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How to Manage a Remote Team Most Effectively

Jessica WeissJessica Weiss

Manage a Remote Team

If you work remotely, you’ve probably perfected your personal remote working style.

But there’s a difference between working remotely by yourself and managing a remote team. As a remote manager, you’ll need to be extra conscientious in order to maintain order and productivity on your team. If you aren’t organized and communicating well, it will be hard to stay focused and moving forward towards your goals.

Read on for our tips on how to be an effective remote manager.

It almost goes without saying, but set several recurring Web Meeting times per week with each of your reports. During these meetings, you can go over operational concerns and day-to-day projects, but make sure to leave time to discuss more in-depth strategy as well.

If your team knows the regular meeting schedule, they can prepare all of their questions and information before the meeting, instead of peppering your day with emails, chats, and texts about one-off items. It will allow everyone to use their time more efficiently!

No one enjoys emailing document files back and forth – versions get confused and files get mixed up. Find a document system (like Google Docs) that works for your team. Many of these tools also include real-time editing so you can see what the other person is doing in real-time.

Determine a standard naming convention, too, so you’ll always know which version is most recent and is owned by which teammate.

When you don’t see each other in person every day, it may be easy to lose sight of giving constructive feedback and praise. Consider adding a monthly meeting that gives you an opportunity to only discuss those issues and provide the feedback that younger workers want and need to stay engaged.

“Millennials who meet with their manager on a regular basis are more than twice as likely as their generational peers to be engaged at work.” -Adkins and Rigoni, Gallup

If you’re part of a remote team, you can sometimes miss out on the social events that occur in a traditional workplace. Can you find a way to replicate this experience from afar- such as hosting a video chat birthday party or sending holiday cookies to each employee? Let them know they are appreciated even if they aren’t in the same physical space as you are. These small gestures will go a long way.

Schedule in-person meetings at least once or twice a year. Getting everyone together for a work/play retreat in an intriguing location is a great way to foster some quality together time. The trip will build rapport amongst team members that can’t be achieved with remote communication alone.

If you follow these steps and stay flexible when managing your remote team, you’ll be more productive and connected, despite the distance. Take the extra time to connect with your team in new ways to promote productivity and satisfaction — it’s worth it!

Jess is Vast Conference's Marketing & Communications Manager. Reach out on Twitter @jweiss44.

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