Managing a remote team is difficult, particularly if you don’t know where to start. This is because you don’t have instant insight into what everyone is doing when employees are dispersed and unable to work side by side. Therefore, in the midst of the confusion, critical communication is lost, causing frustration to mount.

Remote work has become a necessity for many people as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19. Few companies are equipped for large-scale remote work, but you can still make the experience beneficial for both workers and your company.

According to a recent study, since the outbreak of COVID-19, 91% of HR executives in Asia have adopted work-from-home arrangements. Still, the greatest obstacle is a lack of technological infrastructure and a lack of familiarity with new working methods.

In this guide, you’ll get in-depth information on how to manage remote workers. 

What is a Remote Team? 

Remote teams are collaborations that bring together individuals from different time zones, backgrounds, and cultures. Team members are spread across cities and time zones and work from separate locations.

The Importance of Remote Teams

Remote work is not just a significant element of the future; it is also a considerable part of the present. Because the COVID-19 epidemic unexpectedly forced in-person teams to leave their offices, remote work increased dramatically. According to Stanford University research, 42 % of the United States labor force is now working from home full-time.

However, apart from the worldwide epidemic, remote work has been a popular subject for many years. As per the results of a study conducted by Buffer, 98% of workers would like to work at least part of the time for the remainder of their lives remotely.

Here are a few reasons why working from home is beneficial.

Enhanced Productivity

66% percent of respondents, according to an online survey by FlexJobs, said they were more productive working from home than in an office setting. Their ability to complete their worklist quicker may be due to a reduction of interruptions from coworkers, distractions, and a calmer work environment. 

An Improved Work-Life Balance

Employees value a better balance between their work and personal life, which is why remote teams are so popular.

A Larger Talent Pool

One of the most appealing features for managers and companies is that their talent pool is not restricted by geography. You have the freedom to select the best candidate for your vacant jobs, independent of their present location.

Challenges of Managing Remote Employees 

Remote working offers many advantages, but it also comes with its fair share of administrative drawbacks. There will undoubtedly be unique challenges to overcome when you’re not working side by side with your colleagues. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Visibility and Transparency 

The freedom team members have to operate is astounding when they work with remote development teams. What do we do to determine whether the employees are working and delivering the work on time? Lack of visibility and control makes this one of the biggest fears. Integrating transparency and accountability is thus crucial to the existence and success of remote teams.

The lack of visibility into how other people are working can make team members feel isolated and disconnected.

In addition, remote workers are perceived as less visible by their managers and colleagues. Their efforts may seem unappreciated, and they may feel as though they are working in a vacuum. In general, remote team members are less creative, collaborative, and supportive when they feel invisible and undervalued. 

Collaboration and Communication 

On every team, effective communication is a problem. On remote teams, though, it’s an even more significant challenge.

There is no chance for individuals to conduct casual chats in the hallways or for team members to overhear anything significant spoken off the cuff. Team members must make an effort to communicate freely.

Keeping the Company’s Culture Favorable

Your company’s culture has a significant impact on your workers. When it comes to selecting a place to work, company culture is crucial. When your team is dispersed, though, it isn’t easy to develop and sustain a cohesive culture. There are no offsites, happy hours, or lunches for the team. It’s another area where you need to be more deliberate.

Keeping Track Of Your Output

When you’re managing remote workers, you can’t observe how they’re performing their duties. As a result, specific efficient techniques of productivity monitoring are required to maintain the efficiency of remote management.

Differences in Culture

Another significant difficulty is managing workers from other nations, where individuals have different views about their jobs and families have distinct limits.

You can better connect with others if you learn and respect their cultural origins.

Managers in charge of organizing a worldwide workforce often lack a grasp of how to deal with cultural variations. People from other cultures have quite diverse work ethics, and it’s fascinating to see how they approach their daily tasks.

Working with remote teams has never been simple, but it isn’t nearly as difficult as many managers believe.

Different Time Zones 

Poor communication across distances due to various time zones is a major issue when forming a dispersed team. Communication problems arise as a result of the different time zones.

Lack of communication breeds a lack of trust, which breeds uncertainty. When a manager is responsible for a team of remote workers spread around the globe, arranging meetings may be challenging since it is difficult to find a suitable time for all groups and yourself.

Remote Team Management Solutions

Leading your remote team members comes with many difficulties, but the good news is that they aren’t insurmountable.

Plus, you have technology on your side. The proper technology stack may assist you in leading a happy and effective remote workforce. Here are a few options that you should have in your arsenal:

Software for Project Management

Collaborative work management software lets your team see tasks, deadlines, and assignments. It allows team members to quickly see what’s on their plates and how the business and team are doing.

Time Tracking Solution

If you’re worried that your team’s productivity may suffer when they work remotely, time tracking software can help. It can increase accountability and provide you and your team with facts that you can use to work more effectively.

Video Conferencing Tool

Face-to-face contacts may aid in the development of stronger team bonds. However, if it is not available, video conferencing may be used as a replacement, particularly when distant working is required.

The Platform for Instant Messaging

Your remote team needs a place to have short interactions from work-related inquiries to water-cooler talk about their weekends. Your staff will interact and develop more meaningful connections with one another via an instant messaging tool.

Work On Your Online Communication Abilities

When working on projects, many remote working teams have communication issues. Without solid communication skills, connecting with your staff in many regions will always be tricky. And, of course, proficiency in internet communication is vital. To avoid confusion among the teams, start the discussion quickly and succinctly. Develop your writing abilities, speak clearly, and cooperate successfully using the appropriate remote collaboration tools since excellent communication is essential in the remote workplace.

Promote Diversity and Embrace It 

It is not surprising that managing remote teams will involve dealing with cultural differences. Multicultural teams often experience disagreements and misunderstandings, which cause them to become estranged. When managing individuals from different backgrounds, fostering team development becomes more challenging. Discovering how diverse individuals from diverse backgrounds react when they receive criticism, encouraging a mindset of appreciating differences, respecting national holidays, and making sure global employees are aware of every cultural difference are easy steps to take.

Set Boundaries with Remote Workers

It is often necessary for remote teams to maintain separation between their professional and personal lives. 

People may lose sleep or family time due to alerts, chat messages, or emails from colleagues who operate in different time zones. Talk to each team member about their work schedules and show them that you respect their time by valuing it. Managing relationships with employees will result in everyone being able to accomplish everything they need to.

Final Thoughts

As the market becomes more global, so should your organization. Make sure you know the pulse of your remote team members when you have to manage them from a distance. With the proper tips on successfully managing remote employees, you should be prepared to build a thriving company with your remote employees. Working from home may be very beneficial to your company if you are willing to put in the additional effort to make it work.