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Managing Remote Teams.

Remote working has become the only option for some since the pandemic. It opened up new opportunities to include the best talent on your team. From anywhere in the world.

But issues are still there!

Time differences.
Cultural differences.
Miscommunications.
Delays.
Handling urgent cases.
Training & Support.
Evaluation & Feedback.

These (and more) are all difficulties employers have to face.

How did they deal with it?

We asked them!

Here are their experience-based answers.

How To Manage Remote teams?

Silvia Borges
Co-Founder | Marketing Specialist of  FairyDigital

What worked well for my business:

  • Focus on goals and tasks rather than time.
  • Avoid micromanagement.
  • Be strict on task completion within deadlines.
  • It is the completion of the task that matters. So do not try to police them every minute of the day.
  • Develop good communication processes to keep an organized workflow. Software such as Trello, Asana, ClickUp will help you.
  • Have regular video calls.
  • Show concern for your employee’s life, their family, their health, etc.

Cooper Jitts
CEO & Founder of Talk Agency

  • Automation is necessary to the organization.
  •  Do quarterly system analysis & testing. To make sure teams are utilizing the systems correctly. Also, to ensure as a business, we are keeping up with remote working platforms and trends.

 A strong team culture requires:

  • Running weekly happy hours.
  • Small breakout rooms, where all team members get to know each other.
  • Larger company-wide events.
  • Daily group chats that are transparent with the failures and successes of the business. Honest and open communication are keys to attach the employees to the greater cause of the business. And can see how their work impacts the success of Talk.

 Zoran Sarabaca
Business Analyst – Business Broker

Keeping track of what’s going on is key to making sure the business runs smoothly. That’s why video conferencing is to stay up to date. For Example:

  • We hold weekly meetings via Zoom.
    Discussing upcoming sales/new leads and seek advice on tricky projects. 
  • We have daily communication across the whole team via messaging apps.

Gilles Bertaux
Co-founder and CEO of  Livestorm

Your managers should be:

  •  Experienced.
  • Capable of paving the way in an easy, fair manner.
  • Don’t micromanage.

A high-quality remote company usually respects the following points:

  • Creating a company’s culture around remote working.
  • Confirming that everything runs smoothly. Invest in tools letting you work asynchronously.

Make sure your communication is:

  •  In one space.
  • Available at all times.
  • Easily searchable.

Also, think about remote workers working in different time zones. Employees can feel disengaged by working in different time zones. So, it’s crucial to make sure you give them virtual space for sharing info. Also, make sure you have strong leaders who understand the remote situation. Use and abuse feedback.

Keep the chain of command small and lean:
Good management is when teams have healthy relationships with their manager. To do that, they need the time to manage and work fast on decisions. Hence, the size. Remote is about being agile. Working on smaller “pods” helps.

Create rituals to break the silos:
Find times when your “pod” can meet the rest of the team or other teams. Every team should have at least a team-wide ritual (e.g. weekly kick-offs, virtual breakfasts). And a company-wide ritual (e.g. weekly all-hands).

Writing is always best to avoid distorted messaging:

  • Document everything. 
  • Keep track of your findings. 
  • Keep track of your projects. 

The more you write down, the fewer questions or miscommunication you raise. Keep things neatly organized in a documentation space. Hence, whenever the topic emerges, surface those writings.

Keep a good balance between a sync/sync.
Don’t make live meetings your only choice. Consider a prerecorded video. Use team docs, or a chat thread. They are sufficient too.

Provide a complete work-from-home setup.
To be sure they work in the best possible conditions. For example, We provide to all of our employees:

  • A MacBook.
  • All the necessary accessories.
  • A budget of $1,000 for each employee. So they can buy what they need to work well from home.
  • For those who want to work from a co-working space, We provide a budget of $300/month.

Elena Korolkova
Kick Consulting

No business out there can do this without a system. I recommend you use any project management software. Each employee will have identified tasks with expected deadlines. The employee then gives a time estimate of the execution time. It helps manage their capacity. And to see if anyone didn’t finish his task by the due date.

