Managing a remote team is no easy task. You have professionals in various locations and time zones all working different hours from their personal devices. How do you maintain a sense of cohesiveness and make sure all members feel like they are part of an actual team?
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools on the market that make managing remote teams efficient and fun. The key is finding the right tools for your project and group. Here are five ways you can make managing your remote team a breeze.
1. Develop an Online Training Portal
Online training is key for remote workers. It saves you time and gives members a reference when they have immediate questions.
Incorporate videos, documents, and downloadable guides in the training, as well as company information and policies. Consider adding links and features that allow members to perform administration tasks such as signing up for direct deposit, applying for sick leave, and changing their address or phone number.
2. Establish Clear Communication Pathways
It is crucial to develop relationships with remote team members to prevent isolation and keep productivity and work satisfaction high.
To keep consistent communication with your team, you might want to use a chat service, incorporate chat into your online portal, or rely on text or email messaging. Whatever method you choose, make sure the communication procedures and policies are posted to your online training portal and that all team members understand the protocol.
3. Invest in Web-Based Conferencing Software
Today’s web conferencing technology makes it possible for teams to collaborate and hold productive meetings from locations all over the world. Though there are various free programs available, it may be worth investing in a subscription-based software program to access all the advanced features such as screen sharing, file transfers, and multiple video streams.
One neat feature of modern web-based software is the ability to record conferences so that members who missed the meeting can listen or view it later. Recordings are another a great item to add to your online training portal. Members of specific task forces can also post their discussions for leaders to listen to later for review.
4. Optimize Collaboration Tools
Web-based software programs that allow teams to collaborate on projects real time are great. For example, project management tools are beneficial for keeping track of timelines, assignees, progress, questions, and feedback.
There are also plenty of collaboration tools where members can use to work on documents and spreadsheets at the same time. This is another area where it’s helpful to have a set of procedures so that members know how to enter, save, and archive collaborative work to prevent losing or deleting any important information.
5. Send a Weekly Email Newsletter
It may seem like a lot of work, but to keep a remote team connected it is important to remind everybody that they are not out there in the world alone. Send out an email newsletter on the same day and time every week. Include important updates to the website, changes in company or team protocol, and statistics about how business is going. Also, add reminders about deadlines, how to complete forms, requesting vacation days, and other company policies.
To boost team morale, consider adding a few statements that acknowledge notable deeds or deliverables from team members. Weekly emails are also great places to inform team members of company-wide job postings, internal task forces looking for extra help with projects, employee praise, and thoughtful wishes for birthdays, celebrations, and holidays. You may even want to add some health tips, efficiency recommendations, and inspirational quotes to lighten the mood and show team members that you care about their overall well-being.
Break Down Barriers to Success
Sometimes technology can be overwhelming and cause more problems than it solves. With the right tools and communication channels, however, you can create a strong team that works together productively and efficiently.
Make life easier on yourself and take good care of your hard-working members by finding the right tools for your company and your specific team. Make sure all members are fully trained on the tools, and provide an online portal and clear communication channel for members to ask questions. The more accessible you, your team, and important resources are, the more effectively your members can work together.