April 2015

Managers : 6 tips for managing a team remotely

Thanks to today’s technology, location is less and less important in the work environment. Team members don’t have to be in the same place to be able to work together. Even our Planzone team is split between Paris and Barcelona and the CEO, Michael Benninga, travels between the two offices.
Are you in the same situation? We have some great tips to help you manage a team remotely

Managing a team remotely

Set specific goals

At least each quarter, meet face-to-face with your employees and set them clear, realistic goals that include measurable indicators. Each employee should have his/her own objectives but other team members should also be made of aware of them.
This gives your team direction and ensures that their actions in your absence are cohesive and dedicated to achieving these goals. You don´t need to become bogged down in details, what matters is that the objectives are achieved.

Be transparent in your schedule

Managing a team remotely doesn’t mean less transparency, quite the contrary; your team needs to know when you will be in the office and when you are available to have a meeting by phone. Transparency, of course should work in both directions. To simplify long distance communications, take advantage of online tools like a shared Google calendar, Google Drive, Skype or GoToMeeting.

Recognize a job well done

When your team does a good job, let them know, even virtually! Take the time to answer their queries and give your opinion even if you aren’t directly involved in the work. In contrast, keep the less positive remarks for face-to-face meetings. Meanwhile, be tactful to no stress them made tact to not stress them at the idea of your arrival: “don’t worry we’ll talk about it when we see each other”.

Empower your team

Remotely managing a team also means making your employees more autonomous so that they can move forward without you. An efficient and successful team comes from mutual trust between team members and vis-à-vis their boss. Your team needs to feel useful and important to work at 100%. Make sure you give responsibility to each member and you will boost team cohesion and individual involvement. Make sure everyone knows his or her role and the responsibilities of the others.

Delegate accurately

When you manage a remote team, you need to be even more specific in assigning tasks. You must clearly define what you expect from a person, their objectives and the deadline. This avoids wasting time with questions and misunderstandings and keeps everyone on course. Make sure that each team member understands their task within its context, a good way to do this is to ask questions like: "Give me an example of how you're going to do this". Repeat their answer back to them in a different way to make sure you understand each other.

Use an online collaborative tool

Online collaborative tools enable unlimited exchanges between team members and make for better organization. They save time with features that facilitate productivity by allowing you to work from anywhere and at any time. Thus, tasks, documents, discussions, calendars or schedules are centralized in a single place, and accessible online; ideal for managing a remote team. You can easily follow the progress of your team with regular and transparent communication.

Don’t hesitate to try out Planzone for free and find out how to stay connected with your team and succeed together, even remotely!

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