Managing a remote team certainly has its challenges. While research indicates that most people are far more productive when working from home, managing a virtual team of talented individuals is not always easy. Even with all the communication channels available, your remote team can sometimes slow down.
Here’s how you can boost the efficiency of your team.
Hire the Right Team
First of all, you need the right people if you want a successful remote team. All the other tactics simply won’t work if you hire people who are not fit for the job. The better they are at their job, the more productive and efficient they will be.
Thanks to numerous job boards online, you have the opportunity to post a job ad anywhere you want and hire talent from all parts of the world. There are no limitations. So use this advantage to find the people who have the skills needed to contribute to the growth of your team.
To make sure that you hire the right people, it is essential that you clearly state what your expectations are so there are no surprises later. Conduct online interviews and prepare tests to ensure you only select the top candidates.
Communication is Key
Communication has always been the key to a successful team, but even more so in remote teams. In fact, the reason why some remote teams fail is precisely the lack of communication. Especially if you live in different time zones so you’re asleep while the other team member works and vice versa.
Not being in the same office, or even in the same country or continent, can be challenging for a team. However, with great communication, you can overcome this particular challenge to be as productive and efficient as possible.
When team members communicate on a regular basis, they bond and tend to work better. What’s more, regular communication helps them stay motivated.
Make sure that all your remote team members communicate on a regular basis. Use more communication channels including email, chat (you can use Slack, for example), video conferences, whatever you and your team prefer. What is important is that communication is consistent.
If possible, arrange a meetup once or twice a year (or per month, if possible). These events (team building, conferences, parties, etc) can be crucial for your team as it gives them an opportunity to meet, chat, and get to know one another. Teams tend to work better together when there's a sense of camaraderie and cohesion of goals.
Give Clear Instructions
In a remote team, you can’t simply look at someone’s facial expressions for clues to how they've reacted to something you said or suggested. There are no subtleties to gauge the nuances of face-to-face interactions. All you have is a written response.
That is why your messaging must be as clear as possible. If you want great results, you need to provide as much information as possible about a project. Don’t just assume that your team members will simply know. Also, remember that some of your team members might not share your native language, so additional clarification is desirable.
Be as detailed as possible when giving instructions and clearly state what you need them to do instead of leaving them with a vague sentence or two. Unfortunately, many team leaders fail to grasp this which is why their remote teams don’t perform as efficiently as they would like them to.
Use a Project Management Software
One of the ways to build the efficiency of your remote team is to use project management software tools. These tools make everything significantly easier and more transparent as everyone can share their status updates and completed projects.
When you’re not all together in an office, it’s not always easy to keep track of what your employees are doing. What projects are they on and how long until they complete it? This is where project management apps help. This way, team members can see what others are working on so they stay updated on their progress. They can also collaborate on projects and help each other out.
Or you can create your own working system in order to maintain productivity and transparency. Some sort of system is necessary for a remote team to perform well.
Tip: Provide frequent feedback to your remote team. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean that your team members don’t need encouragement, feedback, and motivation. Evaluate their performance on a quarterly basis, for example. By providing constructive feedback, complimenting them on completed projects, and paying attention to their hard work and diligence, you will encourage your employees to continue working with the same efficiency.
Michael Deane has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a wide range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.
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