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5 Things to Think About When Leading Remote Teams

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Many of us are undoubtedly working from home or at least in some sort of hybrid capacity. When working in teams remotely, it can get difficult and frustrating at times because of lags in communication and synchronization. But with the technology available to us, working remote is possible and gives us the same results of working in person. Additionally since the Covid-19 pandemic, many industries have transitioned to remote and hybrid work. The technology and software tailored to those who work remote and hybrid have exploded. There are so many online tools and technology that help us work successfully no matter where we work from and the distance.

When leading remote teams, it gets tricky, especially when you have to learn to adapt to solely (at times) communicating through video conferencing systems and other tools. But if you think about it, working collaboratively remote or hybrid isn’t that different to in-person communication. For example, most of us were relying on emails to communicate with coworkers anyways. We were basically using “remote technology” to communicate with our teams and coworkers! The thing to think about when leading remote teams is to adapt certain habits and seamlessly synchronize teamwork and communication within a remote capacity.

Here are a few things to get you started so you can lead your teams successfully.

1. Establish clear goals

There is nothing worse than not having a clear direction. The first thing that you want to do when leading remote teams is to establish clear goals right way. When you establish your team and project goals from the beginning, you and your team is in a better position to work. Knowing what needs to be accomplished helps to increase the productivity and intent of your team. Everyone has a clear idea of what needs to be done so it helps direct your team members towards team tasks and goals.

Additionally, your team is able to work independently with a clear direction. We all have those moments when we’re lost and don’t know what exactly to do, which happens a lot when you’re collaborating and communicating remotely. Establishing goals and talking about them lead your team to productively work independently and when your team meets up, everyone is on the same page which reduces. confusion and time wasted on figuring things out which can be avoided.

2. Assign specific tasks for each team member to take on

This next point echoes what was said in the former point. After establishing goals you want to think about what specific tasks should be assigned for each team member. Talk with your team member and hold a virtual meeting to communicate about this. It’s always better to get the opinions of your team before deliberating which tasks to assign to each team member. This way you’re able to get an idea of what team member is able to accomplish, their bandwidth, and what their boundaries are. You’re also respecting their input and ideas which establishes good communication, collaboration, and transparency early on.

When your team members have a clear task to take on, they also become more productive and independent work has more direction. Since everyone knows what they have to accomplish, your team is able to better communicate and when you come together to actively collaborate, things become easier and seamless.

Illustration of man raising hand during remote work collaboration to show leading remote teams
IMAGE VIA VIEWSONIC

3. Choose what specific tools to collaborate through

What helps seamless communication and collaborative work is choosing specific tools to collaborate through. You want to be specific about the tools that you and your team will be using because it reduces so much frustration when you’re collaborating. For example, think about solely using Google Docs before transporting your content to Google Slides. When you use Google Docs, you’re able to keep a Google File to file all related documents in and you’re able to work at the same time, chat, and put in comments into the document. Team collaboration has never been easier with the tools that are available to us.

Video conferencing systems are also a great way to remotely collaborate through. ProVideoMeeting’s custom video conferencing system offers unique features that allow you to communicate seamlessly and helps your workflow. You can set up online meetings to discuss and share your research and their tools aid this process. For example, ProVideoMeeting offers you screen sharing and YouTube Group View which allows everyone to see what is being discussed. This makes sure that everyone sees the same thing and are on topic.

4. Set-up check-ins

On the topic of virtual meetings, you want to set-up regular check-ins with your team members so you can discuss each member’s progress and research. Setting up regular meetings also allows your team members to be familiar with one another and openly discuss specific details about the project. Conversation is more free-flowing and you can get feedback in an instant.

Make sure to also not overwhelm your team with too many meetings because it can take away time for them to work independently as well as interfere with other work assignments and meetings. Always be conscious of when you’re setting up meetings and discuss meeting times and days before deciding on one.

5. Always communicate–there is no such things as too much

And lastly, you always want to make sure that your team’s communication is continuous. There is no such thing as too much communication when you’re working remotely or hybrid. You want to make sure that your team is actively communicating with one another because it means that people are tuned in and discussing what needs to be discussed. Open communication reduces unnecessary confusion and keeps people updated about that is going on. Keep the emails and chats going because it helps to contribute to a successful work relationship and project.

Leading remote teams to success

Leading remote teams is no small job. You want to makes sure that you and your team are actively in communication and collaboration with one another. Always be mindful of their boundaries and make sure that everyone has the correct tools to contribute to the team and project. You want to ensure the best possible experience for you and your team and implementing these five tips will help you lead your team to success.

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