Sourcing talented employees from any geographical location is a smart idea.
But for remote teams to collaborate efficiently, you need to implement and promote a remote work culture.
What does that mean in practice? That you should equip employees with the right mindset, processes, workflows, and tools to keep everyone engaged and connected.
In general, teams are built on shared values that set the foundation of how members work together and determine the quality of deliverables. Team members need to have regular contact with each other to feel connected, establish trust, and develop productive relationships that help them to get more done faster.
The right tools and infrastructure will help team members thrive in every stage project.
Here is a selection of best practices for remote team management I practice while running my the marketing department at InTENSO.
Managing remote teams – best practices
Experience taught me that not everyone could work in a remote environment. That’s why it’s essential to assemble a team where you’re sure that every member can execute tasks in remote collaboration.
Here’s what you should know about team development with remote work in mind:
- Source talents who are not only experienced in the right area but also know how to get things done under changing conditions – all you need to do that is provide guidance and direction through the most important tasks, and you can be sure that these people will make something happen.
- Don’t forget about trust – remote work will never bring results if you can’t trust the people on the other side. You will be sharing a lot of the sensitive information with remote employees, that’s why you need to show that you trust them to handle that information responsibly.
- Hire great communicators – in remote situations, information is usually shared via written communication through instant messaging apps, task management platforms, or email. That’s why communication skills are so critical in a remote team. Hire someone who knows how to write on point and knows when to use which medium to communicate.
When managing a remote team, you should also take care of your process.
You may cringe at this word, but the right process is critical to the success of a remote team. It provides structure and direction. Just think of the process as a set of rules that define ‘how we work.
Here are a few tips to help you define the process for your remote team
- Decide who will provide support – customers are the lifeline of every organization, and one of your most important jobs is to make their life easier. It’s smart to schedule customer support in a way that everyone on the team dips their toes in it. This way, everyone will hear the customer’s voice and see the bigger picture of their activities.
- Schedule weekly meetings – I developed a habit with my team to meet once every week for updates. It’s a great idea to organize weekly hangouts where team members get to see each other and have a moment of informal conversation before we start talking about tasks for the week. Give the floor to team members and encourage them to share a demo of something interesting.
- Be available to the team – as the CMO at Deviniti, I need to stay in touch with many people at the same time. It’s challenging, right – but it’s worth it. Every month, I schedule a more extended, individual video conference with each team member to answer their questions and prepare a plan for the upcoming month.
- Automate as much as possible – automating processes and using templates allows my team to avoid performing repetitive and boring tasks and save plenty of time.
- Transparency – it’s worth investing is transparency when building a culture for a remote team. Here’s an article I wrote on that topic. Accountability should be part of that too. Ask team members to update everyone about what they’ve done that week and what they will be working on next week.
And for that, you need the right tool.
Here’s why Jira is a great pick
Atlassian’s Jira Software helps remote teams to track issues and manage projects. Teams can plan their projects and sprints, monitor tasks and project progress, and assign or prioritize tasks according to current needs.
Jira is a fantastic remote collaboration tool because every team member can easily visualize the status of tasks and projects on special boards (here’s more on that). As a department manager, I can quickly check the process the progress of my projects, see which tasks team members have completed, and make adjustments when needed.
When our bi-weekly sprint begins, I create and assign tasks to various team members. I can be sure that the person is notified via email and starts working on the task as soon as possible.
Team members can mark their progress by relocating the task on the workflow – for example, by moving a task from To Do to Done or Built. If they need more advice or help, they can simply leave a comment under the relevant task.
Another fantastic tool is Atlassian’s Confluence, a wiki platform that allows teams to create pages, upload documents, and share knowledge across the team. Its simple interface makes it an amazing tool for building an internal information library for the team, helping everyone avoid the errors that arise in email communication.
You can create project areas and share them with particular clients so everyone can add project documentation and information. Have a look here to learn more about Confluence.
Using project management platforms like Jira Software or Confluence is a big step toward effective remote teams management. Have you got any questions about how Jira can help your remote steam skyrocket its productivity? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with one of our consultants – we’re always ready to help organizations boost their team efficiency with dedicated platforms and apps.