January 28

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Managing Remote Teams: Best Practices for 2023

Gemma Anne Smith

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Remote teams have become more widespread in businesses today due to modern technology that allows for more flexible work arrangements. 

Some of the benefits of having a remote team are the ability to access a broader range of talent from individuals that aren’t necessarily in your location, the reduction of overhead costs such as office rentals, and increased overall productivity.  

However, while managing your teams, you may experience some challenges-particularly with collaboration and communication. 

Some believe that true collaboration and communication can only be possible with face-to-face interactions that generally take place in an office or coworking space. However, this simply isn't true. 

This article will delve into the specifics and share tips and strategies to help you achieve and maintain a successful remote team through effective communication and collaboration. 

What are the Communication Strategies for the Successful Management of Remote Teams

1: Clear and consistent communication 

2: Tools and platforms for remote communication

3: Best practices for remote meetings

4: Handling communication barriers

Let’s discuss the importance and strategy for each point in detail: 

Clear and Consistent Communication

video conferencing with remote team

For remote teams to operate effectively, clear and consistent communication is imperative.

By providing clear communication, all team members will know and understand their roles and responsibilities within the organization and be aware of the goals and objectives of the whole team. 

Maintaining consistent communication ensures that all staff are on the same page as one another, even when not together in person. 

Consistent communication can be carried out by:

  • Regular team meetings
  • Providing regular updates 
  • Checking in with each staff member 
  • The use of online management tools and shared documentation

Remaining consistent with taking these actions will also give you the opportunity to discover and address any problems that may arise before they become out of control.  

By making clear and consistent communication a priority, you will successfully keep your remote team on track and help them achieve their goals. 

Tools and Platforms for Remote Communication

There are many online platforms and tools now available to make remote communication much more accessible, such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack, to name a few.

Utilizing any of these tools allows you to remain connected and communicate with your team in real time and can help to overcome the barriers of time zones no matter their location.

Each tool has benefits and can include features such as face-to-face video conferencing, sending messages, and sharing files and documents.

By using these platforms as leverage, teams can remain cohesive when working remotely. 

Related: How to Set Up a Bookkeeping System for Your Small Business

Best Practices for Remote Meetings

Team meeting online

As mentioned above, clear communication should include regular team meetings, updates, and check-ins. 

These meetings can be highly effective for your remote team to remain connected, share helpful information, and make decisions. 

To ensure you get the most out of these meetings, you must first set some best practices, such as creating an agenda in advance. 

A clear agenda will make the team aware of what subjects will be discussed and provide ample time for organization and preparation for any input or questions. It also helps with keeping the meeting focused and on track. 

In addition to this, creating ground rules can contribute to a smooth running meeting. Some examples are: all members have their cameras on and microphones turned off unless you are speaking.  By taking the time to set rules, you’ll find that everyone will be more engaged in the conversations that take place. 

Furthermore, establishing a system for dealing with interruptions or technical problems can help keep the meeting on track with minimal disruptions. 

Ultimately, by having best practices in place, overall, you will experience productive meetings where your whole remote team will be engaged and use the time spent together online well. 

Handling Communication Barriers

When managing a remote team with individuals who do not speak the same language or are in different time zones, you may experience challenges. 

However, it takes only a little planning and effort to overcome them. One great example of managing time zone differences is organizing meetings, updates, and check-ins at a convenient time for all team members. 

You can quickly achieve this by using calendar apps or scheduling software. 

Additionally, establishing clear expectations for communication, for example- identifying and taking note of the best time to contact your team members, can help alleviate any confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Another way to handle language barriers is to use tools such as Google translate and to hire bilingual team members to help to ensure that everyone can communicate effectively. 

When a language barrier arises, a designated translator can be helpful, or video conferencing software can offer built-in translators.

By overcoming communication barriers, remote teams can ensure that all members can communicate effectively and collaborate.

Next, we will explore strategies for fostering collaboration and teamwork among remote teams. 

What are the Collaboration Strategies for the Successful Management of Remote Teams? 

