If you have a remote team, you should realize that they can only be productive if you have the ability to manage them.
Losing track of your remote team, the definition of paths they cannot follow and creating hurdles that make virtual work hard are some of the keys hurdles your company could face.
While working remotely, pros and cons have to be considered equally.
Going 100% virtual means being alert on certain scores.
Working remotely may open a world full of opportunities, but it has to be executed well too.
Improving the flexibility and a wider range of talent pool to choose from are some of the benefits of remote work.
But remote teams best practices need to be followed if companies seek course correction while making the transition to a virtual office.
1. Not Monitoring Performance
Remote workers need to feel motivated and performance checkups are essential when it comes to building efficiency.
Whether it’s monthly or weekly feedback sessions or daily touch points, letting your team know how work is going is important.
Feedback is a critical part of remote management strategies.
Now, gain as well as share insights, build on hard work and lay the precedents for brainstorming and accountability.
2. Not Nurturing Teams
Developing and nurturing a powerful remote team is as much about giving them in-depth reviews and feedback as it is creating value for personnel as well as the entire company.
Best remote team management strategies create synergies across the team, not just in but outside office as well.
3. Not Having a Virtual Whiteboard in Place
Brainstorming is as important as planning for performing.
Not having a planning schedule in place leaves very little room for success.
Focusing on ideas and fresh innovative synergies can yield more than just profits when it comes to remote team management.
Weekly check-ins with the team and company-wide meeting ensure connections and feedback to everyone too.
4. No Clarity in Expectations
Failure to communicate effectively can strike a death knell for your remote team.
Deadlines and milestones can only be met if clarity regarding instructions and procedures is in place.
Clarity of expectation ensures your remote team knows where it is headed.
5. Not Structuring the Team
One of the most common mistakes companies make is to think that remote work is unstructured because it is from a virtual office. It does not need to be so.
Your remote team, irrespective of time zone or location, needs to have best practices and structures to succeed.
Clear expectations need to be in place for onboarding, orientation and continuation of the conversation.
Performance management is the key here.
6. Not Developing a Sense of Project Ownership
Remote workers can be as loyal as in-house employees, if not more.
You need them to develop a sense of project ownership.
Company support structures should have questions, problem-solving and troubleshooting systems in place, but it should also instil a feeling of loyalty in remote teams.
7. Not Valuing Time Commitments
Understanding that time commitments are important makes sense.
If you do not accord respect for different time-zones and timelines, your remote team is bound to fail.
8. Not Having Adequate Contacts in Place
You need to ensure connectivity is not a problem for your remote team.
To this effect, you need a contact tree with team members, positions and contact information like Skype, company messaging, accounts and phone numbers.
9. No Remote Workflow Platforms
Finding workflow platforms that fit with the remote team is critical.
These platforms ensure the tasks the remote team carries out are a good fit with company policies and practices.
There are many remote workflow platforms that can boost the efficiency levels of your remote team.
This includes OneDrive, Dropbox. Bitrix24, Evernote, Trello, Asana and many others.
Using these platforms is a good way to keep tasks and projects moving forward.
10. Not Getting Facetime
There are so many reasons why F2F communication is as important as connecting with your remote team digitally.
This is why companies that fail to use Skype, WebEx or Google Hangout lose out on screen sharing or in-depth meetings.
11. Moving Ahead Without a Buy-In
A leadership silo can be a real problem.
While not all companies are democratic in their functioning, even if you have top-down decision making, exploring client perspectives and concerns is needed for a flexible environment for work.
12. Not Asking Remote Team Members for Inputs
A flexible work environment means employees should be free to share worries and concerns.
The remote team will only score on comfort and productivity when organizations work towards it, by eliciting inputs on critical projects.
13. Not Focusing on Outcomes
Unless you know where you want to go, how will you land there?
You need to be clear about your biggest outcomes and final end right at the start.
If remote work lines up with your goals and vision, it can be investigated further only then.
14. Not Prioritizing Growth
Companies that work remotely need to make the switch from office oriented to distributed functioning.
But the sense of priority and urgency should not change.
