How to manage a remote team

You should also acknowledge their achievements, celebrate their successes, and support them in their challenges. You can use tools like virtual coffee breaks, team-building activities, or recognition programs to create a positive and supportive team culture. One of the biggest challenges for distributed scrum teams is communication.

I’ve found making use of our internal messaging service has been particularly beneficial. We reached out to business owners and managers to find out how they’re working on improving their remote team collaboration. It’s equally important that senior managers provide avenues for remote workers to sort out their differences in order to keep the team’s energy positive. That said, according to a blog post by Catalent, the majority of CEOs rank collaboration among the top three critical components of innovation. As distributed teams and workplaces grow, it’s important to have clear and concise remote work methods, processes, tools, and ways of working at scale. This can come from adopting agile methods such as scrum, SAFe, LeSS, or whatever works for your business. Since quick water cooler chats disappear with remote work, it’s important to allow for these informal communication channels to exist.

Moreover, this practice can help normalize the real home office life and help people feel less pressured to keep an image of a perfect, sterile home-office setting. To help you prevent this scenario altogether, we’ve compiled a list of 16 strategies you can implement to make your remote team feel more connected and aligned with your company culture. Gallup found that the optimal engagement boost was when employees worked from home 3-4 days out of a five-day workweek. Time spent in the office helps employees feel connected to their coworkers and allows for in-person collaboration and bonding among team members. But the majority of the time, working remotely keeps employees focused and productive, less stressed, and happier. Scheduling daily check-ins may seem like overkill, but it is vital to ensure workforce performance. In addition, it improves time management while managing remote teams.

Live social events are simply unparalleled when it comes to the means of helping remote teams feel more connected. I’ve covered and highlighted basic ideas for improving the effectiveness of communication and remote team collaboration. For instance, it’s important to keep communication clear, so team members get precise, realistic, and constructive feedback. This helps them improve their workflow and contribute more effectively to the team goal. To be successful with my team remotely, I over-communicate and utilize digital tools, like Asana, to keep my team’s expectations visually available.

Set up social Slack channels to stay connected on a variety of topics. Often called the “virtual water cooler,” create a place to chitchat, or share on a specific topic. It’s super important for teams to connect socially, no matter the circumstances. Remote teams can benefit greatly from team social rituals, but they need to be cultivated with intention. In other words, don’t mandate a virtual happy hour that feels like a regular meeting, only with beverages. For social events to work and feel right, as Leah understands, they need to be optional. Without that feeling of obligation, they maintain the necessary casual and voluntary nature for non-forced connection.

Basecamp didn’t want the support team to lose the benefits that come with remote working, so they set up some guidelines ahead of time. One is that team members can take breaks to work outside, in cafés, or just away from the phones, and the rest of the team will cover for them. Making this rule in advance means team members know it’s an option and can ask for it when they need some space.

How to Manage a Remote Team Using 7 Best Practices

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This ensures that there are clear expectations in place, regardless of how and where your team works. Do you know how much work your remote team accomplishes and at what rate? It’s hard to know if someone is being underutilized or is not pulling their own weight when working remotely without an understanding of their productivity.

Build trust and rapport

But most of us are still new to working from home and its characteristics. It’s more than flexible hours, a work-from-home day in your schedule, or accommodating a teammate who lives in a rural state. This means new practices , new tools, and new ways of communicating.

The Challenges of Managing Remote Teams

This leads to lowered stress levels, as well as more effective communication as employees can focus on reading each email and listen to each voice note and at their own pace. As more companies have teams with at least some remote workers, scrum offers a framework to collaborate together effectively.

A final step to lead a remote team effectively is to develop your own skills as a leader. You should constantly seek feedback, learning, and improvement opportunities to enhance your communication, collaboration, and management skills. You should also adopt a growth mindset and embrace change and innovation.