February 16, 2015
In remote team management, it gets complicated to keep everyone aligned. It’s hard to juggle remote employees with their varying mindsets, in addition to different tools and processes. That is in addition to multiple projects you’re all undertaking, and their tight deadlines.
- Information Packet for Onboarding
Pass this packet of essential info to new recruits, so they can read the ins and outs of your team/company at their own pace. It’ll also spare everyone from having to repeat themselves, and give the newbie something to refer back to.
Keep an action plan of steps to be taken easily accessible, so everyone knows how to keep the work going.
The team deserves to know who to ask what, when, and how. I guess that didn’t make much sense. The point is, time gets wasted when people ask the wrong colleagues the wrong questions at the wrong time. Some things require a quick conference call, while others don’t. So create a doc that outlines these fine details. Major timesaver. Trust us.
- Contact Info
It’s helpful to have a doc available that outlines multiple ways everyone could reach out to one another. Be careful when creating this doc though. Not everyone would be willing to share such info. There are the workaholics, and there are the ones who do not want to be contacted on work-related matters on their personal lines outside of office hours. So proceed with caution. Or better yet, have each team member fill this one out themselves.
- Schedule for Meetings
Create a weekly schedule for individuals and the entire team. In doing so, consider the different time zones everyone is located in.
Tools to Use
Use a tool that allows you and your team to easily send each other streamlined instant messages and collaborate on different projects as needed.
- File Sharing
This has to be stated even though it’s pretty obvious. Remote teams (or any team really) need to use a good cloud file sharing tool. Store all company docs and work that’s in progress in this tool.
This may not apply to all departments in all remote team settings, but choose a good tool for screen sharing and to capture screenshots. There are lots of fantastic free options for both, so test a few out and determine what works best.
Look for a tool that makes it easy to delegate tasks and keep track on progress.
All achievements, large and small, deserve to be acknowledged. Praise each team member for their efforts in making it all happen.
Existing team members will clearly have their own lingo and inside jokes as they continue to work together. This will make new recruits feel isolated. Make every effort to make new team members feel like they are a part of the gang early on.
Create a culture in which everyone can freely talk about things that are outside of business. There are lots of great things to talk about, such as life updates, weird news, cool gadgets. Keep things interesting!