It doesn’t matter whether you already have a remote team or are pondering the idea of creating a remote team for a new project. Either way, how will you establish effective communication habits among your virtual team? In a completely virtual environment, how will you maintain healthy working relationships with your employees?
After considering the experiences of various remote projects and companies, we came to the conclusion that the vision for managing the processes of a remote team is practically the same across the board. The following recommendations can be applied to different specialists that work remotely, including programmers, writers, managers, advertisers, and so on.
Let’s explore how to boost your remote team’s productivity in seven simple life hacks.
Attentively recruit employees to your remote team.
Chris Smith, the project manager at WriteMyEssayOnline, says, “Searching for remote employees for each specific company is an individual process.” Chris highlights that some entry points are common for any project:
— He recommends beginning the recruiting process by finding a manager for the remote team, and only then search for specialists.
— Employees recruited from various sources have their own peculiarities. For example, candidates from a specialized website will differ from those who leave requests on freelancer platforms.
— Use various means to conduct an interview. Frequently exchanging emails and giving a test project is not enough to distinguish a good employee. You may need to meet the candidate personally or communicate via Skype call.
— Give as much information about the vacancy as you can. This way, the candidates will easily understand if they will fit the requirements and whether or not the job is right for them. Discuss all of the details of the project and the requirements upfront.
Don’t compare freelance employees to yourself.
There is no need to expect the same level of productivity from your remote employees as you put forth. Divide your effectiveness by three and live peacefully. Set manageable tasks and realistic deadlines. Take into account the employee’s location, qualifications, and skills.
Give your employees a list of freedoms.
According to Howard Behar from Starbucks, “The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom.” Let your employees have room for choice; this will enhance motivation and performance. For example, there is no need to force the employees to track time in time-tracking services if you pay for the project in ways other than an hourly rate. In other words ,give the artist room for creation.
Let your employees choose the most convenient work hours.
You need to consider the fact that some people are more productive early in the morning, while others are most productive in the evening. Also, don’t forget about different time zones. If your team is located around the world, give them appropriate information about the working hours of each colleague.
Choose optimal digital tools.
No matter if you are a large company or a startup, you will benefit from the use of modern technologies and services. For effective work, you will need services for setting and tracking tasks, collaborating on projects, discussing ideas, sharing finished project elements, and editing documents.
— For effective communication:
You can use group chats in Whatsapp, Slack, Skype, etc. Try to use one service for communication, as this will allow you to store and share documents in one place and avoid losing anything.
— For planning meetings and working with shared documents:
You can use Google Hangouts, Google Drive, and/or Google calendar. Google Drive in general is a great option for storing corporate documents. You can share needed documentation, files, and information in one organized place. Just by sharing links, each of your new or existing employees can open and explore the right document.
— For managing tasks:
With the help of certain applications, you can set tasks for each employee, write the project description, set the deadline, and attach files. The most popular services are Trello, Bitrix24, Asana, and iDone This. These services will help you keep your team updated with current and prospective tasks, discuss the particularities of the project, share documents, and more. Most of the services have user-friendly applications for various devices.
— To track time for the project:
Various time tracking applications will be especially helpful if your employees are paid by an hourly rate. In addition, such services may help you improve employee discipline and responsibility. For example, Time Doctor can integrate with the Asana service. As a result, you will receive convenient reports about employees’ productivity.
Conduct weekly meetings.
In weekly meetings with your team members, you can discuss the current state of affairs or explore upcoming projects. Pick the most convenient time for all participants of the team and use Skype, Google Hangouts, or another service for communication. Praise their successes and point out ways for the team to improve. Help your team realize how much they are needed and that their work is meaningful.
Take care of employee burnout.
If your team consists of employees who work on one project for a long time, you need to take the utmost care of their mental, physical, and emotional health. How can this sort of responsibility be taken care of online? Anything is possible! Listen to your employees, offer them feedback, give them challenging and meaningful tasks, and set clear parameters for success. Offer them places for coworking or give discounts for various services. Show your employees that you care so that they have good sleep, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and have time to relax.
We hope that our list of recommendations and tools have shed some light on how to manage your online team. Even if some of the tips we listed seem irrelevant to your project, we want to encourage you to pay attention to every single detail that may help you build a strong remote team.
Communication is the key to successful management of remote employees. Even a simple ‘thank you’ may enhance team productivity. Use social chats, stay up to date with the lives of your employees, and make sure that everyone knows their tasks. Gathering a remote team is only half of the work; the other most important part is to keep your employees engaged in the project.
Have you already built an effective online team? How do you increase their productivity? What digital tools do you use? Share your insights in the comments below.