To start off on the right foot, you need the right approach.
15. Not Bonding Enough
Building connections and bonding is critical for nurturing remote culture.
So whether it’s fun IM chats, memes and competitions, you need to think ahead if you want a team that functions well.
A remote team that works and plays together, stays together.
16. Not Having the Right Collaboration Tools
Whether your teams prefer IM, email, con calls or video chat, having everyone sit in the same room does not solve the communication challenge.
Neither does missing out on collaboration tools in a remote team.
17. Not Identifying Issues
Conflict management is an essential part of handling remote teams.
If you don’t take out the time to identify issues, engagement and communication are missed out on.
18. Believing a Great Employee is the Same as a Great Remote Worker
Remote work requires a certain level of skill.
Making false assumptions that any talented employee can become a good remote worker is just wrong.
19. Not Having Systems in Place For Flexibility
Flexibility should go hand in hand with procedures and policies.
Change in work environment brings about a transition in direction and leadership.
When and where people need flexibility, what tools they need, whether they can do with work breaks that are minimal, all this comes into play while considering remote teams.
20. Not Making Provisions for Remote Team Absence
Just because a remote worker works from home, does not mean that he or she is not requiring a break.
Vacation or sick leaves are possible because remote workers are not 24/7 workers or superhuman.
So this needs to be taken into account as well.
21. Not Having Reporting Hierarchies in Place
Setting expectations between workers and management are important for reporting structures to be positioned for success.
22. Not Building Secure Systems
Laying parameters to regard security requirements, equipment, software types, device, tech updates, document or password encryption and other standards are critical.
23. Establish HR Policies
Onboarding, screening, posting job requirements are all a critical part of hiring a remote team.
So is interviewing the workers. If you miss out on these critical steps, don’t expect to hire the best remote team.
24. Thinking Remote Work Decreases Productivity
It is easy to feel that just because people are working remotely, they don’t have boos within the earshot to keep tabs on them.
A Harvard Business Review study found that some companies saw worker productivity rise by as high as 13.5 percent post virtual office establishment.
25. Thinking Remote Work Teams Operate Without Protecting Data
Don’t assume that just because remote work is outside of a brick and mortar office, it will compromise data security.
Many companies worry that transference of company information and data to computers on servers that are unsecured will lead to confidentiality breaches.
Technology has now reached a point where this is not possible.
Good VPN, two-factor authentication and more can be beneficial.
26. Thinking Remote Workers Cost More
Costs of employing remote workers are not over the top.
While overhead costs decrease because large costs are cut down on, the remote teams also lead to lack of commuting and reduced carbon footprint.
27. Thinking Remote Teams Will Fail
While Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer may have shunned remote work, it does not mean it will not work for you.
Consider Buffer, Toggle, Basecamp and a whole lot more teams that are successfully implementing remote work.
28. Not Hiring the Right Person for the Job
When you hire for a remote position, you need to select a worker who is qualified for this.
Someone may only know how to work in an office while others may be easier while using a virtual office.
Hiring the right talent is important.
29. Hiring Talent Without Considering Culture Fit
While hiring for remote team positions, you need to consider how the worker will fit with company culture and the remainder of the team.
They need to be part of the team and work well together for the remote avatar of your company to succeed.
30. Thinking Micromanagement Works
When the team is doing what they need to, the last thing they need is to oversee their work.
Avoid micromanagement or remote teams will fail.
31. Not Considering Remote Workers Can Also Burnout
Burnout and stress are possible even in remote teams.
To resolve this, standard breaks are important during working hours or your remote worker will combust.
32. Not Delegating Tasks to the Right Person
If you hire a Java programmer remotely, don’t expect him to work on C++! It is important that you hire remote team members who are specialists for the job, in order to function effectively.
33. Not Allowing Room for Growth
Neglecting a remote worker’s desire for further development can be deadly.
Personal growth is an excellent topic you need to consider in conversations with remote team members.
34. The Person Hired Does Not Understand Remote Work
First-time virtual workers may lack an understanding of what it takes to work remotely.
You need to have experience working as a digital nomad and have the discipline to structure your work hours.
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