If you travel for business, you’re familiar with the necessity of working remotely. Working with a remote team requires careful consideration, mainly because it’s not for everyone. There are, however, a few strategies you can deploy to make the process of working with a remote team not only easier but also turn it into an opportunity to drive the growth of your business.
Learn to Communicate Clearly
Communication in any team is essential. When you work with an off-site or remote team, it becomes critical. Since team members don’t see each other every day, they need to learn to communicate effectively to avoid any mistakes or mishaps. It is so easy to misunderstand communications that it is better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Whether that means recording virtual meetings or other communications tools or software available online, you need to determine quickly how to maximize the effectiveness of your team’s communication.
Use the Right Tools
You can solve many communication-related issues with your team by making sure you’re selecting tools that promote collaboration. There are numerous excellent tools available for remote teams, but you need to find the right one for how your team works. Video is often part of the equation, and teams often deploy platforms such as Skype to meet one-on-one or in group video chats.
Hold Team Members Accountable
Teams are only effective when each person does their part promptly. It’s crucial for leaders to follow up with team members and assist them if they’re running behind. Follow-up can be programmed into some collaborative tools to help keep everyone focused and accountable.
Pick Team Members Carefully
If you’re in charge of building your team, be sure to vet and choose people that you know you’ll be compatible with in a remote setting. Ensure these people are knowledgeable about the tools you’ll need to use to communicate efficiently and have the experience and personality that you need. The right people make all the difference.
Create a Positive Team Atmosphere
Inclusivity is a key component of an effective team. Making everyone feel welcome and needed improves collaboration and communication. Send out company newsletters and get to know people personally to help your team gel.
Set Clear Expectations
Your team members will feel better if they know exactly what is expected of them. Then they can work to achieve those expectations. You can remind them during follow up communications and track their work to ensure that they are reaching team goals.
Try Your Best to Bring The Team Together When You Can
While you might not have a choice but to work remotely as you build your business due to financial restraints, you should try to bring your team together for an in-person meeting or other gatherings at least once per year (even every few months if possible). You don’t need an office to do so, and can instead reserve a small room in a restaurant for an informal meeting or rent executive office space for the day in case your needs are more formal.