Businesses evolve. Work processes adopt new trends, and teams become virtually connected while being physically distant. Such is the modern business environment permeating an increasing number of companies across the globe.
The concept of working remotely and managing a team of professionals hailing from every corner of the world has seen a staggering rise in recent years, with teams being able to diversify their talent pool, and use modern technology to surpass their office-bound counterparts.
As a leader, however, you have the elevated responsibility of creating a coherent, functioning whole in a virtual workplace – a task that is difficult enough with all of your employees under one roof. Here to help you bring your distant coworkers together and pave the road to long-term success are the five most effective ways to optimize business processes within your team.
Stiff rules, clear expectations
Working remotely comes with certain privileges, such as working from any location you choose, while doing anything you please, in the timeframe that suits you most. However, team leaders are rightfully fearful of their employees abusing these privileges, and ultimately stifling progress and putting the entire project in jeopardy.
This is why even the most laid-back work environment, remote or not, needs a rigorous set of rules and non-negotiables, followed by clearly outlined expectations. Your employees need to be adequately informed of their exact duties and deadlines in terms of communication, availability, meeting attendance, and expected daily productivity.
In a way, the virtual office should strive to function much like a physical one. If you have team members in vastly different time zones, you can negotiate work hours and schedule weekend meetings online when everyone can attend. With clear expectations in place, you will have a much easier time maintaining top levels of productivity within your team on a daily basis.
Allow information to flow freely
While on the subject of expectations and rules, you cannot hope to enforce them, or your employees to adopt them if they are not properly informed about their duties and company guidelines. It is up to you, as a manager and a leader, to come up with detailed guides for your employees, send them out, and make sure every team member has taken them to heart.
You can also use various team management tools to create a virtual office space where everyone in your team will be able to see and keep track of the latest changes, updates, and tasks. The key is in open communication and freedom of information.
So, don’t waste time answering every confusing email or question from your employees, but rather supply them with detailed information beforehand that will answer all of their questions about the work process.
Strive to learn and achieve more
Great business leaders never stop learning and bettering themselves through practical experience, as well as theoretical knowledge they can take with them into the real world. One of the most important elements in building a winning remote team is to improve your leadership skills. You can achieve this by acquiring an advanced diploma of management that will give you the knowledge you need to improve employee relations, inspire your team members to achieve more on a daily basis, and lead a successful enterprise.
Employees, no matter how near or far, cannot only sense good leadership but resonate with it as well. By developing your own skills as a team leader, you will be able to approach every problem with a sound battle plan and pass your skills and experience onto your employees. This will prove to be invaluable in optimizing day-to-day processes.
Use modern technology to leverage results
In the modern world, using Gmail or Messenger to communicate with your team members about important work-related issues is not only inefficient and ineffective, but also downright dangerous. You need to take advantage of the multitude of online co-working tools out there in order to enjoy timely communication with your employees, stay on track of the latest developments, and in the loop in general.
If you want to allow your teammates as well as yourself the luxury of working on the go or while visiting an exotic destination, you need to make sure your co-working platform is synced with all of your devices and that everyone has access to the project at all times. So save the emails for announcements and reminders.
Track your team’s progress and set new goals
Speaking of introducing your team to a co-working app in order to elevate performance, you also want to keep track of your team’s performance, productivity, and effectiveness on a daily basis. You can easily achieve this by asking your employees to log their progress online.
You can then review their work, make personal notes, and leave constructive suggestions on how they can achieve even better results in less time. Emphasize friendly and supportive communication at all times, and you will have no problem inspiring every team member to reach their true potential.
No matter the industry, no matter the difficulty of the task, people need a leader; however, creating a top performing team is often easier said than done, especially if you are working remotely. Fortunately, by taking these five tips to heart, you will have an easier and more rewarding time creating a productive working environment and building a winning team.
Raul is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com