The value of remote teams and how to manage them was demonstrated by working from home to stop the virus’ spread and by outsourcing work to the online community. Coming out of a global pandemic and having to adjust business functionality accordingly, remote teams are a large part of this now standard business operations package. A team spread out across several geographical locations presents many challenges. A manager who knows how to make it work efficiently will do well for their business and team.
Working with remote tech teams has many benefits and drawbacks, but in this situation, the pros outweigh the cons as long as the manager and team can get along well. As with any working environment, it takes a collaborative effort for a business or project to succeed. Remote teams, while managing themselves, especially in the case of different time zones, have to be willing to do their part. A manager working with the team has to be ready to consider the unique circumstances under which their teams are operating. Many businesses were thrust into having to do remote work courtesy of the pandemic. Many made mistakes but also learned many lessons.
When it comes to dealing with remote development teams, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
- First, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your team. This means being clear and concise when communicating goals and objectives.
- Secondly, as a manager, you need to trust your team members. This can be tricky when you’re not able to see them face-to-face daily, but it’s important to remember that they are professionals capable of doing great work.
- Thirdly, flexibility will go a long way. Things or events will inevitably come up that can’t be planned for, so it’s crucial to be able to roll with each individual’s punches and adjust as needed.
- Lastly, you need to have a sound system to track progress and ensure that deadlines are met.
Let’s discuss the key lessons for managing remote teams in 2022.
1. Investing in the right remote management software
The most significant problem with current software is that, despite being effective, it might not be the best fit for the company’s needs. There is usually a lot of trial and error involved in settling on the right software for work/time management. Some days of productivity may be lost in trying to get into a system that meets the business’s unique needs. The biggest lesson here is to identify and work with systems and software that are an exceptional fit for your business so that efficiency and delivery of services are not affected. In the future, many companies should research software that is unique to them and will enable them to continue to operate in any given circumstance. The need for the appropriate remote management software is just one of many that can make work easier.
2. Efficient online communication
Written communication or even tone in speaking can be easily misconstrued. While this may seem obvious, communicating with remote teams where language, culture, and tone are not the same is difficult. It was seemingly more straightforward before remote work was a regular part of a business because personnel could fly across the globe to meet with teams. Due to the global pandemic, physical communication has not been accessible with lockdown and financial constraints. Furthermore, language barriers make it challenging to manage remote teams. Managers may need to be trained in how to manage a diverse group so that KPIs are always met.
3. Setting boundaries with remote team workers
Setting boundaries right from the beginning of your working relationship with a remote team will help the whole team understand what is expected of them and show that the business cares for its workers. This point speaks to taking into account the different time zones. It considers that time zones and tasks getting done in one part of the world must not disrupt, for example, family time or rest time in another part of the world. It means the business must be considerate enough to schedule communication for regular working hours in whichever part of the world it is. This will show the remote team that the company is mindful of their rest time and will work to encourage them and settle into the business.
4. Thorough induction processes
A thorough induction process or package for remote workers will ensure that they are fully versed with the expectations from the company. It will also speak to the company’s expectations concerning their work schedules, software to manage their time, availability of resources, and reporting structures for work or any issues they may encounter. An induction process will also need to consider the team’s language so that information is relayed correctly and the team is on the same page. Face-to-face inductions are more straightforward because the whole team sits in one room. On the other hand, remote inductions are tricky, and preparation for one is not entirely direct. The biggest lesson here is to keep in mind the unique circumstances under which it will be done and to ensure that the team understands its purpose and the information that is shared.
5. Encouraging remote social interactions
Due to little to no physical interaction, it is easy to think of a remote team as being removed. Many people have left their jobs because, even though they were part of a team, they did not feel like they were part of it. As human beings, a sense of belonging and an understanding that your role is integral to bolstering not only your delivery of work but your enthusiasm as well. Encouraging remote social interactions will help team members form their working relationships and, at the very least, make them feel like an integral part of the business. This will, in turn, boost productivity. Remote social interactions can be pizza parties or non-alcoholic happy hours.
Another integral lesson learned in 2022: patience is a virtue whose relevance cannot be ignored in managing a remote team. Although patience is perhaps the most crucial component of the entire process, it is also one that is commonly overlooked when managing remote teams. A manager will need the patience to understand a diverse group, the different individuals making up the team, the various circumstances under which they are working, and the many other nuances that come with a team that is spread out. Patience is also required in problem-solving and relaying information that the different team members will understand. It used to be one of the crucial, though not the most significant, aspects.
Managing remote development teams is not an easy feat, but a manager willing to take the appropriate action will have a good team on his hands. The key is to exercise patience, communicate regularly, and see each individual as a professional and part of the bigger team. The above suggestions will assist in making remote team members feel more appreciated and valued. They will also help the manager ensure the team performs well to attain the business goals. For better advantages and insight into remote teams, have a look at what companies like Turnkey-Labs have to offer!