Managing a remote team

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Managing a remote team can be more challenging than managing an onsite team. If you haven’t decided on going remote yet, here are a few tips to make it work for you.

Why go remote?

There are plenty of examples that show when remote is done correctly, it works. Here are a few of those examples:

  • Sun Microsystems: workers save commuting time by doing some extra work from home.
  • JD Edwards and American Express: stats show telecommuters make up 25% of the company workforce and of those, 43% are more productive than people on site.
  • Workers from Compaq, Best Buy, British Telecom, and Dow Chemical who work from home are shown to be 45% more productive than people onsite.

Can you go remote?

There are some activities that can easily be done remotely, like graphic/web design, accounting, and sales employees (much of the time they are out of the office or managing clients virtually). On the other hand, there are other positions such as product developers that are more difficult to manage remotely because they need to be constantly in contact with other members of the team and face-to-face interactions can make this easier.

Tips on how to manage a remote team

Open access to information: It is important to keep information easily accessible for everyone. Many companies already use an intranet to organize and share information, and intranets can also be used by remote teams. There are several additional*tools around to keep information well organised so that people can easily work from anywhere.

Work online: Find the best tools to create a great environment to put tasks and also maintain close communication between the whole team. Meetings and brainstorming can be easily done virtually in real time, as if you were in an actual office.

Acknowledge goals: Small or big it is important to let your workers know that what they do matters. Try bonuses, gifts or extra days off. If the budget is not there for such perks, some kind words and public acknowledgement are always welcome by employees.

*We have several set of articles in Spanish which are perfect for freelancers and productivity.

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