Managing a team remotely can be a difficult task. There are new challenges and obstacles to overcome when your team is spread out across different time zones or even in other states or countries.
But with the right tools and tips, it can be done with ease.
In this blog post, we'll discuss seven tips for managing a team remotely and some best practices to follow.
Read on to learn more!
Communication is key. Establish a routine for communicating with your team, and ensure everyone is on the same page. People can handle anything if proper expectations set. The strongest teams, remote or otherwise, have the most assertive communicators.
Decide which commo lines you'll use in your business, and check on them daily.
My team and I primarily communicate via chat. Since we're located in various countries with different timezones, we use Whatsup or Facebook chat when a quick response is needed, as often emails get lost down the line in our inbox.
2. Keep Track of Deadlines and Goals
As a content creator, my remote team has daily and weekly deadlines and goals to meet. To keep us organized and everyone in the organization clear on where we are and where we're heading, we use a free organization tool called Trello to help keep track of our goals and deadlines.
As the boss of the company, you set the pace. It's your job to define the goals, determine the deadlines, and ensure that your team adheres to the standard you've selected.
3. Facilitate Collaboration
Create a shared folder where team members can upload files and collaborate on projects.
For my team, we use Google Drive. It’s a low-cost tool that easy to use and easy for everyone to keep our content organized.
Introduce each team member to one another and give them an orientation as to how work is done.
Example of how we organize our Google Drive Folder per season of our show:
Example of how we organize our Google Drive folder per episode:
4. Set Ground Rules
Or what the ex-military in me like to call S.O.P.
Make it clear to your team what's acceptable behavior (and what's not) when working remotely.
Create a checklist, pdf, or loom videos that they can repeatedly reference, outlining their roles and responsibilities.
Most people want to do a good job. But your team won't know what a "good job" is if you don't set the ground rules.
5. Don't Micromanage
Trust your team to work independently and get the job done. After all, you didn't delegate and took payroll to create more work for yourself.
Set the ground rules, but also allow for creativity.
I encourage my team often to add their flair to our content creation process.
While I'm the boss and the face of the company, I see each piece we publish as our work.
So long as the hard deadlines are met, there's no need to micromanage your way to get there.
Let go of the reigns and enjoy the freedom of having others have your back.
6. Encourage Breaks
Working remotely can be taxing if you're not careful. If your team doesn't already have a flexible schedule, encourage your team to take regular breaks, especially if part of your marketing plan is content creation, as the demands of that line of work never stop.
As the boss, again, you set the pace.
I know that you didn't get into business for yourself to work 24/7 365, so why not establish hard vacation dates that are not on your take but that your team takes as well.
For example, this year, my team and I will work diligently to batch create our episodes so we can take off the entire month of December.
I plan to do this again the following spring/summer so that we can all plan to rest during July.
7. Have fun and trust the process
As your business grows, your team grows, and as your teams grow, you grow as a boss.
Relax, have fun and trust the process.
Despite the storyline "Boss Baby" pumps out, no one is born boss.
A great boss is created over time, trial and error.
Allow room for yourself to grow by encouraging feedback from the team. Ask open-ended questions like "how might I best support you on meeting our set deadlines?" "How might I better communicate as a boss?" or "What additional tools, training or resources do you need to bring your creativity to the team?"
Managing a remote team can be difficult, but it's not impossible. By following these tips, you can help create an environment where your team is productive and happy. What are some of your go-to tips for managing a remote team? Let us know in the comments below!