Team coordination is a task that is quite difficult even when conducted on-site, not to mention remotely. The fact that there is a distance between you and your team restricts you from greater insight into how things are going. Things get even more complicated if you and your team operate in different time zones.
It’s no mystery – planning and organizing are difficult enough when you have to do it in one time zone. Adding layers to the parameters that you have to assess makes organizing a team exponentially difficult.
All that being said though, it’s not all doom and gloom, which can be seen from plenty of examples around the world. A vast majority of the most successful companies actually perform remote management to some extent, and they succeed and continue to grow.
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You can indeed keep remote teams coordinated, but to do so, you need a couple of tips first. In this article, you will be able to read about those exact tips in order to optimize how you manage a remote team.
Tracking performance – why is it important
One of the greatest benefits of managing a team on-site is the fact that you have extensive insight into how different operations are doing at any given moment. All that you have to do is to walk down to an employee or a team responsible for a certain task and check upon them. Of course, this is not the case when it comes to remote teams.
The first problem is that you’re unable to be present and observe the situation with full transparency. Secondly, when we include time differences, you can’t even reach your team at normal working hours. Ultimately, the best solution to these issues is to opt for performance tracking, as it allows you to regain the insight that you’ve read about previously.
The best way for you to tackle performance tracking is by using software made for that exact purpose.
The team behind Workpuls employee monitoring software explains how having a clear project overview, definitive proof of the state of work efficiency, and easier project budgeting are only a few of many benefits of having time tracking software. The tools that such software provides are invaluable when it comes to managing a remote team.
Planning is essential
Tracking performance gives you insight into where your remote team is regarding their tasks, but there is more to planning when it comes to coordinating teams. In fact, the most important thing when it comes to ensuring that your team is in sync is to plan extensively.
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This is especially true for remote teams, as you will not always be able to act on a certain situation immediately. Delayed response results in delayed progress, and to avoid this – you must have an outline of a plan for various situations that your team might encounter.
Surely, you can’t predict everything, but try and be as extensive as you possibly can. What are the things that can possibly go wrong, and how should your team proceed if that does happen? What are the exact goals for your team and in which time frame should they be reached?
These are the most important questions to which you must have answers. But, if you truly want to ensure that your team is coordinated, you want to go even deeper. You want to leave as little space for doubt when a new situation is encountered by your team.
Open-door policy leads to more accountability
One of the most common mistakes when coordinating a remote team is when managers overcontrol what their colleagues are doing. Nobody likes to feel like someone is constantly standing behind their shoulder and overseeing their every step.
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The problem is, when we talk about remote teams, managers often feel like that’s the only way in which they can gain more insight.
A better approach to this issue would be to promote an open-door policy. If your team knows that they can approach you with an idea or a suggestion, everyone benefits. Additionally, if you do this the right way, they will not only come with ideas but with problems as well.
On the other hand, if they are afraid of the looming impact of any mistake that they will make, they will shut down the communication. Nobody gains from such a situation, it’s way better to have both the positives and the negatives on the table.
In the end, the key takeaway here is that in order to keep your team in check – your organization skills must be at the top of your game. Reap the benefits of as many organization tools and skills you can get your hands on.
Be vigilant, and don’t forget to check up on your team on a daily basis. Nurture the emotional aspect and the humanity behind a remote task force. Keeping everyone happy and satisfied is a key step to ensuring that they are as efficient as they can possibly be. Good luck!