You may have your hands full with managing an onsite team, especially with different personalities coming together to work on a project. But managing a virtual team may take the difficulty up a notch since you’ll also have to consider other factors that can affect their work habits in their specific workplaces.
Although working remotely enables you to have a more flexible business operation and easier access to talent outside of your geographic location, it also comes with challenges to productivity and collaboration. More than that, loneliness is one of the main concerns that 24% of remote workers struggle with, which team leaders may find hard to navigate.
If you need a quick guide on how to manage a remote team, read on for tips you can do to overcome the challenges and bring out the best in the members of your company.
Understanding Common Remote Work Challenges
While remote work has its perks, it comes with its own challenges. Here are some common obstacles you’ll have to overcome with your remote team.
In this modern setup, you don’t have the luxury of working with your team members face-to-face, unlike in the office. This may delay receiving or sending messages, adversely affecting collaboration efforts.
In one study, 17% of respondents have expressed their communication struggles, which is understandable, especially if the team works in totally different time zones.
While others find themselves more productive working from home, some face many distractions in their own quarters that may not give a conducive working environment. Interruptions like household chores, childcare, or the sudden desire to crash in bed can disrupt their motivation to work, causing a dip in productivity.
Online meetings where cameras and mics are turned off can create an awkward atmosphere that can impact overall team engagement. Your members can even get distracted by upcoming deadlines, veering away from the meeting. With this, remote employees are twice as likely to feel less engaged than non-remote workers since they feel that they lack time to finish tasks.
8 Effective Tips to Manage Your Remote Team
Below are some virtual leadership tips to win against remote working challenges and bring your team to greater heights.
Establish a communication channel
Setting up dedicated communication channels for your team can help you overcome the challenges of lack of communication. Consider what mode or platform they’re most comfortable with, so you can easily reach them for urgent matters. You can also create different group chats that serve a specific task or project to ensure that messages don’t get buried.
Set regular online meetings
Regular online meetings build a routine for your virtual team that recreates the feeling of being in an office, making them feel included and connected to something bigger.
Here, you can align with your team on what needs to be done for the week, like urgent projects and concerns to be addressed. You can also discuss team wins to motivate your remote team to continue doing their best at work.
Use collaborative applications
Collaborative applications allow your remote members to complete tasks more effectively. With these, they can work on their outputs together in real-time, reducing the time it takes to send emails back and forth for any revisions. Using collaborative tools lets them save time by as much as 10% in a 40-hour week.
Have overlapping work hours
Working in a remote setting may entail getting together with people from different time zones. This can come in the way of collaborative work, and as such, you’ll need to employ a degree of flexible work hours where they can work with other team members without imposing their off-time.
Give employees the right equipment
A work-from-home setup may be limiting to your remote team if they don’t have the right equipment to do their jobs. As such, it’s best to supply them with at least the basics to enable them to do a range of the work effectively and efficiently. Company laptops with the necessary software will surely help them turn-in quality outputs without delay.
Utilize project management tools
Many companies are starting to depend on project management tools to monitor and improve productivity. These tools can help keep your employees on track with their tasks and ensure that they’re producing excellent work.
In fact, studies show that an average employee can save 498 hours per year with the help of project management tools, with 61% of companies completing their projects in a breeze.
Monitor work output
Besides using collaborative and project management tools, make an effort to follow through by regularly reviewing and monitoring their work output. You can set key performance indicators (KPIs) that your team must meet to motivate them to do better. This way, you won’t have a problem effectively delegating tasks and ensuring that no job is left undone.
Onboard the right people
Remote work is not for everyone, so it’s crucial to choose the right people for the job. For example, if you’re planning to hire a virtual assistant (VA), it’s best to know the qualities to look for in a VA to get the best person for the role.
If you’re unsure, consulting with a virtual assistant company like Outsource Access can help you find a fitting candidate to fill in the gap in your team.
Creating a Connected Remote Team
Managing a virtual team is on another level than that of an in-person group. Apart from ensuring that all members have the right tools to stay efficient and productive at work, you must also make sure that they genuinely feel like a part of the team at all times.
Having a solid plan to connect with everyone, delegate tasks, and expand the workforce is a must to help you manage your remote team for a seamless operation on a daily basis.
If you’re looking for assistance with your day-to-day activities, Outsource Access’ seasoned VAs are professionals collaborating with all kinds of remote teams. Check out our process or book a call to learn more about how we can help elevate your company’s operations and more!
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