20 Tips For Effectively Managing Remote Teams

Effectively managing remote teams is integral to the success of any business. Recruitment is the first step, but managing is much more critical since it enables your remote teams to always have the proper support to perform at their peak. As an entrepreneur, you must have top people management and leadership skills to ensure your teams are always better positioned to deliver quality results.

Managing remote teams scattered across geographic and time zones may seem daunting. However, by using helpful tools and having proper support structures in place, you can achieve what most entrepreneurs crave: properly managing your team to increase productivity.

If you are an entrepreneur struggling with uniting your remote team's efforts and ensuring they always have the proper support, this article will help you with essential tips. These are some of the most common tips most of our clients use to ensure they get maximum productivity from their remote workforce.

But first, let's look at some of the obstacles currently undermining your ability to manage your remote employees properly.

The Challenges Of Managing Remote Teams

Usually, if you are new to people management, you will experience more failures than successes, which is okay. You are just beginning. For example, at times, you may hire an HR manager to help you manage your remote teams, but at times, you may be operating on a tight budget, and therefore, you must do it on your own.

Plus, even if you hire an HR manager, you will occasionally need to be part of the process to understand how your business works.

Here are a few challenges you will most likely run into in your first attempt at efficiently managing your remote teams:

  1. Lack Of Proper Communication

Communication should be at the center and the foundation of all work operations at the workplace: whether in the office or remotely. If you do not establish adequate contact within your organization, many communication breakdowns will lead to delayed deadlines and a lack of cohesiveness.

  1. Lack of Trust

You need to develop trust from the first day of recruiting and eventually onboarding new team members. Trust should be the starting point of your relationship with your remote employees. With trust, your employees will always be comfortable working for you, and you will rely on them for timely results and work well done.

  1. Lack of Clear Expectations And Boundaries

As an entrepreneur, it is your duty and responsibility to define what you expect from your employees and set clear boundaries to ensure the professional relationship is always maintained. It would be best to communicate this to your employees in writing. In addition, there needs to be more expectations for employees to figure out plans and road maps to enable them to work efficiently.

  1. Burnout

Working from home at a time can be deceptive because people may like that they won't be commuting to the office. However, it may lead to employees working longer hours than they would while working from the office. Working long hours leads to burnout and exhaustion, which may lead to a decline in overall team productivity. Failure to identify this will lead to lackluster workers who will not be performing at their peak.

  1. Isolation and Loneliness

Sometimes, employees working from home may feel disconnected from each other. Failure to identify or to create suitable techniques to help combat this may lead to employees who are demotivated and disconnected from the group. The last thing you want is a lone wolf going out to do everything by themselves. Therefore, always emphasize the importance of teamwork and ensure you have activities that will promote collaboration among your remote workforce.

So, what can you do to ensure that you constantly offer your remote workers enough support and assistance to achieve their goals and targets? Here are some of the tips that have proven to be gems for our clients over the years:

Mastering Virtual Team Management

If you have the desire and ambition to become a top people manager and business leader, you must try out these top tips. As you will realize, these tips are plausible, and also, every people manager and entrepreneur should learn as soon as possible to implement and see change.

  1. Power of Communication: Maximize Results

To effectively manage your remote workforce, you must invest appropriately in communication. First, you will need to get the right communication platforms, pay for them if need be, and, give your employees access to these tools. You will then need to identify how to disseminate various types of communications promptly and efficiently. 

Remember, communication enables your team always to know what to do, how to do it, whom to do it with, why they are doing whatever they are doing, and finally when they should complete the task. Communication also enables your employees to reach you promptly if they want your direct assistance.

  1. Connect with Empathy, Succeed Together

Empathy understands another person's situation by putting yourself in their shoes. Empathy is both a management and leadership skill that will endear one to their employees, if well utilized. When dealing with people, you must show emotional intelligence to understand the context of conversations better and to help when needed.

Being empathetic shows not only your intelligence but also your human side. Employees always want to feel they are telling other human beings their problems. Please don't make them feel your workplace doesn't recognize other people's feelings or problems.

  1. Flexible Schedules, Happier Employees

One outstanding benefit of working from home is the flexibility. Most employees always accord their remote employees flexible work schedules, enabling them to work at whichever time. You can allow them that flexibility as long as your work gets done.

