What is a Remote Team?
Remote teams are built by hiring and putting together professionals who work on a project in a unified manner for a single entity from various locations, time zones, and diverse backgrounds.
Since the onset of the pandemic, remote teams have gained passionate momentum. The threat of falling sick has prompted 79% of employees to avoid coming to the office fearing catching the virus.
The prevailing atmosphere can be summed up by this stat - ½ employees in the USA are preferring to work from the comfort of their cocoons. However, the in-person absence of their employees hasn’t deterred employers from growing their workforce.
Taking advantage of ace advancements in the field of collaborative software, video conferencing platforms, project management solutions, employers have turned to build, expand and work with remote workforces. This has led 81% of employers in an Owl labs survey to believe that their employers shall support remote teams moving forward.
This is why building a remote workforce should be your unconditional priority of the hour. The pandemic aside, employees are starting to prefer working from their homes in their pajamas.
Remote Team Management
Remote team management can be defined as the set of processes - project management, managing remote teams, and keeping projects on time - and strategies that enable the effective functioning of remote teams.
How to Manage Your Team Remotely
Guides titled “how to manage remote teams” are several in number. All these are guided by an emphatic strategy that keeps employees happy and productive.
An effective remote team management strategy is also inclusive. It caters to the need of employees of varying demographics and personalities.
Follow the tips below to holistically manage your remote team.
Step 1: Offer unconditional help in setting up remote spaces
Just like how your office infrastructure enables the harmonious functioning of employees, you need to help your employees set up productive workspaces in their homes.
This isn’t limited to offering funds to buy tables, laptops, internet, etc.
You also need to invest in infrastructure that helps employees connect seamlessly such as socializing platforms, video conferencing platforms, etc. Platforms that can help them indulge in friendly banter must also be your primary concerns.
Step 2: Set up 1:1 meetings on a biweekly basis
There is a fine line between micromanagement and weekly catchups. Cross this line and you may end up opening a can of worms; mistrust, lack of motivation, anxiety, etc.
Setting up recurring half-hour meetings across your calendar can help in understanding the pulse of your employees.
These video calls can be three-pronged - discussions, progress and growth. You can discuss daily activities of these employees. Then talk about the progress they have made over the past weeks. Employee growth should also get the spotlight.
Step 3: Create a Culture of Results and Accountability
Instead of checking what your employees are doing on a daily basis, you could create a work culture where employees are adjudicated based on the results they produce.
You could set up standards your team has to meet. Set up systems that help you follow up with your employees and hold them accountable for their performance.
Step 4: Promote social interactions
Remote teams miss out on social interactions hence you have to create an environment that facilitates a vibrant rapport between remote employees across different countries.
You can arrange gatherings and light-hearted activities for team-building purposes, like online group-based games or icebreakers.
Celebrate victories on a collaborative platform. Send publicly visible emails, gifs, notes to congratulate employees on their achievements.
Step 5: Automate tasks wherever possible
For instance, Multiplier helps you pay employees across various countries from a unified platform. While building remote teams we automate generating locally compliant contracts so that you save on hours and hours of research.
Automation is not your enemy. It helps you better focus on strategic functions and creative tasks while mundane tasks are automated.
Step 6: Offers ways for your teams to avoid distractions
Heard of Pomodoro timers? It is a method where you work on a 25-minute sprint and you take a short break. Based on their roles and responsibilities, encourage and train your employees to work on prolonged cycles and take compulsory breaks in between.
Step 7: Hire and grow remote teams
With technologies like Multiplier in the offing, 100% remote hiring and onboarding is now a reality. What’s best? It’s a hassle-free reality!
Inculcate a culture in your company where employees are made to think in global perspectives and schools of thought while adding talent into the company. Visa barriers shouldn’t deter you from hiring an employee anymore. Instead, focus on setting up processes and systems that help you onboard employees from around the world.
Best Practices / Tips for Remote Team Management
How to successfully manage your remote teams is an itch in the several brains of managers and business leaders. We give you a brief overview of the best practices here. However, if you want a detailed guide, check out our list of expert quotes and tips to better handle your remote teams.
Help employees in setting up their workspaces
Did you know that only 25% of employees care to share the cost of home-office equipment with an employee?
Employers who identify and empathize with their employees in setting up productive workspaces not only win the latter’s hearts but also their loyalty.
Accurately describe job expectations
Remote work management does wonders for your employees only when you create winning communication channels; when you are an effective communicator yourself.
So the one time you have to effectively communicate is conveying their tasks at the start. Thus work on improving your hiring and onboarding processes to comfortably set the stage for your new hire.
Create effective communication channels
One of the best practices in managing remote employees is creating effective communication channels. Managers have to audit the expectations of their employees and build communication channels that align with the work culture of the company.
Have results at the center and not the processes
One of the key things to remember in remote team management is to consider only results at the heart of your business. How your employees managed to get there - that can wait.
Remote employees hate micro-management. Recent studies suggest that effective remote team management should encompass:
- Lesser video conferences
- More days without any team meetings
- A couple of core hours when the entire team works together
- Flexible work hours
Putting these practices allows remote employees to get the job done and dismisses any concerns about how and when the tasks are carried out.
It is your job as a manager to look for opportunities to recognize and reward your employees and embed this remote team management tactic into the company’s DNA. Continuous recognition increases employee satisfaction and reduces employee turnover.