Most importantly, business owners have to change the way they think and employ staff.
Business owners have to change how they employ staff. Migrate to goal-oriented employment rather than hours-worked structure.

Arun Grewal
Founder & Editor-in-chief of CoffeeBrewingPro

With employees in different time zones, it comes with its own set of challenges.

Delay In Corrections:
 If a task needs correction, there can be a delay in response. If the work is urgent, this can leave you in a difficult situation. So, you always have to be:

  1. One step ahead.
  2. Consider the worst-case scenario if things go wrong.
  3. Have a fallback plan to rectify issues.

Standard operating procedures:
Create guides on all the tasks you want them to complete. Also, explain the way you want them to do it. These guides will make a massive difference. It takes the ambiguity out of the task and will:

  • Reduce the back and forth communications.
  • Freeing your time up for more concise and particular feedback.

Agree on and set active hours each day for the best times you can both:

  1. Have meetings.
  2. Give feedback if a task needs corrections, etc.
  3. 3-Knowing when each other is most active and able to respond.

Hence, you can plan around their inactive hours to maximize efficiency.

Ofir Ventura
CEOCommercial Real Estate Agent

  • Set up a “buddy system”. Connect the employees who can meet during the week. Hence, they can easily support each other and work together on projects.
  • The structure is main. Make it clear what expectations you have in the hours the employee should work. Understand that family obligations may take place during their workday. That is ok.
  • Listen to what they need to be successful. Praise their work and offer positive reinforcement for their successes.

Galit Ventura-Rozen
Commercial Real Estate Broker | Sales Success Expert | Business Coach

The main key is Effective Communication.

I do not believe there is one way to build a remote working model.
I do believe you can incorporate certain aspects. To make it easier to build a remote working model that is successful.

Monday’s meetings:

To check in and discuss expectations for the week.

Friday’s meetings: 

To check-in and see how the week went.
What ideas do the employees have that may make their weeks more productive?
What support do they need?

Clair Jones
CEO + Founder, LoudBird Marketing

When I started my agency six years ago, the most challenging hurdle was:

  • Setting up solid workflows.
  • Investing in the right organizational tools.

 That’s why my remote employees could do their jobs efficiently from anywhere. Staying connected. Fostering a sense of teamwork. Having a positive company culture. These points are more challenging when you are a remote CEO. Modern employees value feeling contributing to something greater. So, I start to recognize employee achievements virtually by doing:

  • Schedule lots of collaborative virtual meetings.
  • Hold in-person happy hours for local team members every few months.

 It doesn’t take much time to show your employees you care. It makes a massive difference in performance.

Why?

 Simply because it makes your workers feel valued and appreciated.

Ensuring that our data stays secure was a unique challenge too. We use a VPN. So, I never have to worry about sensitive information leaking out.

Chris Huet
Communications Mentor | Coach | Speaker | Poet

There are three key elements:

Firstly, manage yourself.
Make sure you are:

  • Well organized.
  • Clear on your purpose. 
  • Aware of your own reactions to changes going on around you. 

That way, you’ll be coming from a place of strength when you communicate with your team.

Secondly, be open to what your team is experiencing.
Think about their perspective.
What might be worrying or distracting them?
How can you take that into account in your communication?

Lastly, stay in the conversation.
Regularly check in with all your team members.
Give them opportunities to raise issues with you.
Ask them for feedback.
You don’t get to see them pass you in the office.
You have to work harder to stay connected.

 

So, how to manage remote teams?

You should focus on results, not time.
Good communication between team members prevents delays.
In order to achieve this, you have to build a strong work culture.
This culture will be strengthened through social activities. So everyone can know and help each other.

Also, use project management software. It will organize the workflow. Thus, you can know where the weaknesses are in the workflow and solve them quickly.

Ensure your team members have a suitable environment to work with. So, they can achieve the best possible results.

For more info, check out The Remote CEOs 2x Your Focus Challenge here.

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