Remote Team Management: How to Create a Productive Work Environment

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In a traditional work environment, managing teams was a more straightforward activity. Scheduling meetings with your team members was much easier when everyone was in the same office. On top of that, people that work at the same place physically usually know each other much better than the ones who work remotely. 

Compared to traditional work, remote team management might appear less than ideal, but it’s actually quite the opposite. There’s a variety of ways that can help you achieve business goals and make remote teams work like clockwork.

Remote Calendar Management

Almost a third of employees are working remotely, a number that will surely increase. These individuals don’t differ in their education and knowledge from office workers, but they need the right (virtual) environment to thrive. 

Team management is the leader’s ability to coordinate effectively with the resources and employees at their disposal.

Create Effective Communication Channels

One of the important differences between traditional and remote models of work is the difference in communication. While you would talk face-to-face with people in an office environment, the majority of communication in remote companies happens through text messages or video conferences.

This is a great difference in how teams function, bond, and share information. 

First, you need to find suitable workspace tools that will help you establish communication channels. Yeah, you can exchange messages on Discord, LinkedIn, or wherever, but it’s neither practical nor professional for internal business discussions.

The right app will allow your employees to communicate via text messages and video calls but also to share documents and resources that are needed. Besides the platform, you’ll need to emphasize transparent communication as a part of your workplace culture.

Employees need to communicate in a clear and open way and try to work out any ambiguities on time. This allows them to minimize the risk of potential confusion and stress. Breaking the deadlines is a common result of poor communication. One employee forgets to mention they are late, and as time passes, the lag keeps increasing. Good communication prevents this. 

Set Clear and Achievable Goals

While sometimes the ride is quite enjoyable, arriving at the destination is the point of the trip. You need to ensure that your employees know what goals the company is pursuing and their role in achieving them. 

If you set your goals too high, employees will get discouraged, while those that are easily achievable don’t really bring much progress. An important aspect of helping your team reach and deliver desired results is constantly giving feedback. They need to know whether they are on the right path and, if they aren’t, how to get back to it.

The implementation of, now a cliché, concept of SMART goals is quite useful in helping the team achieve better results. While many companies have used this method in the past, it gets even greater importance in the era of management software.

Various project boards, team management platforms, and collaboration tools help managers track the work and performance of employees and increase the chances of realizing their goals

Don’t Neglect Team Building

People that work in an office usually spend a couple of hours preparing for work and commuting. On the other hand, remote workers often use this extra time to spend on their relationships, hobbies, or administrative tasks.

The problem that’s often associated with remote work is that employees don’t have the chance to socialize with their co-workers. Sure, I’ve gone for a beer a couple of times with people I’m working remotely with, but it’s just a coincidence that we live in the same city. Water cooler talk and going to lunch with colleagues are wholesome activities that are missing from remote work.

Thankfully, there’s a plethora of team-building strategies to make your employees bond with each other. This is quite important for remote environments, as you will create a positive atmosphere for your employees to thrive in

The activity that you choose and the amount of time that you would commit to this is completely up to the company. Some firms can take up to a few hours on a weekly basis, while others organize these activities once a month. Regardless, it’s helpful to commit any amount of time to this.

Some companies don’t organize team-wide activities. Instead, they match up two employees for a chat randomly. This is also a cool way of connecting your team, although two at a time, after the course of a few months, your team will be quite connected.

Performance Monitoring

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Every department of a company has its processes and goals, and there are various ways in which you can track its performance. The easiest part of company evaluation is tracking results. Your company either made a profit or didn’t, but there’s a much more to assessing your company’s performance.

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Some managers are simply asking their employees to work an X amount of hours. In a remote work environment, this is both ineffective and, in some ways, toxic. Why would you limit someone by forcing them to work more hours than it takes them to do a task?

A practical way of tracking performance is by measuring KPIs. Every employee will have a realistic and pre-determined amount of tasks that they need to perform. This is effective as it can help you make adjustments to this number. You can promote employees that complete more tasks or do them more quickly. 

On the other hand, if someone is struggling with achieving their weekly or monthly goals, you can observe this on time and help them. 

Not all companies have the same standards and activities. A content creation agency will test the texts of their writers for using ChatGPT, while graphic design and modeling companies might want to look into the quality of work of their employees. Choosing the metrics which you monitor is up to you.

The Sky is the Limit With Effective Management

Every company will suffer if it’s under poor management. When it comes to remote companies, mentorship is manifested in a variety of ways, and people that were awesome at being leaders at their office jobs might have trouble keeping their remote teams effective. 

However, with the right strategies implemented, even average managers can make their teams work flawlessly. While the tips that I’ve listed won’t turn unprofessional and inexperienced employees into experts, you can surely improve the overall results of your company. 

You shouldn’t expect to boost a company’s performance without investing a dime into its management. Some of the tips, such as goal-setting principles, are basically free for implementation, while others require you to invest in software. 

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