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How to Manage a Team Working from Remote Locations

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Once upon a time, almost all businesses operated on a local level, i.e. within walking or driving distance of their customer base. Even massive, nationwide companies divided their empire into smaller regions, cities, and areas. Now though, modern businesses are no longer restricted by geography, and the wheels of industry are turning via eCommerce solutions, remote working and outsourcing.

Indeed, the day has arrived where a business owner can run their entire operation from home.

For startups, use the home garage as your office. This was popularized when leading technology firms like Google, Apple, Microsoft all did it. You can also grow a team around you with remote workers, thus further delaying the need to pay for external workspace.

In this article, we’ll look at how to manage remote workers – let’s get to it!

Streamline Communication

As you might imagine, effective communication is key to running a business with remote employees. The last thing you want is for something meaningful to get lost in the shuffle because of a logistical error.

As such, it’s crucial that you establish a firm chain of command and work to streamline your communication process as much as possible. You don’t want employees confused about who they should report to, or where they should send documents.

Lay down how you plan on operating early on and only tweak that strategy when it makes sense. Constant change won’t do your team any good.

Emphasize the Big Picture

Imagine you’ve got five employees in Detroit working on manufacturing a product. Meanwhile, another two freelancers in New York market that product. And finally, your sales staff is located in Indianapolis.

How are you going to keep them on the same page? One of the best answers to that question is to focus on the bigger picture. Let your team members know the ultimate goal of their work — not just their deadlines and “need-to-know” intel.

The more involved your employees are in your company as a whole, the more likely they’ll be engaged in their individual projects.

Utilize Modern Tech

This should really be a no-brainer, but it’s worth noting that managers should utilize the most advanced technology to connect their team members. Skype, Zoom and other video chat platforms, as well as chat-messaging apps, can help your employees maintain continuity across great distances.

Use VoIP phone systems for healthcare facilities, law offices, and private schools will allow team members to transfer critical data at a moment’s notice.

Remember, managers need to encourage their employees to explore all the features and advantages modern technology provides. It doesn’t make any sense to spend extensive capital on a communications or software program that you don’t use to its fullest extent. Keep that in mind before you make your next investment.

In-Person Meet Ups

Using video chat is an improvement on voice calls to bring your team together for regular meetings; however, neither is as good as a face to face meeting. Organize regular events where all your workers can spend time together. People work better together when they like each other or at least have a healthy mutual respect.

A regular team catch up can include both work and play. Team culture is a critical part of building the business where all workers irrespective of their location, respond to customers, in the same way, using the same templates, communication style.

So what has been uncovered about remote work in the USA? Raleigh in North Carolina has the highest number of remote workers in its workforce with just under 10 per cent, and Brownsville, Texas has the highest growth in remote work at 47 per cent.

Summary

The reputation of your business relies on the consistency of good service and how your team interact with each other and customers is part of the company culture, and it is driven by the very top, i.e. the business owner. Now, most business is online and less reliant on foot traffic, how we’re working together has evolved, and it has presented challenges for team management.

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