Manage a Remote Team
Working remotely can help your team get more work done, give you access to better suitable talent and add a cool reduced expenditure cost.
This article will talk about 5 rules to manage a distributed team, which applies to you especially if you have recently started working with a new remote team.
1: Work Backwards
Instead of monitoring everyone minute-to-minute and driving them towards the result, start from the end by defining the result and give freedom to let every individual drive however they want.
To make complete use of freedom, have a very clear definition of deliverables with all the essential details sketched out as clearly as possible. Depending on the type of work which is undertaken, try to be as descriptive of how the result will look once it is completed. Leave no tiny details out like “how the customer will interact with it” or “what type of experience should it provide to the visitors”.
The confidence you show in people will bring out the best and creative output from them. In the end, we all work to get results that are best for the company.
2: The Casual, Formal and Informal Meetings
Working from home is not as efficient as working from an office space. And there’s a really good reason for that.
When we started on a job for the first time, it was a whole new world for us. It’s true for everyone. One moment we are in these college classes and dorm rooms and suddenly we were paid to take responsibility for task completion by sitting in a room full of office chairs and staplers! It was a whole new world.
For decades multiple iterations have taken place and the corporate world has evolved to bring out most quality work from its employees with as high efficiency as possible while making us feel important and comfortable.
Our home, on the other hand, was designed to be our safe space, a place for leisure time. No doubt conducting serious work is challenging for most.
Solution? Set regular meetings
If you think about it, the reason everyone is highly motivated to work in a traditional office is the people working around them.
Bring the same experience on a virtual front. If you have an issue with focus or motivation, start a casual conversation with any of your colleague and you will set a mental picture of everyone working, giving you feeling inclusion.
3: Workers’ Day Out
Get everyone together, under one roof and catch up.
Working remotely for a long duration, we usually start distancing ourselves from the people we work with. And as evident it is from traditional workplaces, interpersonal, inter-team and inter-department collaboration has lead to innovative solutions.
The effective way to tackle this for a distributed team is to gather in one place twice or thrice a year and just let loose and learn about everyone you work with.
It’s doesn’t have to be in a traditional office space working all day. You could rent a resort, waterpark, 5 Star hotels, or anything and enjoy in the morning with many activities to bond together and as the moon rises drape into your casual informal attires and start the productivity and brainstorming session.
When the scene changes, your creative juice starts flowing.
When the tension reduces, your imagination expands.
Talk about the product, or how customers are reacting to the last update.
The Core intention of this day out is to share the Company’s (Product, Financial, Operations, etc) goals with everyone and cement the general direction everyone will be working towards for the next 6 to 8 months.
4: Structure Collaboration with Growth
Start using a collaboration tool to ensure everything is monitored, measured and documented.
As the old saying goes, what gets measured, get managed. Working distributed, it is very important to keep a track of who is working on what task. This is important to avoid delegating the same task to multiple workers, but also to measure how efficiently a certain task is being completed by everyone.
Modern Collaboration tool also gives workers a heads-up view of what task is coming up their way, allowing them to plan and gather the required information.
Down the line, this can be kept in mind when a new project starts, and tasks are about to be assigned.
5: Approach, Discuss and Solve
Everyone reposts to someone. Twice a year, get on a 1-on-1 call to discuss improvement.
Getting to know reporting staff is a learning experiment to enrich yourself with information about them, about their aspirations and what they want to get out of their roles.
The problems they are dealing with and issues they find fun working on, these type of small detailed information will help make better decisions while deciding the next project and task assignments.
Running a small remote startup team can be a walk on fire while juggling a lot of things. But by starting to follow a few rules and techniques life gets easier and much more manageable.
By getting to know people you work with, on a human level, will improve the quality of work and install a better work-life balance. Managing a remote team can be easy if you try to make it easy.