Audit the pulse of your employees
Another effective tip to include in your remote team management strategy is to survey and study the experiences of your employees who work remotely. Managing remote employees is completely different from managing them in-house.
Conducting surveys and interviews greatly positions you to constantly improve your remote workforce management.
Benefits of Remote Team
There are several benefits of building a remote team. For a start, consider the following stats:
- Companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t
- 69% of millennials would give up other work benefits for a more flexible working space
- For 20%, even employer-matched retirement contributions aren’t as valuable as flexible working
The benefits are simply endless. Particularly, the pandemic has given researchers enough time to understand and confirm with evidence, some benefits of remote teams.
Managers agree that when their teams switched to work on a remote basis, they observed zero losses of productivity. Some acknowledged that employers worked more hours for free. With no reason to commute, all the time lost in suburbs and metros translated to work hours.
A good onboarding experience is part and parcel of a good remote team management strategy. Onboarding remote teams are more cost-effective and quicker.
The increased use of digital touchpoints enables your remote team to onboard on your own accurately and promptly. Remote onboarding is self-serving. Thus, it works effectively when your remote teams work in different time zones.
Assured health benefits
Remote teams showed appreciations in happiness levels and decreased stress levels. When flexibility and fewer instances of micromanagement were inculcated into remote workforce management strategies, workers of remote teams felt less stress and anxiety.
Now, with the pandemic, employees are willing to move to companies that offer remote work; they see these organizations like the ones that altruistically prioritize an employee’s well-being over the company’s goals.
The Happy Worker
Health benefits accompany a happy employee. A happy employee is also one who is grateful. And a grateful employee is statistically proven to show higher levels of trust and loyalty to the company.
A Rich and Responsible Employee
Effective remote workforce management builds the perception of the employer being responsible. There are several reasons for an employee to believe so. Firstly, remote work options create perceptions of the employer being progressive and tech-savvy. Secondly, it shows that the employer cares about the environment and contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Building philanthropic perceptions aside, sending off employees to work from their homes allows companies to save on operation and infrastructure costs. With employees willing to take up to a pay cut of up to 10% if they are allowed to permanently work from home, employers save several thousand bucks in reduced salaries as well.
Moreover, building remote teams allows you to hire from across the globe. Yes, you might need to expand your business into another country to do so. Setting up a local entity in another country is time-consuming, risky, and costly.
Here is where a SaaS-based EOR solution like Multiplier can help. If you have been eyeing on a talent for a while now, you can confidently and compliantly hire them using our local entities in the corresponding countries. We reduce your time to hire a foreign talent by 90%.
Book a demo with us to know-how.
Challenges in Managing Remote team
Managing a remote team isn’t a cakewalk. The transition of in-house teams into remote teams at breakneck speed is in itself an amazing endeavor on the part of our managers.
However, managers aren’t free from several challenges in managing a remote team.
Let us tease you with a list of challenges below:
- Helping employees find work-life balance
Emphatic managers are the ones who are able to resonate with their workers’ needs and help them establish a sustainable biological clock.
Although moving to remote work has allowed workers to be more flexible with their work hours, things aren’t that rosy.
For instance, workers are unable to unplug from their work. They have begun to spill their work hours into their personal life.
Another challenge in managing remote teams is helping employees find the sweet spot - the core hours they need to work with the team. You need to help your team find and fix a few hours every day for collaborative tasks.
- Improving team spirit
Remember the times when a peek over a cabin was enough to engage with your peers? This is not possible anymore.
The remote manager needs to create opportunities for employees to emulate these experiences. These experiences boost social connectivity. Social connectivity, in turn, boosts productivity.
Trust is another quality that shall vastly improve your employer's confidence in these uncertain times. Trust creates an ambiance for more collaboration, experimentation and ideation.
Remote work creates lesser opportunities to nurture trust. Managers need to foster employee-employer trust and improve experiences.
- Tackle employee burnout & improve engagement
With little room to move around and expend the extra hours saved from lesser commute and interruptions, employees are more likely to face burnout at their homes.
Employee engagement is another qualitative factor that has suffered as a result of working from home. An effective remote team management strategy takes into account best engagement practices.
How to Motivate a Remote Team
Motivating a remote team is hard. Let’s first acknowledge that.
An in-house team can be congratulated in person using employee engagement programs, reward programs, recognition sessions, etc.
A remote team does not have this indulgence. Hecne, you have to rely on technology and your own communication skills that will help bridge this gap.
For a start, perks and benefits are the most obvious ways to motivate a remote team. Offering lucrative benefits, paid holidays to help you build trust and let employees understand that a company’s strategic goals do not mean as much as employees’ well-being.
Another strategic endeavor that can help is advocating a growth mindset across the company. A growth mindset is one that makes employees bold in the face of failure and convinces them that perfection is a myth. A remote workforce is isolated and is affected by many cultural and personal factors. Fostering a growth mindset helps employees experiment boldly, offer creative freedom, and accelerate innovation.
How Can Multiplier Help You Effectively Manage a Remote Team
Multiplier makes international hiring and onboarding stupidly simple. Using our self-serving SaaS-based EOR solution, you can build world-class remote teams without having to worry about setting up local entities in corresponding countries, disbursing salaries in different currencies, getting lost in the maze of compliance and legal regulations, etc.
Multiplier supports hiring and paying remote teams across 100+ countries. Make use of our local entities and legal partners to hire cross-border without an ant-sized bother.