Do you want a more effective workflow for your remote team? Remote working, or teleworking, has become the norm. From marketing to sales, there’s a remote workforce in nearly every industry.
The effectiveness and efficiency of your remote team, however, hinges on your ability to manage them. Those miles away from the office still need guidance and the tools to maximize growth and success.
Having a remote working option available to your team is certainly important. But it is vital to have processes in place to streamline your remote team’s productivity.
A survey by TINYpulse found that, “91 percent assert that they get more work done outside of the office. Having engaged, productive employees doesn’t require being in the same room as them.”
Streamline remote working to keep your team productive, engaged, professionally satisfied with the following strategies.
Manage Your Remote Team’s Performance
It is certainly easy to lose track of your remote team’s performance goals, since you don’t see them daily. But making a few adjustments to your remote performance management strategy can prove beneficial.
“Working remotely can make some people lose their focus and motivation,” says Brian Honigman of Entrepreneur. “And for business owners, it can be difficult to track an employee’s progress and accomplishments when the person is working outside the office.”
Performance management strategies for your remote team include:
- Daily and weekly touch points
- Weekly feedback on any ongoing, new, and future projects
- Quarterly performance reviews
- Weekly and monthly teleconferences
Ensure Clear Expectations are in Place
Remote work can definitely be less structured. However, with clear expectations in place, structure will produce powerful results.
“Establishing clear lines of accountability from the outset of the working relationship by setting monthly, quarterly, and yearly performance goals as well as targets for what ‘hitting it out of the park’ would mean,” Keith Ferrazzi, founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight told Harvard Business Review.
When should these clear expectations for your remote team be set? During onboarding, but the conversation can and should be continuous.
Clear expectations for your remote team are:
- Tasks to be delivered weekly, and where to locate them
- Monthly and quarterly goals
- Project ownership
- A support structure for questions, collaboration, and problem solving
- Weekly work commitments
- Ability to connect with a higher echelon of management e.g. you.
- Contact information such as emails, Skype accounts, phone numbers, company messaging system, etc.
Give Remote Workers Online Tools for Success
There are a variety of platforms you can employ to make your remote team’s efforts more efficient and effective. These platforms do, however, need to be tailored at times to meet the needs of your team and business.
Streamline remote working with flexible intranet paired with multiple systems:
- AceProject or Bitrix24
- Dropbox or OneDrive
- Microsoft OneNote or Evernote
- Google Drive
Refine Communication and Collaboration via Technology
Keeping the lines of communication open with your remote team is essential. Despite it being one of the most important aspects of managing remote working, it is often the most challenging.
Victor Lipman of Forbes explains, “While management communication always matters greatly, in the absence of direct in-person contact, and the potential for isolation and confusion that implies, it’s critical that remote managers stay in frequent contact to ensure they know what’s being worked on and the progress being made.”
Having previously discussed daily touch points, there are a few other management strategies you can utilize to make remote team communication and collaboration a priority.
Strategies and platforms to maximize remote communication include:
- Face-to-face time using Google Hangout or WebEx
- Make weekly meetings social with MangoApps, Yammer, and IGLOO to maximize communication and collaboration
Giving your remote team the technology in hand to connect, communicate, and collaborate is another key aspect for streamlining remote working. The rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has created a mobile workforce that is always connected.
There have been some security issues with the BYOD mobile working trend. Now companies are arming their remote workforce with company smartphones, ensuring security meets mobile efficiency.
Streamlining remote working for your team has multiple benefits. You can expand your talent pool, boost retention, and increase effectiveness and efficiency. These are all certainly monikers for success, and it all begins with your ability to maximize remote team management. How do you effectively manage your remote workforce?
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