Thought Leader Series: 5 Tips to Ensure a Distanced Team is on the Same Page
by Andrew Mullen on April 01, 2016
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Lorena Brockman is a blogger for JennsBlahBlahBlog.com and has notable know-how in blogging, telecommuting, workplace issues, and has been deemed "Greatest Auntie Ever" by many. To learn more about Lorena, visit her company's blog at JennsBlahBlahBlog.com.
Video conferences, chatting, emails, and phone calls are ways to stay in contact when dealing with a remote team. But how can you be sure everyone is working effectively and efficiently toward the same goal? Will there be duplicate jobs being done or conflicts in the final product? Managing a distanced team can be a challenge, but when done correctly, it can save time and money. Here are some tips to ensure a distanced team is on the same page.
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1. Know Your Team
The option to work remotely can be appealing to many workers, but some people may not have the best intentions or aren't qualified for the job. Remote workers need to be able to do the work with few issues and be self-motivated with little management. Before you assemble a distanced team, have those interested in the position submit an application. In it they will explain the goal, describe how they can contribute, and also note their shortcomings and how they will make up for them. A team that desires the same outcome and thrives for quality work is the best way to have a successful project with remote members.
2. Stay on Target
Whatever goal a remote team is working toward needs to be made clear to each team member. A process or plan should be written up and sent to each worker. Each step needs to be explained and understood thoroughly. Allocate specific tasks to each member and set a completion date for each step. Any questions and concerns should be raised and addressed throughout the project, and open communication should stay constant. Weekly or daily updates could be scheduled to ensure the plan is on target and any deviation can be redirected immediately.
3. Stay at the Same Speed
Using adequate communication is essential for a remote team. Therefore, every member should have access to proper technology and connections at all times. If a connection can't be maintained during a conference call, for example, it's difficult to have an effective meeting or get anything accomplished. Global file-sharing is important when a team is separated by miles and oceans. Keeping all the data and progress available to each member is important, so choosing a reliable file-sharing network is crucial.
4. Keep a Schedule
With workers being in different locations or even different time zones, it's important to establish a set schedule. A basic workday needs to be in place no matter where a member is located, and meetings should be scheduled regularly. This is where self-motivated individuals are important in that they must set and maintain their own hours to stay productive.
5. Keep it Competitive
A remote team thrives on competition just like a local, in-house work group. Set goals for your team to reach and offer incentives for exceptional productivity. Offer performance updates and allow constructive reviews when there are shortfalls or loss of motivation.
With the digital world taking precedence over many business markets, having a distanced team can be beneficial. As long as open communication is consistant and file-sharing is reliable, the end product can be fantastic.
Take a look at our overview of FAST™ to see how you and your distanced team can benefit.