Remote Teams Management Tips
Working on remote teams and virtual teams can be a challenge. If you are a manager of a remote workforce you may face problems with handling people who are not in front of you on a daily and weekly basis. During my time at Google, I worked remote teams for two years. There were 32 teams that I worked with on a weekly basis. This gave me valuable experiences in working with different types of people. Below are some of the tips I give at presentations about this topic.
What type of culture do you currently have within your organization? Try and help your team understand the culture even if you have people working in the team who are not there. A constant issue I hear from people is that they feel disconnected from people that work at the main office. Make a constant effort in making them feel a part of the team. You can do this by giving them info on recent happenings in the company.
Having the right tools while being on a remote team is crucial to the success of the group. There were times when we had to wait 30 minutes before the meeting started because of connectivity issues. Many companies supply their team with laptops and cameras to help things move smoothly. Making sure they are in a quiet area with a good internet connection can also be a good step. Also, try to get the latest online video meeting tools. Zoom, and Skype for business are currently good options.
One challenge we face on remote teams is not knowing exactly what is being done outside the office. One thing we did is make sure they report what has been done during the week. The key areas that were reported on are major items completed during the week, items to be worked on next week, and at least three small items that have been completed. This helped everyone stay on the same page. Try to meet with the team weekly to check in on any issues they may have.
Attempt to motivate employees the same way you would if they were in the office. Many companies try to bring everyone together two times a year if possible. This could just be a social function or training that can be beneficial to building a better team environment.
Overall, be sure to communicate more frequently with your remote team. Hopefully, some of these tips can help you effectively manage remote teams.
Chris N. West is an international speaker, marketing expert, and President of LR Training. Formerly, he served in a position at Google where he worked in the area of marketing key products. He worked on a team with 32 virtual employees where he learned the importance of communicating with remote team members. Chris helps teams save time and focus on what matters by using the latest tools online. His career has taken him to 48 US states. Contact him to be a keynote speaker or session presenter for an event or for advice on remote team management and virtual teams.