to reap the benefits of using time-tracking software.
The tools that such software offers are primarily oriented on task organization and planning, budget forecasting, assigning and tracking different tasks, and you can read more here about how all this works in practice.
Ultimately, the goal here is to be able to see what your colleagues are working on and to what extent. This knowledge is imperative for you to be able to coordinate a project and keep a team in sync.
Planning is imperative
Everyone understands the impact and importance when it comes to planning and businesses. Still, it must be emphasized that planning is exponentially more important when it comes to working with a remote team.
The primary goal here is to leave as little room for doubt when it comes to operations that your team is working on.
If your team encounters a situation that is unexpected and has to wait for your response (especially if you’re in different time zones), work efficiency will suffer greatly.
The way in which you tackle these delays is retroactively by extensive planning. You want to ensure that you have an extensive plan both for the operations that your team is working on and the probable problems that they might run into.
Surely, there is no way for you to predict the unknown, but there are issues that are predictable. You want to have an outline of how such a situation should be tackled if it comes down to it.
Additionally, setting clear goals, tasks, and timeframes is essential in order to ensure that your team knows what needs to be done and when.
The emphasis on the open-door policy
When it comes to managing a remote team, one of the common mistakes is that the manager comes off as too controlling.
This is completely understandable from the manager’s perspective because gaining deeper insight into the operation can be difficult.
This is exactly why they sometimes try to micromanage every bit of information that can be found. The issue here is that, if your colleagues are constantly aware of the fact that they are being observed 24/7, the level of communication will probably suffer.
Nobody likes being micromanaged all the time, and if it doesn’t induce fear of making a mistake, it will certainly induce frustration.
A better way for you to approach this issue is to promote an open-door policy among you and your remote team.
If you succeed in establishing such a policy, you wouldn’t have the need to check up on your team constantly – they will come to you with everything you need to know.
Organizing meet-up events
It is common for a team that is working remotely not to have a feeling of personal involvement and a relationship with their supervisors.
Now, employees that do have a sense of personal involvement tend to perform better and more in sync.
This is exactly why it would be a great idea to organize hang-out events for you and your team. Depending on the distance between you all, this can be more difficult, of course.
But once a year seems feasible for pretty much anyone, and it will help your employees and yourself greatly!
How many meetings are truly necessary?
It’s a no-brainer that meetings are essential in general, but even more so when it comes to remote teams. The question remains though – how many meetings are optimal for you and your team?
If you opt for too little, you are risking for any untacked issues to grow larger. If you have too many meetings, you are only going to waste time that could be spent in a more constructive manner.
In general, most teams require no more than one to two weekly meetings. This gives time for any advancements to be made, and everyone has time to prepare all the important updates.
1 on 1 meeting
Another great way to boost the productivity of your remote team is to conduct 1 on 1 meeting.
These shouldn’t be nearly as regular as meetings that everyone attends, of course. Once a month is enough, and it will help you establish a better connection with your colleagues.
When it comes down to it, the key takeaway here is that you have to emphasize planning and emotional context. If you have your schedule ready, and you are invested in what you do – no distance can stop you from progress.
Now, when put that way, everything sounds simpler, but this task still requires some hard work. Nevertheless, with good organizational skills and the right mindset, you will surely be able to succeed. So, gear up with organization tools, always keep a pen and a planner nearby, and focus!
There surely will be days when you feel like your team is out of sync, but don’t be hard on yourself. The important thing is that you understand the situation, and when you do – you can easily act on it. Good luck!