If you’re like most business owners, you’ll eventually need to #ManageRemote. That’s because more and more people are ditching the typical 9-5 and their daily commute and choosing to work for businesses that offer flexibility and the ability to work from all over the world.
Even if you’re slow to embrace new technology and ways of working, you’re likely to eventually end up managing a remote team- such as through EssentialSkillz.com. The success of that team will greatly depend on your ability to manage well- from a distance. Here are some tips to help you run a remote team:
Take your time when hiring
People who are ‘doers’ will get things done- no matter where they’re based or what’s going on in their personal lives. You don’t need to micromanage or give them tasks, and can rest assured that things will get done. This all starts with trust. If you feel like you can’t trust the person on the other end of the Skype call, or you’re continually worrying about whether they’re ‘showing up’, you’re probably wasting plenty of time.
Hire people with a great track record who have experience working remotely. Whenever possible, consider hiring people who have worked for themselves- they’re self-motivated and will get things done.
When you have a remote team, you’re often all functioning in different time zones. However, that means that when you’re awake, it may be the middle of the night for one of your team members and vice versa. Use tools that will show everyone when each person is available to communicate, and get used to waiting a few hours for a reply if you’re dealing with someone on the other side of the world.
While most offices tend to have too many meetings, this isn’t the case with remote workers. But team meetings can actually be a great thing, since they give you all a chance to get to know each other and make sure everyone is on the same page. If your team members are from all around the world, it’s important to be culturally appropriate. Make a list of holidays from each country- such as Chinese New Year etc, so you can plan for them to have those days off. You’ll also need to consider cultural barriers with communication- some cultures are less likely to let a superior know when there is a problem, which can cause further problems down the line. Be sure to ask leading questions instead of simple “Yes” or “No” questions so you can get a full picture of what’s going on.