Remote teams allow you to choose the best and brightest wherever they are – not just the ones who are near your office or able to relocate.
You’re gaining a lot of talent when you choose to go remote, but it’s a tradeoff. Running a remote team can be a little more complicated than running a team within your proximity. It’s time to rethink management.
- Provide Tons of Communication Avenues
When everyone is sitting at the same table, communication can happen naturally. When everyone is sitting at their desks far apart from each other, communication needs to be specifically facilitated. Use your company’s private social network or create an online group to help your remote team members communicate – things will be easier for them than if they would need to reach out to each team member individually.
- Know When To Empower Your Employees
You can’t always be there, and you don’t want that to impede your remote team’s productivity. This is why it’s important to empower them important to empower them. Know when you can let them lead the way. Allow your team members to make certain kinds of executive decisions that relate to their areas of strength. Progress will continue even though you can’t oversee every aspect of that progress in real time.
- Encourage Socialization Beyond Work
Office parties and lunches together help your team members become a little more familiar with each other. When these events are removed from the equation, it’s harder to obtain that level of familiarity. Give them a way to goof off together in a work appropriate way. Make sure they get to know each other through team building exercises – let them talk about their hobbies and swap lunch recipes once in a while.
- Reward Them Often
Since most office celebrations involve some kind of physical reward or mutual activity, it can be hard to celebrate with your remote team. Try providing them with some unconventional perks. Send out some e-gift cards to popular coffee shops or redeemable credit for movie tickets. You can still offer them discounts to their local branch of the gym your company uses. Spread your perks a little further.
- Create Collaborative Space
Remote employees need to collaborate. Choosing the right medium for them to collaborate might be a little more complicated. Everyone needs to see what everyone else is doing in order to properly contribute to a project – especially if you want them to come together and create something even greater. Research online collaboration tools to determine which one will be best for your team.
- Change Your Personal Schedule
If your remote employees live in different time zones, it isn’t fair of you to prioritize the ones who are closest to you. You might have some employees who are just starting their day around the time you’ve come back from lunch. They’ll have questions later in the day, and you might have wrapped things up by then. Get up a little later (or earlier) to overlap with their schedules, and let them know when you’ll be available. You can be present every day – just make sure they know what hours they can reach you so they’re able to plan ahead.
- Video is Always Better
When you can, facilitate video chats. Whether you can only achieve them one-on-one or you’re fortunate enough to get the whole group together on a video conference, you’re improving the working environment. Being able to see and interact with team members and leadership in real time will give a little bit of normalcy to your remote team members. They won’t feel as isolated, and they’re less likely to feel like they’re working with strangers.
It’s always great to be available for comments and suggestions from your remote team. If they have ideas that might make their job, as well as the jobs to their teammates easier, you want them to tell you. Allow them to innovate the way you work together.
Written by: Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business.