Flexible schedules attract remote workers as they get to do other personal things on the side. In other words, they become more productive and better at time management. In addition, this freedom enables them to be much happier working for you and content with their work-life balance.

  1. Fuel Success: Provide Resources to Your Team

Your team will rely on you to provide timely and sufficient resources to help them carry out their duties. Therefore, you need to identify which resources your employees require before they start working. In other words, you need to recruit employees and enable them to do what you require by empowering them.

The best way to empower your employees is to provide resources and always ensure they are available. The resources may be in the form of timely and accurate contracts, other support staff, paid platforms and software, and training. All these are meant to ensure the employees have all they need to give you their best.

  1. Boost Your Efficiency with Reliable Tech Tools

Reliable and revolutionary technology has made working from home much easier. With the required technology, working from home can be manageable, and you may switch your entire workforce to the office. Therefore, you must identify which tech tools you need to ensure that work runs smoothly.

These are tools that should cater to every aspect of work: whether it is communication, project management, task collaboration, and even billing and invoicing, to mention a few. Invest in the right tools to enjoy better results.

  1. Remote Newcomers: Give Them the VIP Treatment

Anytime you bring in a new team member, you must ensure you give them maximum support to enable them to catch up with their colleagues as soon as possible. You must always stand by if they have an urgent question or problem. On top of that, you always need regular check-ins with them to figure out any pain points they are experiencing and the successes they are experiencing thus far.

Please ensure the other team members are always supportive by offering regular assistance to their new team members. Doing this will also enable them to slide into the team seamlessly. 

  1. Trust: The Foundation of Remote Team Success

It is essential to establish trust between yourself and the team. In this digital age, it is easy to be scammed online while looking for a remote job. This is why many employees need to trust you before committing to you. Therefore, it is upon you to ensure your company maintains an upright image, and you always communicate and inform your remote employees of any changes well in advance.

Make them feel part of your business by ensuring you do the right thing and your image is always upright. You will also need to show faith in your employees by trusting they can do their jobs properly without being micro-managed.

  1. Set Goals for Success: Expectations Matter

It will benefit both you and your remote workers if you talk them through what you expect of them. Before doing this, you must identify the most important goals of your business. Once the employees know what to produce in terms of output, they will be in a much better position to identify how to achieve set goals.

Set goals, then break them down into smaller and more manageable tasks. That way, responsibilities are equally shared, and each employee gets to participate in achieving these goals. Finally, set goals to enable you to manage your expectations correctly and, as a result, avoid putting much pressure on your employees.

  1. Boost Success with Individual Check-ins

It would be best if you considered implementing occasional check-ins with your employees individually to offer more and better assistance to specific people instead of the entire group. For example, some of your employees may be working on high-priority tasks, and therefore checking in with them occasionally to understand their pain points, if any, and how you may help them meet their deadlines will ensure improved productivity.

You can also identify employees struggling with meeting their deadlines and have coaching sessions with them, whereby you help them overcome their pain points.

  1. Stay Connected: Schedule Weekly Team Syncs

On a team level, it is advisable to regularly join a virtual meeting to pass out crucial information, offer solutions and suggestions, and create a place for people to interact. Doing this enables their team to feel a level of togetherness that can mimic office interactions.

Use these meetings to contact your troops and forge better ways as we advance. These meetings are meant to improve processes and reduce pain points.

  1. Streamline Communication: Designate Channels

Having one communication channel for all types of communication is not a best practice to implement at your workplace. Instead, identifying which channels are suitable for which communications is a brilliant tip. Communication is central to getting things done, calling for proper channels that are always open and well set up to avoid communication breakdowns.

First, you will need to identify the size of your team and your business's needs to understand better which channels you need, how many channels you need, and how to get the best out of each channel to ensure regular proper communication.

  1. Activity vs. Achievement: Prioritize Outcomes

As a top manager, you must trust your employees and believe they can do their best to give you quality results. It would be unwise to be always on their shoulder, following up on them on the nitty-gritty of every task you assign them. Instead, make them understand what you need from them and the goals you have in mind and leave them to it.

In other words, please focus on the outcome and let the employees decide how to achieve the result.

  1. Boost Productivity: Balancing Distractions

To get the best out of your employees, you must always ensure nothing deviates their attention towards their jobs. Working from home presents many distractions, such as social media, Netflix, children, and neighbors. All you want as an entrepreneur is for your employees to work from conducive workstations.

