The days of all company employees working in a centralized office are over. Location means less than ever as organizations are finally realizing what matters most is simply getting the work done. And as younger employees join the workforce, their expectations further extend this trend.
If your job is to manage a remote team, you may find there are additional challenges when employees are not available on-site. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still manage them successfully.
Here are 5 tips for managing a remote team:
- Identify Ideal Communication — Whether it’s Skype, email, or regularly scheduled phone calls, find a system that works for your employees and then stick to it. When you’ve settled on a mutually agreeable communication method, it removes a lot of the uncertainty around having remote employees. You can connect with them according to plan.
- Maximize Tools — Numerous tools are available to streamline work, including Basecamp, DropBox, Google Docs, and more. Determine which ones are easiest for your team to use and maximize those solutions.
- Agree on Scheduling — You may have employees that prefer the standard 9 to 5 schedule, and you may have some that don’t like to get started until after 1:00 each day. While it’s important to have some scheduling overlap, give employees the flexibility to get projects done at their pace. As long as deadlines are met and you have opportunities to connect daily, if necessary, don’t make traditional time concerns an issue.
- Understand Currency — Some remote employees may like their jobs because of the role; others because of the schedule. For many, it’s simply about money. Whatever their currency is, speak to that need. Remember, remote employees can always jump ship to another job without worrying about geography. Keep them happy.
- Strive for Culture — Some managers lament the lack of company culture when employees are remote. What they don’t realize is one of the reasons people like working remotely is because they’re not really interested in company culture. They like the work and they want to get paid. You can try for culture, but don’t make it an absolute priority if your staff shows little interest.
What tips do you have for managing a remote team?