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Remote Team Management Tips for Small Businesses And Startups

Remote work is becoming more popular since both employers and employees consider it beneficial for many reasons. According to a recent survey by Buffer, 98% of remote workers want to continue working remotely for the rest of their careers.

Remote work offers many benefits, such as increased productivity, cost savings, flexibility, and autonomy. However, it also comes with some challenges, especially for managers who need to lead and support their teams remotely.

How can you manage a remote team successfully and overcome the distance barrier? In this blog post, we will share some essential remote team management hacks to create a productive and focused virtual work environment that encourages accountability, collaboration, and better performance.

Setting Clear Expectations and Goals

One of the most important aspects of any team management is to provide clarity on roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations. Without clarity, remote team members may feel confused, frustrated, or demotivated. To avoid this:

  • Establish measurable goals and success criteria for individual and team performance. You can implement the popular SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) framework to define your objectives and track your progress.
  • Communicate deliverables clearly with your team. Make sure your remote team members understand what you need from them, how you’ll evaluate their performance, and how they can reach out to you or their peers for support.
  • Use documentation and communication platforms to store and access information easily. Create a central repository of documents, policies, and guidelines that your remote team members can refer to anytime.

Connection and Mutual Understanding

Another challenge of remote team management is to create a sense of connection and bonding among your remote team members. Without regular face-to-face interaction, they may feel isolated, disconnected, or lonely. To prevent this:

  • Schedule weekly or bi-weekly video meetings for team updates, brainstorming sessions, and informal check-ins. 
  • Use instant messaging platforms for quick communication and collaboration. Use tools like WhatsApp or Messenger to communicate with your remote team members in real time.
  • Organize online games, quizzes, or social events to form connections and boost morale. You can also encourage virtual coffee breaks or informal chats for casual interaction. Celebrating milestones, birthdays, or achievements also helps in team bonding.

Well-being and Work-Life Balance

One of the most common issues faced by remote workers is the lack of work-life balance. Remote workers may struggle to set boundaries between their work and personal lives, leading to stress, burnout, or reduced productivity. Here’s how you can manage it:

  • Encourage clear communication of working hours and unavailability windows. Ask team members to communicate their availability and preferences, such as their preferred working hours, time zones, or communication methods. Respect their schedules and personal time boundaries. Avoid sending messages or requests outside of their working hours unless it is urgent or agreed upon.
  • Promote work-life balance by offering flexible work agreements to adjust individual needs and preferences, such as part-time, full-time, or hybrid options. Avoid the “always-on” mentality and encourage breaks and disconnection from work. Provide resources and support for mental and physical well-being, such as wellness programs, online courses, or counselling services.
  • Recognise and value the achievements and provide regular and constructive feedback to your remote team members, highlighting their strengths, areas of improvement, and suggestions. Appreciate and reward their efforts and contributions, such as sending thank-you notes, giving shout-outs, or offering incentives.

Embracing Flexibility and Adaptability

One of the most crucial skills for remote team management is to be flexible and adaptable. Remote work is constantly evolving and changing, for which managers are required to adjust their management styles to meet personal needs and work preferences. To do this, you need to:

  • Adapt your management style to suit different personalities, work styles, and communication preferences. Some employees may prefer more autonomy and independence, while others may need more guidance and support. Understand and respect the diversity of your team and change your approach accordingly.
  • Encourage open communication and feedback from your team members. Ask them to share their challenges, concerns, or suggestions regarding their work. Listen to their feedback and act on it. Involve them in decision-making and problem-solving processes to create a culture of trust and transparency.
  • Embrace continuous learning and willingness to adapt to evolving technologies and work models. Keep yourself updated on the latest trends and best practices in remote work. Explore new tools and platforms that can enhance your remote team management. Encourage team members to learn new skills and develop their competencies by offering digital courses and training.

Tools and Technology for Remote Management

Technology helps you to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with your remote team effectively and efficiently. You need to choose the right tools for the right purposes. Here are some tools you can use to manage remote teams:

  • Task management tools: These tools offer a centralised platform for task assignment, progress tracking, and communication. You can create, assign, and monitor tasks for your team members, as well as communicate and collaborate with them on the same platform. One of the best task management tools to manage remote teams is Task Tracker. It is a cloud-based platform that allows you to manage your schedule, tasks, and teams in one place.
  • Communication platforms: Many free and paid communication tools are available in the market so you can choose the right one as per your business needs. You can use tools like Zoom, WhatsApp, or Google Meet to communicate with your remote team in real time. You can also use email, phone, or chat tools, depending on your preference and purpose.
  • Other tools: Depending on your needs, you may also explore additional tools for performance tracking, communication, and knowledge sharing. For example, you can use tools like Task Tracker or HubSpot to track and measure your team’s performance and results. You can use tools like Loom to record and share your screen or video messages. To create and share documents or notes, you can use tools like Google Docs.

Final Thoughts

Managing a remote team can be challenging, especially for businesses that are in the initial stage. By following above mentioned tactics, you can build an accountable, productive and connected remote team. You can also leverage technology, such as Task Tracker, to manage and support your remote team more efficiently.

Task Tracker gives many features for remote team management such as online attendance with location, task management, performance tracking and dashboard and reporting. Sign up for a free trial and discover how it can help you manage your remote team with ease.


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