Remote team management isn’t overly complicated, and by following just a few simple tips, you can avoid the typical issues you’ll run into with a remote team. From communicating better to setting expectations and letting technology help manage projects, these are the best ways to simplify your life as a remote team manager and help your team excel.
Upgrade Your Conference Calls
If you’re still using a landline to host conference calls, it’s time to move into the 21st century and upgrade to a web conferencing tool such as conferencecalling.com. Digital conference rooms are the best way to host secure, crystal-clear conference calls without the big price tags that come with landlines and their long-distance and multiple-caller fees.
Web conferencing tools simplify the process of meeting with remote team members (or clients) by making the call accessible from anywhere in the world; provided the location has access to the internet. No matter where your team members are, you’ll be able to get in touch with them with the press of a button using your computer mic and speakers, or by calling the unique conference number from your phone.
Best of all, most conference calling services only charge a monthly premium much like a phone bill, but usually around half the cost of a traditional landline. Saving you money and making things easier and more accessible is the name of the game with digital conference services.
Use Project Management Software
Trello and Basecamp are just two of the most widely used and trusted project management tools available today; there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other project and team management tools on the web. The best part about these versatile tools is they’re usually cloud-based; meaning that anyone anywhere in the world can access the interface and complete projects within it.
If you’re struggling to get your remote team on task and keep track of due dates and deadlines, then a project management tool is probably what you need. You’ll be able to assign projects, deadlines, and track specific progress from individual team members.
Many project management tools also have some kind of chat room where general questions can be asked and feedback is given. Project management software is probably the best tool at your disposal for improving your team’s efficiency and reducing your stress as a manager. Try it out today and see why so many businesses trust these versatile tools!
Be Clear About What You Expect
There’s a difference between communicating expectations and simply having them, and this is where a lot of managers get tripped up. Having expectations is all well and good, but if no one knows what they are, how can you expect them to follow the guidelines? Clearly expressing what you expect from your team is the only way to ensure they know exactly what you want.
Sometimes, just verbally stating expectations isn’t enough. Reminders may be required from time to time in the form of emails or conference calls, to make sure everyone is on the same page during specific projects. This goes for deadlines as well; send reminders a few weeks, one week, and a few days before a deadline to remind everyone that it’s approaching.
Discuss Payment Before Hiring
Avoiding any conflicts due to payment arrangements starts by clearly defining the rate your remote team members will receive for their work. When you hire a remote worker, be sure to clearly spell out how much you’re willing to pay them per hour, project, etc. If you leave this to the wind, it’s open for interpretation; and chances are, you and the remote worker interpreted it very differently.
Set pay rates from the very beginning to avoid future conflicts. Contractors will probably have their own rates, but if you’re hiring someone into your own company as a remote worker, you’ll have a bit more say in how much you pay them. Remember, of course, to pay fairly if you want to keep quality help around.
Respect Your Remote Employees
In addition to paying fairly, it’s very important that you treat your remote employees with the respect and dignity they deserve. These workers are still a part of your organization, and while you may never see them in person, understand that they’re still people.
It can be much more difficult to connect with someone you don’t interact with in person, so be sure to schedule at least one video call every month or so in order to foster a more personal connection. Distance can make things difficult, but with the right level of communication, you’ll foster trust and loyalty among your remote team members.
Essentially, the more organized you are as a remote manager, the better off both you and your team will be. Use technology to your advantage; there are hundreds of tools available to help you better manage time, resources, and unify everyone under the same deadlines and project requirements.