Technology is transforming every aspect of our world, from how we learn to how we play, and it's changing the world of work more than most.
Increasing numbers of people are now working remotely as part of a team; that's great news for them as it can create a more informal working environment, and as it can cut down on travel, it's great news for the environment as well. If you have to manage a remote team, however, it can bring unique challenges. That's why we've created this four-point guide which will help you get the most out of your team of remote workers.
Good planning is always important for a manager, but it becomes even more vital when you're in charge of a remote team working from multiple locations. The key to successful planning in this situation is to use a template for planning that allows you to track the progress of a number of individuals working towards a number of targets. The Gantt Chart templates from Excel Template allow you to do just that, and with 11 templates available free of charge, it's a smart choice as your first port of call. From budgeting and staff planning to schedule planning and milestone tracking, these charts are simple to use and make it easy to assess progress and staff performance at a glance.
Set Expectations And Reward Performance
Remote workers should work just as hard, and perform just as well, as workers who are based on-site with you, but in order for them to do so, they first have to know what's expected of them. Set clearly defined goals and equally clearly defined boundaries, and ensure they know the performance of delivering their work and completing tasks on time and to the correct standard. It's important that they understand that all workers will be expected to achieve the same productivity, whether they work remotely or otherwise. It can also be especially helpful to reward remote workers who consistently hit and exceed targets, as it can potentially be harder for them to remain motivated without their manager around.
Schedule Regular Conferencing
Remote teams work best when they and their manager see each other regularly, and thanks to advances in modern technology, this can easily be done via conference calls using video calling. Time should be set aside at least once a week for these calls, and workers should understand the importance of participating in them, even if they work in a different time zone. These conferences can be a powerful motivational tool, and it also helps remote workers feel less isolated and part of a bigger team working towards the same goals.
Keep The Channels Of Communication Open
One of the main challenges that a remote worker faces is not being able to communicate immediately with their manager if questions or problems arise, so by combating this you can help the remote working operation to function much more smoothly. Keep the channels of communication open by encouraging remote workers to contact you on your mobile or via email or direct messaging at any time when the need arises. It's important that you respond quickly and positively when contacted by a remote worker, as failure to do so can lead to confusion and then inertia on their part, which in turn leads to the loss of important project hours.
A great remote team manager will plan thoroughly and use charts to map the progress of their plans. They will also communicate effectively and regularly with their remote workers. Doing this can greatly increase motivation and performance, and in these circumstances, a remote team can be the most effective team of them all.