With today’s far-reaching technology and many online networks, it’s fairly easy to manage people working remotely. Here are some simple tips for doing so:
Always Communicate with your team members
Whether it’s in an email, a text, or a quick phone or video call, make sure you communicate your expectations and work priorities clearly and regularly.
When communicating work priorities and projects, use one of the many online tools to manage workflow so that remote workers can access them easily. This can include a platform that costs a monthly fee, or it can be as simple as updating a cloud-shared Word document or a spreadsheet.
Communicate regularly with your workers, touching base to not only see if they need assistance or feedback but to maintain a personal connection that is found in traditional offices. If possible, plan regular video meetings with your team – this connection and camaraderie will be invaluable to the productivity and well-being of your team.
Use Video Chat Apps
Use video call apps and platforms like Facetime, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, and Skype. When you are unable to walk over to speak to a team member at their desk, the next best thing is to video call them. A video call allows you to not only communicate verbally, but it allows you to see body language and a mannerism – other forms of language that can get lost in normal phone calls.
This might be an obvious point but pay attention to time zones. For workers located in different parts of the country or the world, it is important to consider this important factor so you can pre-plan check-in times and calls accordingly.
Maintain effective project management
When communicating work priorities and projects, use one of the many online tools to manage workflow so that remote workers can access them easily. Some effective and affordable options include Asana, Trello or Microsoft Planner. These tools allow you to assign projects and roles to team members, to monitor their progress with updates, and to create organized schedules empowering you to meet your goals and deadlines. Or, if your budget can’t cover the fees of an online platform, project planning can be as simple as updating a cloud-shared Word document or spreadsheet.
As the above section on video chat apps addresses, there are communications challenges with remote teams and workers. While the use of video communication is invaluable, team communication can be supplemented by the use of the said online project planning tools which ensure all project-related communication is stored in the same place. Virtually, these tools also create a sense of community, engaging your team on one central location when a physical office is not an option.