How to Manage a Remote Team
Do you know how to manage a remote team effectively? Working with virtual assistants and remote staff can be challenging, but not entirely impossible. Do you know where to start? How to delegate tasks efficiently? How can you ensure that your staff is productive even if time zones and continents separate you? Most importantly, how will you be able to foster fruitful working relationships and build rapport with people you do not see in person?
The first thing you need to establish is open communication lines. It is very important that you and your remote team communicate regularly. Let your team know how you will collaborate and exchange information. With today’s technology, this should not be very hard. There are various free messaging apps you can install on your computer or your mobile phone, including Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, and WeChat. You can even schedule video calls and conference calls. Of course, due to the time difference, you and your staff must establish a specific time for calls – it should be set at a time that is convenient for both of you. It is understood, however, that both parties must be reachable via email. You must train your staff the importance of responding to email concerns in a timely manner. Giving structured communication will help you build a remote team that is innovative and results-driven.
Next, you need to be able to delegate tasks efficiently. There are various task management tools you can use. Basecamp, Trello, and Asana are three of the most widely used tools for this purpose. These tools let you input the tasks and the task description, as well as other important details. You also get to put deadlines, assign to specific people, and attach files. These tools ensure that even if you are not physically present, you can monitor how your staff works. Of course, the good old spreadsheet or google docs work as well. The main consideration is that you have a system that everyone can easily follow and update. It is important that everyone understand the expectations of their role and their team member’s roles.
You should ask your remote workers to send EOD (end of day) Report. As a client, you should be aware of how your workers spend their shift. This way, you can review their work daily and provide consistent feedback.
Figuring out how to manage a remote team involves tracking their productivity and how they spend their working hours. How strict you will be in tracking their activity is up to you – you can choose a time tracker that runs in the background as they perform their tasks, or let them add their time manually. If you choose to be extra strict with them, you will need to choose a tool that takes screenshots of their desktop, so you can see exactly what they are up to. TimeDoctor, Worksnaps, ScreenShotMonitor, and Hubstaff are good options.
In conclusion, managing a remote team is not so different from an in-person team. The clearer your expectations and communication, the better your results will be. Interested in learning more about hiring a remote team member? We can help. Book your appointment to get started.