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4 Best Practices to Manage Remote Teams 

A remote worker

In the pre-pandemic world, only a handful of employees worked remotely. Fast forward to today, half of Americans are working from home.

The reason? Employees save a lot of time working remotely because they don’t have to commute daily to the workplace. Better work-life balance is another reason people prefer working from home. 

An Upwork study reveals that 36.2 million American workforces will be working in a remote setting by 2025. That is an 87% rise over pre-pandemic levels. 

Whether your team consists of 25 members or 500 members, implementing best practices for managing remote staff has become more important than ever. Failing to adopt them may make your remote team feel disengaged and neglected. 

Managing a remote team doesn’t come with a brand-new set of challenges. Rather, many principles remain the same as in the traditional office setting, except that you need to see them from a different perspective. 

On that note, here are a few ways that will help you manage your remote team effectively: 


#1 Leverage a Collaboration Platform to Keep the Team Connected

When working in a physical space, communicating with team members isn’t a challenge. Phones and emails keep team members connected. But things are different when half or the entire team is working remotely from various locations. 

Enter collaboration platforms, online software that lets the entire team work together over the internet. Online collaboration platforms like Trello, Asana, and Slack keep teams and projects on the same page. 

As a leader, you can communicate with your team members, track their progress, define goals for projects, and set deadlines. You can also answer queries without juggling multiple applications. 

Google, Spotify, Paypal, UNICEF, and Tumblr are notable names that use collaboration tools to stay connected with their team members. 

#2 Concentrate on Outputs and Forget About Activity

Working in the age-old office setting is simple: team members clock in, sit at their desks, and leave the office only at the agreed hour. 

But are things the same in a work-from-home setting? Definitely, not. Separating the workplace from home is impossible in a remote setting. Unlike the traditional work-from-office setting, tracking the time spent sitting at the desk is futile. Instead, you should focus on the output. 

If any tasks or projects need to be completed within a given period, communicate the same with your team clearly. Create milestones with precise deadlines and hold meetings once a week or as and when you feel necessary to follow up on progress. 

While time tracking isn’t recommended in remote working as it can sap employees’ productivity, time billing software can be used when working on new projects. Through such software, you can track the start and end date of the project. Later, you can use the data to create an accurate timeline of another project involving the same task. 

When choosing a time billing software, Mango Practice Management suggests leaders invest money in easy-to-use software. Besides, it should allow you to collect electronic signatures, share files, and track time from any device. 

#3 Cut Unnecessary Meetings 

Working in a remote setting has its own challenges, as employees juggle between home and work tasks. While each employee tries their best to balance the two, much time is wasted on unnecessary meetings that do not contribute a lot to the team’s overall output. 

Though engaging in informal chit-chats on Zoom is the best way to ensure no one feels out of the loop, extensive video conferencing can lead to fatigue. Too many online meetings can be taxing on the brain. The solution? Tweak the workflow of your team such that async communication is balanced with real-time virtual check-ins. 

Implementing a no-meeting day will keep your team members focused on the task at hand and work without interruptions. Ultimately, this will boost their productivity. 

#4 Be Flexible

Do you know that the majority of people enjoy working remotely because of the flexibility it offers? In the State of Work 2023 Buffer report, 91% of survey respondents reveal that flexibility is the biggest reason they prefer working in a remote setting. 

Many companies have started embracing flexible work, so it’s about time you join the bandwagon. Say, if an employee has to do groceries at 11 in the morning and work an extra hour in the evening, you should be open to that. 

As long as they communicate clearly and submit work that meets your standard, you shouldn’t have any problem.

Remote Working Is Here to Stay 

In essence, managing a remote team boils down to two elements: collaboration and connection. As a leader, if you can help your remote team members discover opportunities to collaborate on key tasks and make them feel connected to the rest of the members, you’re doing it right. 

Bear in mind that you’re working with real people who have real needs. Try to take care of your team by lending them emotional support and easing their task as much as possible. Rest assured, you’ll manage the team most effectively.

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