1: Importance of fostering a sense of team cohesion and collaboration

2:Tools and platforms for remote collaboration

3: Best practices for remote team collaboration

4:How to handle collaboration barriers

Next, let’s chat about these strategies in further detail:

Importance of Fostering a Sense of Team Cohesion and Collaboration

Team building online

Promoting team cohesion and collaboration is vital for remote teams to function productively. First, let’s explain each of the terms and what they look like in remote teams: 

  • Cohesion: When all team members share a common goal and vision and understand their responsibilities, there is a sense of cohesion. 
  • Collaboration is when all members work together to reach a common goal. When done effectively, ideas, skills, and resources are shared, which results in better problem-solving and decision-making. 

Due to the lack of face-to-face contact, cohesion and collaboration can be challenging in remote teams. 

However, by taking steps to foster a sense of cohesion and collaboration, remote teams can increase productivity and achieve their goals. 

You can achieve this through regular team-building activities, setting team goals and objectives, and encouraging team members to share their ideas and perspectives. 

Additionally, creating a virtual space for team members to connect and collaborate, such as a shared project management tool, helps foster a sense of cohesion and collaboration among remote teams.

Tools and platforms for Remote Collaboration

There is a wide range of tools and platforms available today to aid in remote collaboration. Some great examples include Google Drive and Trello.

These tools help by allowing teams to share and access information, collaborate on projects and keep track of deadlines and deliverables. 

  • Google Drive, for example, is a cloud-based storage and collaboration platform that allows team members to access and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from anywhere. 
  • Trello is a project management tool that allows teams to create, assign and track tasks and visually manage projects. 
  • Other tools like Asana, Jira, and Monday.com are also popular options. 

Using these tools and platforms as leverage, remote teams can stay connected and productive, even when members are not physically together and in different locations.

Best Practices for Remote Team Collaboration

It is critical to set best practices for team collaboration. Some examples of this include:

  • Assigning clear roles and responsibilities is vital so that all members understand your expectations of them. You can achieve this by creating and sharing a team ‘roadmap.’
  • Setting goals and expectations and tracking progress will help the team stay focused and remain on track. You can achieve this by utilizing project management tools.
  • Establishing a system where you carry out regular check-ins and communication is vital so that all team members can share information, ask questions and provide updates. You can achieve this through regular meetings at convenient times with all members and one-on-one check-ins. 

In addition, creating clear guidelines for communication and collaboration, such as specifying the best times to contact team members, can help minimize confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page. 

By implementing best practices for collaboration, productivity can increase, your remote team can achieve its goals, and all members can stay connected and productive.

How to Handle Collaboration Barriers

Different time zones

Some of the barriers you may face that can pose challenges with collaboration are: 

  • Lack of face-to-face interaction: One way to handle the lack of face-to-face interaction is to schedule regular team-building activities. Not only will this increase staff morale, but it will also give them a chance to interact with one another and build trust.  
  • Difficulty building trust: You can overcome this by establishing clear guidelines for communication and collaboration, such as identifying and specifying the best times to contact one another.  Additionally, encouraging team members to share their ideas, opinions, and feedback can also help the process. Setting and tracking progress against shared goals through project management tools helps keep team members focused and builds trust.

By overcoming these barriers, remote teams can ensure that all team members can collaborate effectively and achieve their goals.

Conclusion and wrap-up on Managing Remote Teams 

In conclusion, managing remote teams can present unique challenges concerning communication and collaboration. 

However, by implementing effective strategies, remote teams can overcome these challenges and achieve their goals. 

In this article, we have touched on the importance of clear and consistent communication, the available tools and platforms for remote communication, best practices for remote meetings, and strategies for overcoming communication barriers. 

We have also discussed strategies for fostering collaboration and teamwork among remote teams, the tools, and platforms available for remote collaboration, best practices, and strategies for overcoming barriers. 

There are many benefits to following these guidelines, such as increased productivity, better problem-solving/decision-making, and an overall sense of cohesion among the whole team.

By following the strategies I have shared with you, you will be on your way to overcoming the challenges of managing remote teams and can look forward to achieving your company goals.  

About the Author

As a mom of three, including two children with special needs, and owner of two successful handmade businesses, Gemma brings valuable experience and a unique perspective to her work. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gemma is dedicated to helping others succeed by sharing her knowledge and expertise at GemmaAnneSmith.com

Gemma Anne Smith


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