In today’s global economy there are skilled people from any location in the world that can help you build your company. Freelancers are ditching the 9 to 5 office job for remote work that allows for flexibility and work life integration. Hiring a remote team gives you a competitive edge and allows employers to find the best talent in the world.
Remote teams are becoming a crucial part of the present and future workplace. The important questions to ask is: how do we manage remote teams effectively? Are there any software and technology in place to make the process easier? What is the psychological impact of not interacting with your work colleagues? How do we manage cultural differences when freelancers are based in different locations? How does using a virtual assistant help you and your business?
Let’s tackle these questions!
Make time for small talk
When managing remote teams, it’s easy to hand out instructions or tasks and get back to executing your own work. A crucial part of management is building rapport with every member of your team. Rapport helps the freelancer to trust you especially when they face challenges or need assistance with a task. You can do this by using technology that allows for video calls and hosting regular one on ones.
Speaking about work is not enough, get to know the freelancer as a complete person. Ask them questions about their personal lives, their hobbies or family. Not only do these discussions build rapport, but they contribute to the company’s culture.
Tech to the rescue
Without technology and software, managing a remote team can easily fall apart. Technology is a powerful tool to communicate on a daily basis. If you’re only using normal voice calls for meetings, try implementing video calls. They help bridge the gap of remote work by adding a human connection and gives you visual clues to what someone is thinking.
To ensure there is a free flow of information, businesses require the right software and tools (provided that it fits within your work culture). Do your research and figure out what your team’s specific needs are. Here are some of the best tools to facilitate communication and effortless workflow in a remote team:
- Project management – Trello
- Chat – Skype
- Video conference calls – Zoom
- Workflow automation – Zapier
- Information sharing – Google Drive
- Time tracking tasks – Toggle
Managing time zones and cultural differences
Different time zones can be one of the biggest challenges when managing remote teams. If the members of your team work in different time zones, create an overlapping period where everyone is available to meet. Remember that regular meetings can trigger purposeful engagement and a strong work culture. If you are unable to set up daily meetings, one correspondence day in the week helps to establish a virtual workplace.
It’s important to be aware of cultural differences and communication styles. For example, in some countries, people avoid eye-contact during a conversation while others insist on using formal business language. Educate your team about the different cultural practices before the meeting in order to avoid conflict or misinterpretation.
Virtual assistants for the win!
Virtual assistants are driving business value, especially when managing remote teams. Using a virtual assistant allows the business owner to focus on strategic core activities that add value. Finding the right VA might be a challenging task, but they increase effectiveness and productivity in a team. If the VA saves you 10 hours per week, think about how the extra 10 hours can grow your business. Remember, you can source the best VA from anywhere place in the world.
Managing remote teams is becoming a popular trend in the workplace. Having the right freelancers on your team can build an incredible business. You can do wonders for your team when implementing these simple tips and tricks. If you’re already managing a remote team, feel free to add some tips in the comment section below.