As the owner of a small business, you wear many hats. One of the most important—and challenging—roles you play is that of manager. When your team is in one location, managing them is relatively straightforward. But what happens when your team is spread out across the country (or the globe)? How do you manage remote teams effectively?
There are a few key challenges you’ll need to overcome when managing remote teams. Below, we’ll discuss a few of the most common ones and offer some tips for how to address them.
1. Ensuring communication and collaboration
One of the biggest challenges of managing remote teams is ensuring that team members stay connected and are able to collaborate effectively. This can be achieved by using collaboration tools such as Slack or Zoom, holding regular video conferences, and encouraging informal check-ins.
2. Tracking productivity
It can be difficult to track the productivity of remote team members since they’re not in a physical office where you can see what they’re working on. To get around this, you can use time tracking software such as Toggl or RescueTime to see how much time employees are spending on specific tasks. You can also ask team members to submit weekly reports detailing what they’ve been working on.
3. Managing different time zones
If your team is spread out across different time zones, it can be difficult to find a time that works for everyone to meet or collaborate on projects. One way to overcome this challenge is to use a tool like World Time Buddy, which allows you to see what time it is in different locations so you can plan accordingly. You can also schedule deadlines based on when team members will be available rather than trying to accommodate everyone’s schedules.
4. Promoting company culture
It can be difficult to promote company culture when employees are spread out all over the world. However, there are several things you can do to overcome this challenge. For example, you can create online communities for employees (such as an internal Slack group) where they can interact with each other, host virtual social events (such as happy hours), and provide employees with company swag that they can use when working from home.
Managing remote teams comes with its own set of unique challenges – but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. By using the right tools and strategies, you can overcome these challenges and set your team up for success. What tips would you add? Let us know in the comments!