managing remote teams

Managing Remote Teams : All You Need to Know

In this age of technology, it has become increasingly easier to hire freelancers based anywhere in the world, whether it is for finances, writing, or development. We are not constrained by geographical location or physical distance anymore. Especially in cities where rent can be steep and space is hard to find, remote work structures can provide many benefits, and allow businesses to grow while focusing on their products instead of the details like location, utilities, and furniture. However, along with all of the pros of managing remote teams, come all of the challenges. Managers need to learn to oversee people whom they cannot directly interact with, while still delivering as though the team was all in one place. This can seem demanding if you’ve never done it before.

Common challenges in Managing Remote Teams

The most obvious challenge in managing remote teams is communication. Unlike in an office setting, you won’t be able to walk up to your team members and ask them questions on the fly, and the same goes for your team members needing to speak to you or each other. For teams that are located in different parts of the world, time zone differences can also come into play, meaning there might never be a time within reasonable working hours for everyone to all be online. As difficult as it can be to manage a remote team, it can also be hard being a remote worker. It takes focus and motivation to be successful as a remote worker, and not everyone is aware of that, which can dilute the pool of remote workers you are looking to hire from. As you put together your remote team and start to manage them, there may be times when it seems that no one is on the same page, and work comes to a grinding halt.

The silver lining

In spite of all of these constraints, it is possible to not only survive managing a remote team, but to thrive in this kind of environment. The first aspect to consider is your workflow and processes. There are many workflows out there, and to have your team following one can provide you all with a common basis for expectations. Not every workflow will fit with remote work models, but any workflow can be tailored to account for gaps and miscues. In order to address communication across the team, the best solution is to use good software, and develop guidelines around using it. This might include requiring everyone to post daily status updates, or conducting a weekly video conference. What is key is being able to have visibility and clarity into what your team is working on, and being able to act on risks that you encounter in project planning and execution. By using software with collaboration-focused features, you will be armed with the tools to encourage communication and get visibility into how the project is progressing.

What you need to win

Whether your team is separated by 20 minutes or 20,000 miles, OneDesk can keep your project moving even when communication seems on the brink of breaking down. Regardless of whether your team is in-house, remote, or a combination of the two, OneDesk has an easy-to-use interface for managing your team and their work. With various views, you can see at a glance what your team is working on, and facilitate discussions by commenting on work tickets when you need to dig deeper. Due to its flexibility, OneDesk can account for whatever workflow you throw at it, whether customized or not. This makes it ideal for handling the needs of teams who do their work at any time, any place.

 

Photo Credit : Europe /Charles Clegg / CC BY

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