5 Management Tips for Remote Companies

5 Management Tips for Remote Companies

When you have your entire team in one centrally located office, it’s easy to manage them. Impromptu meetings in the conference room are an email click away, and you can always see who’s working (and who’s been on Facebook half the day) simply by popping into an employee’s cubicle.

But when your employees are spread out all over the country—and the globe—it can be a bit trickier, but certainly not impossible. When you’re managing a remote team where everyone works from home offices, you’ll need to implement new strategies in order to keep track of everyone’s productivity, questions, concerns, conflicts, and yes, successes, too. Here are five management tips for remote companies.

Keep your team connected.

One aspect of being a good manager is setting up your team so that everyone communicates well with each other. So you’ll need to give your team the tech tools necessary for them to stay connected no matter where they live or work. Start by creating a policy of videoconferencing so that employees can see and hear each other on a frequent basis. Utilize social media sites for business, such as Yammer or CubeTree, and encourage your staff to reach out to each other via IM, email, and even the phone for crystal clear communication and connectedness.

Have regular meetings.

Sure, one of the many benefits of remote work for employees is the fact that they can work whenever, wherever, and however they choose. Despite having flexible schedules, though, your staff should still participate in regularly scheduled meetings. Having these meetings will provide a structure to your employee’s’ workweek and help you resolve any issues as they arise, instead of figuring out how to solve problems after they’ve already happened. It will also help them stay on track, knowing that they have to “check-in” with management and help keep them productive, on task, and on time with their workload.

Keep it casual.

Even though your remote workforce is hitting all of their deadlines and working hard, it’s important to give them the opportunity to gather around a proverbial water cooler for some informal chit chat, too. After all, you can (and should) take a vested interest in your workers beyond them simply being your employees, and take the time to get to know them as individuals. Not only will this create better bonding between you and them, but it can also reinforce (both to them and you) how much they are an integral part of a team. And you never know; after speaking with one of your workers, you may discover a hidden talent that they have that can be used to benefit your team!

Be a proactive communicator.

It’s as simple as this: if you don’t effectively communicate with your staff, you can’t expect them to communicate well with you, either. So you need to lead by example and be proactive about communicating with your team. You can communicate information such as company news, plans for the future, for both the team and the organization as a whole. But part of being an effective communicator is also listening, so be sure to listen to your team and encourage them to communicate with each other, too. That way, your remote workers will feel comfortable talking to other teammates and you as their boss.

Create clear goals.

Your employees are only as good as the goals that are set for them. After all, if your staff has no clue what is expected of them in terms of their performance, they have nothing to work (or strive) towards. Providing clear and concise goals and communicating them well with your workers will help everyone be on the same page as to what is expected of them.

These are just some management tips for remote companies. You’ll find that while they vary from those that are designed for an in-office staff, with some minor adjustments in managerial styles, you can have a remote workforce that is productive, happy, loyal and outperforms any team, no matter where they are located.

By Jennifer Parris | Categories: Remote Management

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