In other words, you must constantly remind your employees to minimize distractions around them at all costs. That is, if they desire to hit maximum productivity, of course.

  1. Foster Autonomy: Instilling Independence

Top people managers empower their employees to be independent and always capable of doing more with less. It would be best to emulate this by beginning the empowerment process from the first day of onboarding to ensure your employees can achieve more by themselves. Of course, you need to offer your employees support as regularly as possible; however, you will also need to focus on other things at some point. 

This step can only be possible if you give your employees autonomy.

  1. Practice Patience

As the saying goes, "patience pays." How it pays you will entirely depend on how often you practice the virtue. Patience at the workplace calls for a manager capable of extending deadlines and giving their employees room to get it right. Patience will also call for a manager to give new team members time to catch up with the rest of the team. At times results may not be what you wished for, but you do not have to be arrogant and bossy. 

Instead, ensure you empower your employees adequately to ensure they can always give you admirable results.

  1. Create Clear Processes: Well-Documented Procedures

You need to properly document the processes and operations that your employees engage in regularly. This step avoids time wastage and ensures every employee reads and refers to the duplicate operations copy. In addition, established procedures help new members always to catch up using the shortest time possible. 

Well-documented procedures also make your onboarding much easier since you won't have to explain everything repeatedly anytime a new member joins the team. Doing this will also ensure that your processes are streamlined and always run smoothly almost automatically.

  1. Fairness Always: Treat Employees Equally

Fairness is a virtue that you must employ in your workplace to ensure there are no biases and favoritism, which may cause internal conflict among your employees. Ensure all employees are aware of the rules and abide by them. On top of that, make sure they are aware of the consequences of going against the policies.

If you do not employ equality, the company will lack a sense of unity, and the team may lose unity. Also, ensure all employees receive equal work and that no one carries more weight.

  1. Virtual Togetherness: Team-Building Activities

Remember, "work makes Jack a dull boy." As much as you only pay your employees for their work and effort, remember, you should also be in charge of always maintaining team unity through team bonding. As much as you will do this virtually, remember that you can create fun times for your employees through creativity and imagination.

Fun sessions that can improve team togetherness, spirit, and cooperation. Do these activities as regularly as possible, switch them up, and do different exciting activities each time.

  1. Cultural Awareness: Be Sensitive and Inclusive

Remember, as long as you are recruiting from all over the world; chances are you will have a cocktail of cultures in your team. Therefore, you must ensure that all cultures feel accommodated, respected, and acknowledged. You need to be constantly aware of how to treat each person and always make them feel like part of the team, irrespective of where they come from and their cultural backgrounds.

Also, when communicating with the larger group, use language that doesn't exclude, mock, or ridicule another person's culture. Instead, use language that every member of your team will receive with equal positive emotions.

  1. Shared Visions: Connecting Employee and Company Goals

It is best practice to always make it clear to your employees how achieving company goals will help them achieve their goals and vice versa. In other words, tell them what their careers stand to gain if they help you achieve your goals. This element will make them feel part of the team's successes and give them a bigger purpose than just meeting their targets.

Always make it clear that the success of any business relies on its employees, who are the engine that grinds results. Do these during on one sessions and during team meetings.

Lead with Impact: Become a Top Business Leader Today

Effectively managing remote teams calls for not only top management skills but also top leadership skills. Always remember that you aren't perfect, and the best you can do is always to be willing to try out something new in the interest of your workplace productivity and the overall happiness of your employees. Your employees depend on you to achieve their best and give you the best always. The success of your business, therefore, depends on your management.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tips For Effectively Managing Remote Teams

How Do You Handle Conflict When Working Remotely?

Maintaining a continuous focus on achieving results is the key to building high-performance people in your company. Employees will be happier and more motivated if they can achieve specific, measurable results at work. As a result, they will feel like "winners."

What Is The Hardest Part About Managing A Remote Workforce?

Managing a remote workforce requires effective communication, fostering collaboration, and maintaining productivity while dealing with the challenges of remote work, such as time zone differences, technological limitations, and feelings of isolation.

What Is The Most Important To Make Remote Teams Work?

Communication and trust are the two most important things, and to achieve them, you must empower your team and provide them with the resources they need. Slack, Zoom, and Asana are some tools that simplify communication and task management.