Having the option to work remotely has become a norm in today’s office environment.
In fact, some positions can work remote entirely! Global Workplace Analytics found that 80-90% of employees would like to work remotely part-time, so this is a trend that won’t be going away. However, managing communication for complex projects with remote workers presents its own issues.
Whether you are coordinating time zones or sending an email, working with remote teams can be a challenge, but you can follow these best practices to help manage projects with your remote staff:
1. Communicate Clearly
Research done by Syracuse University found that workers interpret emails in a more negative tone than what’s intended.
This is due to not having verbal and physical cues to help the reader interpret the sender’s meaning. Also, people tend to write more candidly in emails than they would face-to-face. It’s so easy for miscommunications to occur when you are mostly communicating, to remote staff, via email. Thus, you need to make sure you are communicating everything clearly.
The first rule when working with remote teams is to never assume your staff knows something. Chances are, they don’t! Always make sure to over-communicate…
- Important information
- Required assets
Unfortunately, you have no control over how staff will interpret or prioritize information in an email. So, make sure to state exactly what you want from them. Even if they already know the answer, it’s best to restate important information.
2. Set Expectations
It can be easy to overlook small details, like expectations, with remote staff.
Managers will often set clear expectations with their on-site staff but forget to with remote staff. The on-site staff has the advantage of being with you, in person. Therefore, they experience company expectations for office culture, communication, and team practices. Remote teams miss out on these moments, and being informed on your team’s expectations will make them more successful.
Remote workers may not know what communication processes are expected for your team. Tell your team how soon to respond to emails, what your team’s processes are, and when to communicate via instant message. If you expect a quick turnaround time for projects or emails, then communicate that need upfront. If you live in different time-zones, then communicate when they can expect to receive a response from you as well.
Also, always communicate your expectations for productivity. Having regular video check-ins will help your remote teams stay up-to-date on your expectations and reach performance goals along the way.
3. Leverage Technology
There are hundreds of programs designed to make managing projects with remote teams easy and effective.
Take advantage of it and implement it across your team so all members can collaborate together. For example, here are some nifty applications you can use to your advantage:
- You can schedule video meetings through Google Hangouts
- Instant messaging through Skype or Slack
- Collaborate on digital whiteboards with Jamboard
- Use a project management program like Fiverr Studios.
All of these are huge time-savers, but Fiverr Studios gives you the ability to collaborate with your freelance team in one place. This gives you, and every member of your team, visibility to the entire project. You can also create a shared calendar using Google Calendar, to list employees’ time zones, work locations, and work schedules. This way everyone on your team is aware of when your remote staff will be online, preventing confusion.
Achieve More with Fiverr Studios
When you are working with remote teams, it is imperative that every team member has full access and visibility to projects. Collaboration software, like Fiverr Studios, allows your team to see all updates made to your project as they happen.
You can also create a shared online drive. Upload all important files, documents, instructions, training materials, and processes to this drive. This way, remote team members can access these resources at any time. Ultimately, working remote will boost your company’s morale and productivity. With collaboration software, you can streamline communication and project development from anywhere.