How to Effectively Manage Remote Teams

Ubiquitous high-speed internet connectivity, free wifi, and secure access to your company’s network allow today's organizations to employ workers from all corners of the globe. As a result, over the past 10 years, remote work has grown by 103% in the US alone, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. 

Fueled by increased worker satisfaction, and an average cost savings of over $11,000 per worker yearly, the ability to effectively manage a remote team is a must-have skill in today’s world. 

Benefits of Remote Teams

Finances: The financial savings are the most obvious advantage remote teams offer your company. As a matter of fact, according to McKinsey, some organizations manage to cut their labor costs by as much as 70%. Now, nobody is claiming that outsourcing is perfect, and it definitely isn’t for everyone, but the fact is it can save you a lot of money. 

Convenience: In addition, organizations with remote teams don’t have to worry about renting large office spaces. Telecommuting allows employees to jump right into assignments no matter where they're located, which speeds up the workflow, increases productivity, and according to PGI, even lowers worker stress. 

Focus: Finally, employing a remote team allows you to focus on improving the core of your business. Outsourcing peripheral services and projects such as coding and content creation enables you to work on the big picture and concentrate on acquiring and nurturing customers.

Tips on Managing Remote Teams

While it’s not difficult to see why remote work has been steadily gaining popularity among workers and employers over the last several years, managing workers who don’t report in person comes with a unique set of challenges. Overcoming these obstacles should be your top priority, so let’s see how you can solve some of the biggest problems and learn how to manage remote teams.

Tracking & Improving Productivity

For starters, when you’re not physically able to see your team members on a daily basis, it can be quite difficult to track the amount of work they complete and help them overcome roadblocks. Tools like Wrike can track team productivity, clarify team priorities, and provide a central workspace for your team to collaborate. And if a member of your team experiences technical difficulties and needs vendor support to resolve the issue, a tool like Securelink can help you manage remote vendor access and provide your employees with peace of mind.    

Hosting for Video Conferences

Treat remote meetings exactly as you would face-to-face gatherings. That means dedicating enough time to preparing and sending out agendas, creating slides, and familiarizing yourself with your video conferencing app so you can head off any technical difficulties.

To keep your team engaged, use media and visual aids to keep the meeting moving, stick to the agenda as much as possible, and keep meetings short and focused.

Consideration of Time Zone Differences

If you have team members spread across different states, or even continents, be prepared to work non-traditional hours. Project managers have to accommodate their remote workers by being available during the hours when most of the team is awake and working. 

Depending on time zones, this means some members will have to log in earlier in the morning or later in the evening to connect with the rest of the team. If this is the case, you need to know your employees’ personal commitments before you schedule them off-hours. 

Additional Reading: Helpful Books on Remote Management

As more organizations embark on new ways of working, a new culture of knowledge sharing has developed to help professionals make more informed, educated decisions. Ebooks like Wrike's The Art of Staying Productive Across Distance and Zapier’s The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work give you comprehensive, practical advice for managing remote teams

Author Bio: 

Oscar Waterworth is a writer from Sydney, Australia and a senior editor at Bizzmarkblog. He enjoys reading about the latest in the tech, marketing and business industries. Oscar writes a lot, so stay updated with his latest posts by following him on Twitter



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