Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is Remote Team Management?

Remote team management refers to directing a group of people, who are in various locations and time zones.

Who does Remote Team Management?

Remote team management is done by teams called remote teams, a group of people with members in different locations and time zones.

Why do people do Remote Team Management?

Some people opt to work as a remote team since it gives them flexibility. Working anytime and anywhere allows one to do things independently. People can also multitask in a remote team as they can do things at their own pace.

Online businesses also have a team of business partners, who remain functional even if they are in different locales and time zones.

How to execute Remote Team Management

There are three essential elements to run a remote team – the team, the tools, and the process.

The team is the most important element of remote team management. It is vital to build a team with members capable of surviving in a remote environment. In a remote team, members are usually “doers.” They are people who just need minimal supervision in their tasks. In addition, trust is the key in a remote team. People work together even though they do not see each other face to face, since there is trust and belief that they can accomplish the task. Remote team management stops if there is no trust to the team mate. Also, members of the remote team should have good communication skills as almost everything is shared thru written communication.

Tools are important factors to consider in remote team management. They allow team leaders to better organize their teams and keep everyone on the same field. The right tools are believed to ascertain that every member of the remote team is retained.

The third ingredient to a solid remote team is process. While other people view processes as boring and structured, associating process with the phrase “how we work” gives it more power. A good process in a team allows team members to accomplish tasks independently, as it provides structure and direction in doing the task at hand. Process also involves providing a feedback to an outcome, so that team members can measure their progress.

Advantages of Remote Team Management

Remote team management is advantageous to a business in a number of ways.

First, managing a remote team provides access to more and better talent. Unlike a team that focuses on a limited locale, a remote team covers a broader range of people who can highly contribute to the success of the business. In addition, team leaders or business owners can find a number of people around the globe whom they can call as “right people.”

Another advantage of remote team management is the freedom of the team members to spend their time doing things that are important to them aside from the job they have. They will not be likely to struggle with burnout as they can control their time.

Disadvantages of a Remote Team Management

While managing remote teams present various positive thoughts, there are still some flaws to be known.

The difference in locale and time zone is the primary con of managing a remote team. People may sometimes fail to attend online meetings or seminars in sync with the entire team due to their setting differences. This can lead to them not being at par with their team mates, resulting to a possibility of having them left behind.

Remote team management is highly reliable to internet connectivity as the web access connects people from various places and time settings. Failure or absence of internet connection will be a major problem to the team should they opt to conduct an online meeting or webinar.

Some remote teams have a scheduled business call on a certain day in the week, which other members cannot attend since they are offline secondary to having a different locale and time zone.

Best practices at doing Remote Team Management

Remote teams utilize essential tools as their best management practices.

Most remote team utilize online applications that support mails and chat so as to facilitate easy and fast conversation.

Some concepts cannot just be discussed verbally or through writing that some teams opt to use programs that share a member’s screen to another member or to all members. It helps team members, especially those who are visual, to appreciate what the other member is trying to convey

To manage a remote team effectively, business owners should hire people who are self-motivated, have good communication skills, goal-oriented, open, and honest.

The team is highly likely to succeed if they work independently, without the need of constant encouragement and attention to accomplish a task. Also, people should be versatile in both oral and written communication since there is limited to absent face-to-face contact. Knowledge of applications like Skype and webcams is also an advantage. In addition, people who like to achieve objectives as well as those with open and straightforward personalities are key people that will perform well in a remote team.

Learn more about Teamreporter

Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)