Making the transition from a traditional work setting to a remote one is not easy and managing a remote team when you only have experience managing people face to face comes with many challenges.
Some people are having issues getting everyone on the same page, while others might have issues with productivity and monitoring their employees. There are also some serious security implications to operating remotely, and if you don’t go in prepared, you might end up with a small or even big disaster on your hands. Let’s take a look at a few tips for managing a remote team effectively.
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Safeguard Your Systems and Establish Clear Protocols
The first and most important thing to do is make sure that your network and systems remain safe at all times. To achieve this, you might have to move your network to the cloud and work with a third party to monitor interactions. This will allow you to know exactly who is accessing the information at any given time. You’ll be able to give limited access to critical datasets and know when someone is trying to breach them.
Next, set clear protocols on how your employees use their devices. It will be up to you to allow them to use their own devices or buy the devices for them, but it’s usually a better idea to provide devices to members of your remote team. BYOD might work for people who are staying in your facility if you have any, but you can’t run the risk of having some of your employees use outdated devices.
There needs to be a clear procedure for when an employee loses a device. Make sure that all the devices are password-protected, instruct your employees to notify the IT department as soon as a device is lost, stolen, or compromised, and teach them how to perform a remote wipe.
Use a Cloud Phone System
The next thing we suggest you do is start looking at a good internet phone system. Moving your phone service to the cloud will allow everyone on your team to make or receive calls using your business phone number and make everyone feel like they’re operating from the same hub.
If you’re looking for a great internet phone service, explore Open Phone. Open Phone offers a great VoIP service that is tailor-made for remote teams. Their system will allow you to get a professional phone number, but it will also allow members of your team to collaborate on calls and exchange information through their messaging application. The interface is extremely simple to use and allows people on your team to exchange text and voice information easily while being able to connect to your phone system from anywhere they are on the globe.
Use Remote Project Management Tools
Managing a team remotely without a proper project management tool is a recipe for disaster. If you aren’t familiar with agile project management and agile project management tools, you will need to get familiar with them right away.
One of the agile methodologies you should learn about right now is Kanban. Kanban is a visual-based methodology that will allow you to keep an eye on tasks and allow members on your team to pull tasks from a predetermined list and complete them in order of priority without you having to micromanage everyone.
A Kanban board is made of a series of columns and rows with every column corresponding to a stage in a task’s progress. This allows you to not only tell how close to completion a certain task is but also who is handling it. You will be able to tell when a certain task is stalling and assign more people to it.
If you feel like this method could work for you, tools like Monday.com, Trello, and Asana all use it, and Kanban’s ease of use is probably one of the reasons why they are so popular. They’re all very user-friendly and will allow you to manage your processes efficiently. You’ll also be able to start collecting data on your processes and start working on continuous improvement.
Have Daily Check-Ins with Your Employees
You will still need to check on your team members regularly, however. You have to at least check in with them once per day, and this can’t be through email. It has to be done through video conference or phone at the very least. This will allow you to check up on their work, but it will also allow you to clarify things with them or check on their morale.
If you follow these few simple tips, you’ll be much better at managing your remote employees. This will allow you to get everyone on the same page and prevent the siloing of processes and information.