7 Successful Ways to Manage a Remote Team by Anurag PattnaikGet notified with latest updates T T T T April 28, 2021 Remote team management automatically translates to the challenges that lie ahead without spontaneous communication. Did you know that the biggest struggle with working remotely is the negligence of unplugging after work hours? According to the State of Remote Work report, not following an after-work ‘mental switch off’ has been a major issue with 22% of respondents spiking on the higher side of the graph. Owing to numerous technological advances and a global approach to talent management and recognition, employees and businesses are gravitating toward remote teams and work cultures. Management is no longer confined to a specific region, especially after a hard-hitting Covid-19 pandemic’s second wave. A team is made up of individuals. With managers trying to get the best out of everyone, team members and team managers should set a common ground. Chaos, confusion, and friction trigger slow productive rates. The greatest problem with remote working is handling tasks while the team is scattered through several locations. Managers are accountable for making sure deadlines and goals are met, whether they have a combination of in-house and remote employees or an entire squad of remote workers. Keeping track of employee tasks is difficult when you are not physically present, particularly if you have plenty of them to address. Although more employees are involved remotely these days, the need for a structured approach to task management and strict adherence to deadlines stays in force. To stick to deadlines, it’s vital to understand how to identify and resolve the obstacles that lean toward a smooth-flowing remote team. Remote Team Management Challenges ‘Overworking’ is a key sign of bad remote team management. The higher rate of employee “burnout”, the more the attritions. What causes spikes of burnout in employees? Employees frequently tend to overwork, going beyond the usual 8-hour workday and even on weekends. Skipping coffee breaks and other distractions at home makes them feel less guilty. Many a time, it’s about what their coworkers would think of them that makes them stay online all the time. Shunning this practice from the management side can be helpful for remote teams. This can be achievable with the involvement of more flexibility, with certain order and structure. With fewer meetings and less control, but a small number of formalities that you establish must be compulsory for everybody in order to avoid uncertainties in the workflow. A study conducted by Hubstaff cites the biggest businesses with remote teams being scheduling, communication, language/cultural barriers, and tracking performance. Another pain point was the trust factor among remote team members that caused greater frictions in seamless workflow than ever. Remote team management revolves around keeping things simple and manageable. It also allows flexibility with regard to timely task completions. Challenges faced by Remote Teams involve: Remote collaboration Task tracking and productivity Maintaining trust & motivation The jumble-up of projects Dealing with cultural differences Digital & Domestic distractions After work switch-off How to Manage a Remote Team Challenge? As a Remote Team Manager, there are secret sauces that can reduce remote team management challenges to encounter. Get acquainted with our best practices for resolving the above issues that remote teams usually encounter: 1. Remote Team Collaboration Interacting and accessing the same document poses challenges when remote team members are spread out the country or world, isn’t it? Having access to documents, projects, items, without any real limitations and working on them simultaneously resolves half the burden. Transparency has become an essential element when it comes to team collaboration. Having said this, apps like Slack, Zoom and Orangescrum have made it easier to get the entire team on board and get collaborative work in action. Simplifying barrier-free communication goes a long way in resolving issues. Orangescrum simple collaboration tool lets you search and track cases in no time plus offers a bird-eye view of all the activities. If you ever faced the challenge of assigning documents with no access to all the documents in place, this is the best collaboration tool you could use to your advantage as a team manager. 2. Task Tracking and Productivity Task tracking is synonymous with time tracking. What makes you productive is an efficient time management schedule to track the team’s productivity. Managing workflow has a lot to do with resource availability. It determines the best possible way to utilize a resource’s time and skills. Time tracking in project management software also involves achieving smaller tasks to hit bigger targets. A more real-time view of the team’s progress would mean a Project Management tool. An all-in-one project management tool should help you monitor the start and end time plus automatically updates the work in progress percentage in real-time. Isn’t that what a Project Manager would want for handling remote employees’ work progress? There are resources for almost every challenge that a remote team manager might face. To address this issue, Orangescrum project management software delegates tasks and intuitively monitors progress making it easier to sail through the remote work journey. 3. Trust & Motivation go hand-in-hand Building value and maintaining the trust of your team members make a world of difference while operating remotely. Since remote working is relatively common these days, it’s best to come up with clever ways to show your recognition. Delivering little gift packs or gift cards as a digital reward can instill trust and motivation among employees. For example, if a team hits an important deadline, good and powerful delivery of recognition can keep the team motivated to sustain the work strength. A company announcement of the team performance wins the hearts of remote employees. Recognizing a remote team isn’t that different from a real one. Thanking people for their efforts goes a long way. To wrap up, Avoid micromanagement and investing interest in providing shared goals to cover each other’s backs and build immense trust to stay motivated. 4. Dealing with cultural barriers When handling remote teams across the globe, a rich mix of cultural backgrounds will be a sure-shot barrier. However, varying levels of proficiencies of the English language can make or break a team. For example, countries like Japan and Korea demand longer working hours. Work cultures definitely differ from region to region. One can recognize the aspects and understand the cultural differences to work out a win-win situation. Religious holidays may require time-off which needs to be expected by each team member and the manager too. Native speakers need to be patient with the understanding that differences. Cultural differences can impact teamwork to some extent. To avoid offense, disagreements, and misunderstandings, it’s best to respect each other’s cultures and reciprocate accordingly. 5. Staying connected with the team Scheduling a kickoff video call and encourage employees to resolve certain challenges. It’s easy to outline a project, work through deadlines, and setting expectations to make can help you touch base with the team throughout each project. Keep all your projects scheduled in one place. Tech issues can be frustrating. Come up with weekly questionnaires for your team to analyze weekly issues. This will help the IT team to quickly resolve those obstacles and avoid future concerns. Scheduled one-on-one calendar invites can help Managers track the progress of employees. Building individual relationships is vital to learn about team members’ challenges and helps with suggesting resolutions on the spot. 6. Digital Distractions According to the 2019 State of Remote Working report, distractions rank fourth in the list of remote employee struggles. They’re the number one productivity crasher. Remote working can enhance productivity by creating a workspace that helps you feel at the office. Some of the main reasons for distractions are: Digital distractions Family distractions Unscheduled break With all that reckoned with, making your availability hours known to your family and colleagues is crucial. Let people know that you’re available for work-related issues at specific times. A variety of apps help you block distractions during unwanted times. They allow you to automatically block and schedule notifications that help you stay on track with your work priorities. 7. After work switch-off Unplugging after your shift has taken a u-turn after remote working has come into the picture. As mentioned before, this is one of the worst challenges faced by employees as they still tend to stay in the work mode after their shift ends. In other words, switching off after your day is done lets you take a genuine break rather than preventing doing so. Resolving this is simple and needs practice too – Switching off after instinctively convincing yourself about the finished tasks from the checklist. Setting achievable targets each day and routinely hitting them should be prioritized. Constantly feeling like you’ve never done enough doesn’t give hope nor peace of mind. Staying Remotely Happy Remote working doesn’t mean taking too much on your plate. Handling a remote team appropriately can offer potential benefits to remote employees. Achieving a level of productivity and discipline goes a long way in striking the work-life balance. Set your remote teams up for success with Orangescrum all-in-one collaboration tool that perfectly suits effective remote team management. Sometimes, Providing the best guidance and environment for your remote employees is all they need to thrive! Get started with remote working!