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Updated: February 17, 2020 Know How

Five tips for managing a remote team

The popularity of remote teams has exploded. Today, 66% of US companies allow remote work, and 16% of teams are entirely remote. If you’re one of the many companies interested in onboarding or growing a remote team, you may be wondering how to build team culture, or how to manage your new team effectively.

Kham Inthirath is the founder and president of Worcester marketing firm InThink Agency, focused on helping local businesses find and connect with their target audiences.

Here are a few strategies to make your growing remote team as efficient as possible.

1. Make communication the top priority

There are dozens of benefits of working with a remote team. However, it can be difficult to establish a communication pipeline. Take a two-fold approach to your communication pipeline:

• Settle on a good channel. Whether you use Slack Zoom, (which is excellent for video conference calls, which boost the connection of remote meetings), or another team management platform, find a platform working for you and your team and keeping everyone on the same page.

• Bypass the brief. Instead of briefing your remote employees and assuming they know enough to get started or resolve an issue, explain the circumstances in full. When remote employees have all the information they need, they can deliver better work.

2. Set goals and align team members

Set small, achievable goals and develop a system to track them. Instead of launching a large project, break the objective down into smaller goals (sprints) set over two or three days. Conduct weekly check-ins or progress reports to propel your team forward.

3. Streamline your onboarding process

A streamlined onboarding process will make it easier for remote employees to step into your company’s culture. It will help bypass misunderstandings and ensure compliance across the board. We recommend a central place to store and share these documents like Google Drive or a private network, which makes it easy to manage onboarding docs. Track them with software tools like Asana, ClickUp or Teamwork.

4. Arrange in-person meetings routinely

There’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction, even with a remote team! If it’s possible for your organization, arrange routine in-person meetings. This face-to-face time helps reinforce team bonds, boost retention, and promote innovation, creativity, and problem-solving.

5. Implement quarterly reviews

Quarterly reviews improve your company’s output and creativity while preventing people from feeling isolated or lonely in their remote positions.

In addition to the structured quarterly reviews, be sure to check in regularly to offer support for your team.

Onboarding a remote team is an excellent way to meet your goals and make your company as productive as possible. While managing a remote team can be difficult, these tips can help you create an efficient and agile remote workforce to make you more competitive than ever.

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