Hackernoon logoHow to Manage a Remote Working Team by@sidharth-jain

How to Manage a Remote Working Team

Sidharth Jain Hacker Noon profile picture

@sidharth-jainSidharth Jain

Founder at Graffersid.com | Developing Tech products for startups with billion dollar dream

The year 2020 changed office dynamics altogether. Employees all around the globe are working from home, with the concept of remote working finding relevance and becoming immensely popular. But this practice has been a working model for developers for ages. Nevertheless, remote working has its shares of cons, if you don’t understand the concept thoroughly. We'll highlight best practices you can adopt proven to aid in managing your remote working team.

Defining the Concept of Working Remotely

When your teammates work from home, via telecommuting, telework or where the employees are not asked to work in the same office, this concept is known as working remotely. In simpler terms, to work remotely means your team members are not working from a single workplace, but are effectively working on dedicated company projects from the comfort of their chosen location (home, cafe, library etc.). 

Benefits of Working Remotely 

 1. No time barriers
Your remote working team may be working even when you are asleep, as they may often reside in different locations. This removes the time gap and restrictions from your work-life. In simpler terms, it enhances your overall productivity. 

2. Different cultures, different work philosophies
When your employees are from a different location, the advantage is they bring new motivation to the work-life almost every day. For example, if you have a work problem that can't be solved with traditional management tactics, it could be done with your remote team’s working philosophies. 

3. It reduces cost 
One of the biggest advantages for a start-up company in implementing flexible and remote working options is the reduced costs of labor. It has been observed that an in-house team takes bigger paychecks compared to a remote team. When you are cutting down the cost of the labor force, you can put the difference to better use i.e. resource management and operations. 

4. Experienced team
Often a physical location restraint may put you and your company at risk of losing out on experienced hires. An experienced worker may not be able to come and work in your workspace. But, when it comes to the concept of remote working, you can hire the experienced developer who can work from the comfort of his home. It is a case of win-win for both parties. 

With the above-mentioned advantages, we conclude a remote working team can be a successful asset for your start-up business. 

Plot twist! Are you managing your remote working team correctly? 

Do you feel the urge to tear your hair out while managing a remote team? Have you hired a person for a specific job role who has zero clues of the project they're currently working on? Or does the idea of communicating with them seem daunting?

If the answer was yes to any of the above questions, then try these tried and tested strategies. 

1. Create a detailed work plan

Often we get intimidated by the word “remote” and cause ourselves unnecessary worry. Put pen to paper and work on the following: 

  1. Write up a thorough outline of the expectations
  2. Define the job roles and responsibilities 
  3. State the deliverables 
  4. Set deadlines

The prioritizing of a task may seem like a hard place to start, but it will help you down the line. 

Once you have noted down the requirements let's look at some tips on work management:

Communicate with your remote team

It is one of the most important things while working remotely or from your home. We recall a particular incident at the onset of the pandemic. Our entire team was asked to work from home and come to the office only when required. This task of incorporating the 'new normal' with social distancing in our lives was tough and it was because we weren’t prepared for it. No one saw it coming that we would have to ask our entire in-house team to work from their homes. 

In such adverse times, the morning and evening calls, or the video calls for strategic discussion helped us greatly. We were thankful for hangouts and skype for their seamless video conferencing functions, as communication is key. Schedule calls in advance so that you are mentally present on the call and your mind is not occupied with other things to be done. As at times, people may be distracted by the deadline for article submission and the calls are not helping. This is why you should schedule a team call daily at a specified time. 

Don’t do too many calls either. Talking about when to talk can hinder your overall working process. 

Communication Tools

We have discussed how and why team communication is an asset when working remotely. Now comes the question of which tools can be helpful in creating seamless team communication?

  1. Slack
  2. Zoom 
  3. Team Viewer 
  4. Hangouts 
  5. Skype

The above-mentioned tools provide the services of group chat, video or verbal calls. No matter what, they can be helpful in keeping your team and any sub-divided departments on the same page. 

Project Management Tools

Do you know the deadlines of each project, so that you can prioritize which requires your immediate attention? As you aren’t working in the same workplace anymore, allocate your resources according to your team needs and requirements.

  1. Trello
  2. JIRA
  3. Team Wave
  4. Meistertask 

Our current favorite is team wave. You can allocate the project with deadlines, include notes and review who is doing what task. It makes everything perfect and smooth.

Lastly, things to be careful of 

 1. Do not micro-manage 
Have you ever wondered what impression your employees have of you if you ask questions all the time and for constant updates? The employees will think that you don’t trust them which often creates an environment of tension. Or their work performance suffers. 

Just because an employee is working in the comfort of their own home doesn’t mean that he isn’t working. You could always administer work by employing monitoring tools. 

2. Focus on what’s important
We have already witnessed a drastic change during the onset of the pandemic. The chaos it created is worth our attention. If you are a start-up then it may be the case you have a lot going on with the majority of it taking your time, energy and resources. 

In such cases, make a table of tasks and align each task according to what requires your utmost attention and those that do not, then work accordingly. Avoid working haphazardly. In doing so, you may risk losing out on a lot of things. 

Wrapping Up

One of the advantages a remote team has to offer companies is increased productivity. The secret to success lies in:

  1. Aligning tasks carefully
  2. Proper and careful planning
  3. Constant communication
  4. Considering the right tools for work management

If you have understood the concept of working remotely, how beneficial it is, and developed the right attitude required to make it work, then distance is just another opportunity. Focus on the best parts of it and make it work for you and your team. After all, you are working with a great team, in the comfort of your own homes, does distance matter?


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