Friday, July 12, 2024


Managing Remote Teams: Best Practices

Management of remote teams presents unique challenges. However, with the right tools, communication channels, and strategies in place you can ensure that your team remains cohesive and productive.

Management of remote teams requires an approach tailored to time zones, work preferences and life circumstances. Here are a few best practices that will help you oversee remote teams successfully:

1. Invest in a good communication platform

Remote teams tend to be dispersed more widely than their in-office counterparts, making it harder to identify issues or roadblocks that might prevent success for certain individuals.

Establishing clear processes and communication channels are vital when managing remote teams. Make sure all necessary documents are easily digestible by team members remotely working from different locations; consider creating private intranet channels for any contentious discussions that could distract other employees, or general Slack channels for casual discussions such as GIFs and weekend plans.

Digital bonding activities such as virtual escape rooms, group trivia and online bingo can help your remote team remain engaged and productive by creating fun social activities outside the workplace. Such social activities allow your team to build stronger bonds outside work hours, increasing morale while keeping everyone motivated and on task.

2. Set clear expectations

Setting clear expectations when leading remote teams is essential. This should begin during the onboarding process for new hires. Furthermore, communication and providing regular feedback should remain a top priority.

As an example, you should hold regular team meetings to review project status and priorities. Beyond just reviewing tasks or providing status reports, these discussions should include discussion around individual goals, feedback, and support systems.

Considerations must also be given to your team’s remote nature and time zone differences, and finding windows of time when all members can collaborate together is critical for improving efficiency and collaboration. Furthermore, ensure there are multiple communication channels so your members can select one that best meets their needs.

3. Focus on the big picture

Remote teams require constant communication in order to successfully collaborate and complete projects, yet it can often fall by the wayside when not being located together in one space.

Make sure your team members use clear communication channels regularly, document procedures and update as necessary, and schedule regular check-ins with them.

Meeting in-person can be an effective way of catching employees who are overworking or burning out, which may be harder with remote workers due to time zones or childcare arrangements. Great managers proactively ask about career goals and monitor how reports are doing against their objectives; this can take place during one-on-one meetings or in team channels like GitLab’s.

4. Give your team a voice

As managers of remote teams, it’s crucial to remember the individual needs of every employee – some may be raising families while others might just be finishing college or balancing work and childcare duties.

Establish team rituals to help build connections within your team. For instance, hosting casual coffee chats or hosting movie night on Zoom are great ways of building team spirit and creating team rituals that keep everyone involved engaged with one another’s work – something Nailted allows through its weekly loop of “claps.”

Communicating with individual employees and making sure they know you are paying attention are both integral parts of effective leadership. Leaders who focus on outcomes while empowering their teams instead of micromanaging can produce highly productive remote teams – including clearly communicate goals, deadlines and expectations as well as provide visibility into project progress or company changes.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

As you onboard new remote employees, it can be challenging to keep them motivated. They’ll likely need to learn a whole new set of virtual tools, communication methods and work processes while still managing personal obligations such as family commitments.

Managing remote teams requires providing your members with everything they require for success – this means providing file-sharing programs, cybersecurity measures and collaboration platforms among others – regular meetings and clear communication channels are essential if they’re going to stay in their remote working arrangement. Support and confidence among your members will reduce chances of abandonment of this arrangement.

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