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The future is coming. With advances in automation and artificial intelligence technology, more and more people may find themselves working remotely. As a result, more and more companies will be utilizing distributed remote teams to accomplish their goals. While there are many similarities with managing on-site staff, there will be major differences in how these remote teams will be managed. If you want to know how to successfully run a remote team, you’ll want to address all of the challenges that uniquely come about with a virtual workplace. Check out the following guidelines that you can reference when adapting to run your own remote team.
Hire the Right Team Members
When it comes to remote positions, the hiring process is one of the most crucial for the success of your business. Often you’ll be screening potential candidates via video calls so it may be a bit tougher to evaluate them. There are many places to find remote employees and freelancers such as this list of the best digital nomad jobs.
While evaluating the skills and experience of candidates, be sure to check if they are motivated. They should be excited to work for you and show some ambition to contribute to your success.
You’ll also need to evaluate a candidate for their trustworthiness. You don’t want someone that’s lazy that will waste your time… which has happened to me in the past. When screening your candidates, it helps if they have experience with remote work. Having someone that’s experienced with remote work will make the onboarding process much easier.
Create an Onboarding Process
The first impression of the new member of your remote team matters. It is up to you to properly integrate them into your team properly. It’s a two-way street and as an employer, you have a responsibility to make their transition as smooth as possible. Introduce your new hire to the entire team. It can be through an e-mail or conference call. Make them feel welcomed and give them a chance to introduce themself. Be sure to prepare training material and/or have documentation ready for them to get started. Your onboarding process should also communicate your company’s values so that they understand what your company is about and why they should do their best to support it. Establishing your company culture and explaining your company’s mission and vision will help your new hire realize the importance of the work that they do.
With remote workers distributed worldwide, you should make sure that everyone knows that they are part of a team. Celebrate the success stories that came about as a result of your team’s hard work. It will make them proud to be a part of your organization. You can also send internal newsletters regularly to your team about new team members, achievements, upcoming events, and your plans for future projects. By being transparent and involving everyone, you’ll show that you care about their well-being and that you are investing in them as much as they are investing in you.
You’ll want to automate as many mundane or repetitive tasks as possible. Utilize chatbots, social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite, or data processing programs. This will ensure that your workers are more focused on work that has more impact. It also allows you to run LEAN. When you have more and more remote workers things can get complicated when it comes to management. Automation will streamline your business processes and increase the efficiency of your company.
Have an International Calendar
With workers distributed all over the world, you’ll want to have an international calendar with all international and religious holidays listed on it. You’ll need to communicate with your team regularly to inform them of everyone’s availability. This will prevent misunderstandings and shortages in staffing.
Determine Working Hours
Remote Workers and Digital Nomads enjoy their freedom to work whenever and wherever they like. Be totally understanding of this so long as they can get their work done. It is important, however, to ensure that certain time frames are agreed upon. This will give everyone an expectation of availability in case there is an issue that needs to be resolved. It also is important to know when people are absolutely not available to work. This will ensure that the private lives of your team members are respected.
Be a Team Member
Be an active participant in your team. Ask your team how they’re doing and offer to help them when appropriate. Schedule regular calls at your discretion so that you can see how things are going and address any concerns that may arise. Promote open communication so that people can contact you or a higher up anytime.
Don’t be a Micromanager
Don’t micromanage your team and expect that’s how to successfully run a remote team. It’s definitely not and you need to show that you can trust your team members. Just as you enjoy your freedom let your team enjoy their freedom too. Focus on results and let them have the freedom to do their tasks in the way they think is right. To ensure that they stay on task, you can use consultations, reviews, and feedback meetings. In simple terms, let them have the freedom to do what they need to do. As long as they get the job done let them breathe. 🙂
Reward Outstanding Work
Everyone likes to be rewarded when they do well. Those that feel appreciated are more likely to stay with your company and support your vision. Everyone has opportunities to work elsewhere. If you keep your team happy, they will do their best to keep you happy too. Reward contributions with special bonus payments once milestones are reached or give offline gifts to thank them for their hard work. Reward your team before you reward yourself. This is how to successfully run a remote team.
Utilize Neutral Communication
When you have distributed remote teams you’re going to have a multicultural team too. To reduce the chances of misunderstandings keep your tone as neutral as possible to avoid conflicts. You need to be respectful and mindful of different cultures. A joke to one person may be funny but can be totally rude to another. Play it safe. It’s also important to use simple words. Try not to use terms that are difficult to understand for non-native English speakers.
Manage Projects in a Professional Manner
If you want to know how to successfully run a remote team, you’re going to want to know how to manage a team when there’s a lack of small checkups that you would normally have with in-person interpersonal interactions. Create clear action items with deadlines for each team member. Tools like Asana will help you to do this. Keep track of these tasks and ensure that everyone is on schedule. Adjust your plans when hiccups arise and support any team members that need help. Utilize whatever remote tools necessary from our Resources section to aid you in your management duties. E-mails are great tools for communication as everything is recorded but try to use phone calls for minor issues that can be clarified and fixed relatively fast. You can use tools like Zoom for video conferencing if needed.
Level up your Team
It’s important to provide opportunities for your team members to increase their skill sets and level up. You can give them access to online course platforms where they can learn relevant skills that are useful to perform their tasks. With websites like Skillshare for basic skills and Springboard for more in-depth training, you can’t go wrong with making your team stronger. It’s a win-win situation!
Did you learn How to Successfully Run a Remote Team?
I hope that this information helped you with the basics of running a remote team. Remember to keep your team members happy by rewarding them and giving them the freedom that they need in order to get their tasks done efficiently. As a manager, you’ll need to check up on them regularly to ensure they are doing well. Good luck!
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