4 tips to manage a distributed remote team effectively
Work remotely is one of the modern trends that have become the scene of the global labor market. Because the technology has captured the commercial landscape, many of the large companies and startups become depended on remote team as an effective tool of enhancing their productivity. The idea of establishing and managing a group of people, geographically distributed to a number of countries, is a frightening idea. Undoubtedly, Managers are faced great challenges in managing these teams because lead a geographically dispersed team is unlike managing a team at traditional offices! But the benefits that the business owners get from it far outweighs those potential difficulties.
If you have your own company and think of establishing a remote team, and you are worrying about its management and leadership towards achieving the company's goals, make sure that the key is to have a group of people who believe in your idea, passionate about work and have full commitment and ability to harmonize between them, then all other fears will be secondary.
Here are some secrets and keys that will help you manage a remote team:
Put a clear plan:
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
As an entrepreneur you must realize that planning is always at the top of any manager's agenda and is a cornerstone of any small business. It is said that the people who do not plan are actually planning to fail. This is absolutely true if you do not have a plan to manage your remote team , you will enter in the endless mess of wrong actions and decisions! The action plan is the roadmap to your success, some entrepreneurs are hiring someone to write a business plan and this is wrong! It's your job, if you don't know how to write your business plan, you will not know how to manage it, if you don’t have time to write a business plan, you will not have time to run your business! To write a business plan to manage a remote distributed team you need a few things:
- Define your goals from the process of hiring a remote distributed team.
- What skills does your company need?
- How many freelancer will you hire?
- How and when will you communicate with them?
- Will you lead the team yourself or will you delegate another person to it?
- What budget will you keep for the entire team and for each freelancer?
In addition to answering those questions that will make your business plan more clarity, you should put a weekly and monthly plan to manage your team, and this plan needs to be reviewed regularly to make sure that things are going well.
Choose the appropriate team:
Choosing the right team is one of the most important secrets of your success in managing a remote team. If you fail to choose a team, you will inevitably fail in managing it. Building a team from scratch is not easy, but the free platforms offer entrepreneurs great opportunities to connect, and deal with hundreds of freelancers in the Arab world. It also allows you to choose the best skilled freelancers. Choose your team members by assigning small initial projects to the freelancers so you can communicate with them closely. You have to consider a lot of things while choosing team members, like choose the people who provide High-quality work, delivers the tasks on time, flexible, able to collaborate with their mates in the team, ready to communicate with you, and most importantly, ready to work remotely.
If you find out that your tasks are increasing, choose the most efficient member in the group, delegate to him the task of supervising the team, and provide you with daily reports on the progress of the work. Delegating the supervision to someone does not mean that you step down from the follow-up and management team, the supervisor will relieve you of some of the burden only, but he will not be the manager.
You must have the communication skills
Employing a remote team does not mean that you wouldn’t have to communicate with them. Conversely, one of the strongest reasons for the success of telecommuting teams is to open up a qualitative and effective communication space with the team. Effective communication enhances the trust between you and your team, as well as training, developing and motivating them. In order to succeed, you must open a line of communication with each one as individual to guide, alert him, and correct his individual mistakes at work without embarrassing him in front of his colleagues, and another collective communication line for all members of the team where they can all get the information, instructions and guidance at the same time. There are a lot of applications that will make it easier for you to communicate with the your team, distribute tasks, post information and the latest news, and make video chat conversations like skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and other important file sharing applications like: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and many other important team management applications such as TRELO, which helps business owners manage their projects, their remote teams ... and many more.
To harvest the benefits of effective communication with your remote team , you should:
- Organize a specific working time for people work in different time zones.
- Arrange periodic video meetings, because it conveys what the written speech or voice recording cannot convey.
- Be a role model for your team by being committed to constant communication and effective attendance at meetings.
- Encourage your team members to give you constant nourishment, engage in discussions and bring new ideas.
- Practice conflict management skills, which are likely to occur between team members during work or meetings, and be critical in imposing your authority on the team.
It will be very useful for your business to meet your remote distributor teammates, face to face once a year at least to enhance confidence between you and your team.
Distribute tasks clearly
Clarifying roles and responsibilities enhance the system and culture of the company among your team. Where the unclear instructions or poor communication create many problems, so you have to clarify the role and responsibilities of each member so that everyone will has a full picture of the role they will play in the team.
Remember that mixing roles hurts the company, and overlapping tasks creates chaos among the team. The content writer should focus on research and content quality instead of adding the task of coordinating social networks to its responsibilities. The designer will do a better job in his field without adding editing task or other tasks.
When you start working with a remote team , you must set up a list of tasks for each one, Make sure to not give him an over load of work, which will either make him give a less quality work or withdraw from your team. This will force you to start the journey again in searching for another freelancer with the same efficiency. You do not need to manage the team and motivate them to be more effective only. But also need to keep them to work with you in the long term.