Remote work is becoming increasingly popular around the world, mainly because digital technologies and innovation allow us to work from anywhere where we can find a solid Wi-Fi connection, but also because the novel COVID-19 pandemic has forced employees to work remotely from home. Whatever the reason you’re being tasked with running a remote team, there’s no denying that this is your opportunity to create a truly productive digital workplace, minimize expenses, and significantly improve output and employee happiness.
That said, there is also no denying that running an efficient and effective remote team is a complex task that requires true leadership skills as well as the integration of some key tools that will ensure transparency, trust, accountability, and the smart use of all available resources.
Let’s put all of this into perspective and go over the five essential tips and tools you need in order to manage a thriving remote team.
Ensure timely and efficient communication
There are two parts to creating an efficient and effective internal communication process: leadership and technology. Before you can implement a tech solution, you, as the leader, have to build a foundation and a clear communication strategy for your team, which should also include a straightforward communication hierarchy. Every team member needs to know exactly whom they report to, what type of information should be communicated to their peers or the higher-ups, and what the proper channels for doing so are.
If they don’t know this, then you will drown in emails that don’t concern you, while the people that should have received that information will be left in the dark. And so, productivity and output begin to suffer. Once you have a communication strategy, you can introduce instant communication tools that will allow your team members to exchange important information in real time and collaborate with ease.
Use a comprehensive team management tool
Manually managing a team in a physical office space is difficult enough, but managing a remote team in a digital work environment is a beast unto itself. Yes, you can do it manually through proper communication, and if you’re rigorous about noting down every single employee metric in your personal organizer, but that method is not only unreliable, but it’s also a waste of your time. Once again, it is important that you have the necessary leadership skills to run a tight ship, but when it comes to remote teams, you have to integrate a feature-rich team management tool.
The tool you choose should provide you with all of the features you need to gain a comprehensive overview of your team on a centralized platform. These include monitoring workflow, logged hours, individual performance metrics, sick days and vacations, bonuses and perks, gauging employee effort and overall performance, and more. In turn, this will help you discover pain-points and areas where you can improve the productivity of the individual and the entire team.
Use cloud technology to your advantage
Cloud computing is quickly becoming commonplace in the modern business world, and for a number of key reasons. Migrating to the cloud allows brands to scale their growth, minimize financial waste, improve overall efficiency, elevate security, and simply improve every core process across the company. When it comes to running a digital workplace and managing a remote team, migrating to the cloud becomes imperative for long-term success.
Nowadays, companies are also choosing enterprise cloud solutions in order to elevate business security and safeguard sensitive business information, which is especially important for the safe running of a remote team that has people connecting to the internet from many different locations. The cloud also provides you with a centralized location where you can manage your business in its entirety, and create a collaborative space where all departments and teams can work on key business processes and operations.
Leverage project management tools
Speaking of working on various tasks and operations efficiently, another important tool you need to have if you’re managing a remote team is a project management tool that has an integrated task management tool as well. Instead of going back and forth with emails or sending files and folders via online services whose cybersecurity measures are a mystery, you need to choose a single project management platform where you can track everything and run projects seamlessly. Remember to take the free trial first to see if the tool accommodates all of your needs.
Create a positive company culture
Last but not least, just because you’re running a remote team doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create a positive company culture – after all, this is one of the key perks that will help you boost employee retention. A big, fat paycheck is not enough to keep an amazing employee from leaving nowadays (as they have plenty of opportunities), so you will have to invest time and effort in your company culture by having regular meetings, scheduling one-on-one video chats, and by being a good leader and providing your employees with the guidance and support they need to do a great job.
Remote work is very popular nowadays, and for some, it has become a necessity. This is a big opportunity to drive business growth, improve employee happiness, and minimize financial waste, so be sure to implement these solutions in order to set the stage for long-term success.