Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and global quarantine it caused, many people were obliged to switch to a remote workflow format. It goes without saying that not everyone was ready for such a significant jump into remote working. A relaxed home environment, lack of non-verbal cues from management, as well as a fully flexible work schedule can significantly affect labor productivity.
However, if you learn from successful experiences and leading practices, you’ll be able to beat most of the issues and really stand out in the field. That’s why we decided to share exactly which practices helped us take management of a remote team of developers to the next level.
Top 7 Pro Tips for Remote Team Managers
Your surefire way to establish the most effective remote team should be based on the following practices.
Get a good grasp on the popular remote management software tools
The first thing you need for an efficient remote workflow is the best tools for remote interaction out there. First off, you need some form of live chat where you and your employees are able to chat both via text and video conferences. The most common tools for these purposes are Discord, Zoom, Slack, and, of course, Skype or, as a more business-focused alternative, Microsoft Teams.
In addition, a truly productive remote team should have efficient project management solutions at hand. The most commonly used ones are Trello, Zoho Projects, QuickBase, and Kanbanize. They will help you track the progress of tasks, monitor the performance of individual employees, leave comments and edits, and other essential tasks.
Lastly, you’ll also need a CRM platform with mobile access capabilities (which is essential in the case of a remote workflow). This type of software will help you with customer data collection, analytics, and reporting. Some of the top solutions in this area include Salesforce, Zoho CRM, HubSpot CRM, and Keep.
Establish friendly relationships with employees
Holding a leadership position in your company or project, you should minimize the mental distance as much as possible with your team members, especially those who work remotely.
This can be done by organizing regular corporate events, off-site meet-ups to discuss topical issues related to optimizing work processes, and other events where you can interact with your employees in an informal atmosphere.
Conduct only as many work meetings as is necessary
If you have ever worked for someone, you should know that any act of formal interaction with superiors may cause stress among employees. On the other hand, product development techniques such as Scrum involve fairly short workflow adjustment sprints, which means that team meetings may take place once every 3-5 days.
With a remote workflow format, it is better to balance the ways you interact with team members - encourage video calls and conferences, but also try to spell other management aspects via text chat.
If you decide to call a team member, make sure it’s at a pre-agreed time, and that you are sympathetic to their needs. Remember that someone working from home, as we mentioned in a previous article, is not in an ideal working environment and so compromises will need to be made on both sides.
Encourage communication between employees
Many employees who have forcedly, or arbitrarily, switched to a remote work format suffer from a lack of communication. This, in turn, negatively affects the quality and speed of tasks performed.
In order to optimize the workflow and increase employee engagement, it is very important to create a truly close-knit team. The easiest way to do this is to immerse them in the process of communication and “push” them together.
For these purposes, you can create a general work chat where informal conversations can be held, memes exchanged, news, music, etc. posted, and such. The main thing is to try not to limit your employees in anything (maybe just put a taboo on discussing politics and religion), as if it isn’t a chat, but an ordinary lounge room in the office.
Reward good work
Any work well done should be appreciated. This doesn’t, however, mean that you should award distinguished employees with solid bonuses each month.
The easiest way to express thanks is to write a detailed “thank you” in the general work chat. This would also additionally encourage other employees to work better because most everybody enjoys getting some public praise. You can also give a distinguished member of the team an additional paid day off, which will allow him/her to gain strength before the next professional leap forward.
Let your employees work when it suits them
Some managers seek total control over employees working remotely. This is a colossal mistake because remote workers experience enough regular distractions at home as it is and with excessive attempts at control, you simply create another factor to shift one's attention (which is also pretty stressful).
It would be far better to have chats once or twice a day (for the discussion of the main tasks at hand) and to assign the task of planning the rest of the time to the employees individually.
Don’t save on your employees’ wages
Lastly, when hiring remote workers, you should not attempt to save on wages relative to campus or office employees - you already get certain advantages from the lack of the need to rent an office and to equip workplaces. It also frequently happens that some employers form salaries based on the geography of personnel. Remember that a remote work format is already a great opportunity to hire the best experts while saving on the cost of physical premises.
Thus, even if your company is located in New York and your employee lives in Ukraine or Poland, you should still make sure you are paying a salary commensurate with the high standard of work the member of staff produces.
As you can see, it’s not so difficult to establish remote interaction for your team using the above effective working methods. On the other hand, it is an ongoing process that requires constant dedication and time on your part.
And if you don’t have experience of setting up remote interaction, have no fear - we do, so entrust this matter to us. Base B will bring together the best specialists for you and assume responsibility for resourcing the team effectively and providing an up-to-the-minute working environment. As a result, you can save time and costs while getting a truly high-quality and competitive product.