7 Tips to Effectively Manage Remote Teams in 2021

Read our guide with 7 Tips to effectively manage remote teams in 2021.

in Management by Luke Karwacki

Mar 4, 2021

According to Owl Labs research, 18% of employees work remotely in 2021. Moreover, Forbes predicts that 70% of the workforce will be working from home at least five days a month by 2025. This means that effective remote teams management has never been so essential - but also never been so easy!

If remote work is still a novelty for you, you may be concerned about loosing control over your employees who are no longer next door. Fortunately, there are many tips which can help you to monitor and increase the efficiency of your team, regardless of their working location. Stay with us to learn them and always be sure that your remote team is doing well.

1. Establish clear goals

Before you will start to expect efficiency, you need to clearly define your goals and expectations. Of course, this step is important also in a regular office job. However, due to lack of daily interactions, it becomes essential in remote team management. So, decide on what you want your team to achieve and choose measurable outputs. Then, establish metrics which will help you and your employees to monitor progress. Once you’re done, write everything down, communicate to your team and make sure they understand. Believe us, with this basic step remote team management will already become much easier for all of you.

2. Track productivity

Once you have your KPIs established, it’s time to start collecting data to track progress. To make it effective, you can use modern digital tools which will help you to automate your workflow and collect relevant data automatically. For example, if you’re running a digital agency or a software shop, Weekly App can help you to manage various operational areas, such as work allocation, time logs, billable time and many more information in just one cloud-based system. Thanks to this, you will have a full overview of how much time your employees spend on particular tasks or projects. However, remember to always rate your employees by their achievements, not their activity. No one likes to be controlled, so use your measures rather to help individuals to improve and succeed, not to micromanage them.

3. Organize team meetings

To ensure work efficiency, it’s crucial to stay in touch with your team. Organizing regular, daily or weekly meetings might be the right idea to improve the information flow across your company. Let your subordinates know when and how often you want to see them in real time. Prepare also a clear agenda for each meeting and include the points such as discussing KPI metrics, plans for upcoming period, ad-hoc matters, roadblocks and feedback sessions. This structure will help to save a lot of time and make meetings more effective. Your team will also know when they can communicate their problems, and you will always be able to respond to them as soon as possible. However, don’t neglect one-on-one meetings, as not everyone may be open to share their concerns in public.

4. Improve communication

Communication within the team is crucial to ensure efficiency. Luckily, in 2021 geographical distance doesn’t matter anymore. Thanks to technological achievements, you can easily reach your subordinates working in different locations. To improve communication, you should equip your team with proper tools: instant messengers (such as Slack), videoconference software (such as Zoom), time tracking and project management solutions. For example, at Weekly we help to monitor work time and keep the record. Thanks to this your employees will not need to waste time on updating you verbally on the progress of their work. They will also quickly share with you the information about their planned absences, so you will have all the employees-related info under one roof.

5. Use cloud-based solutions

It’s more than obvious that all your remote workers should have easy access to all necessary documents. However, exchanging dozens of files via e-mail is really tough and time-consuming. Moreover, it makes following the latest updates very difficult, especially when there are a few people involved in the project. To make your remote employees effective, you should consider using cloud-based solutions. It will help you to keep all documents in one place and allow everyone to access them anytime, from any device. It will significantly reduce the number of e-mails and amount of tedious, unnecessary jobs.

6. Implement efficiency-promoting habits

According to Mobile Workforce Report released in 2018, 46% responders claim that distractors are the greatest downside of remote work. The others are procrastination and working longer than they are supposed to. Employees working from home are obviously exposed to dstractions, such as pending housework, tempting entertainment or children expecting parent’s attention. However, as a manager you can do a lot to increase efficiency of your remote workers by sharing good tips and habits across your team. For instance, you can implement Kanban boards to track the progress or encourage them to use Pomodoro technique which will help individuals to stay efficient. You can also help them to arrange their home office space dedicated only to work-related purposes. Be the boss who does not only control, but also advise and inspire.

7. Mind well-being

According to State of remote report 2020, loneliness is the biggest problem for 20% of remote workers. It means that although many of them appreciate working from home, they still need interactions with other humans. Staying isolated at home can negatively influence their mood and morals, and it’s your job to make them feel they’re important to the team.

To make work in isolation a bit easier, you can implement some of the ideas presented below:

  • Organize creative remote brainstorming sessions to let them know that their ideas are valuable. This will help them to stay engaged and devoted to team’s goals.
  • Don’t be too strict during business calls and leave some space for openness and small talks to make sure they’re doing well.
  • Prize your employees for their achievements.
  • If possible, organize offline team integrations at least once in a while.

All in all, according to Flexjobs annual survey, 65% of remote workers claim they are more productive in a home office than in a traditional workspace. So, don’t be too insistent and don't over-control. Make your employees know that you trust them, and we’re sure they will deliver excellent results.

Remote work created a number of opportunities - but challenges as well. Managers and teams around the globe struggle with a completely new work environment and organization. However, there is a way to make this job easier - using a proper software.

To put it simply, time tracking tool logs the time of an employee that they spend working in total or on specific tasks. There are plenty of solutions on the market, and each of them has their specific features. But how to know which one is right for me and my team? Let’s move on to our guide with 5 tips on how to choose the best time tracking tool for remote teams.

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