4 Ways to Effectively Manage Remote Teams
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By Rebecca Langdon
Geographic distance need not create distant relationships. In fact many organisations have
effective remote team structures which can offer many benefits such as the ability to benefit
from lower cost resource locations, and increase the cultural diversity of the employee group.
However historically the management of remote teams has proven tricky for some, and it has
caused whatever was outsourced to remote teams, to be insourced back. In this article I will
look at some of key ways to ensure remote teams operate effectively.
1) Hire people with personalities that cross geographical borders
This sounds simple but if your employees are going to be geographically separated, it is really
useful if you hire people with great personalities who are as good in person as they are on the
phone, Skype, or any other communication medium.
Geographical distance between remote teams may be many thousands of miles, but with the
right technology it can seem like they are in the same office as you. There are so many
technology options such as audio and video conferencing, shared work spaces, and of course
email and electronic chat.
I truly believe that the key to making remote working successful is good communication. This is
by no means a secret! Making communication easy, and making sure people interact regularly is
of absolute importance. When remote teams are newly set up, it would be useful to organise
regular communications. In time, that interaction should grow organically and the need for
diarised communication should reduce.
Whilst teams may be working remotely from each other, it is really important to develop a
common culture. There is no magic wand to achieve this and ultimately it will be led by the
management team and permeate through everything such as the way employees are trained,
remuneration method, internal policies and marketing. Having a positive and healthy culture
which is shared by the remote teams will help them to be more cohesive and effective.
Many organisations operate remote teams and find it a very beneficial structure. It is not always
easy to get it right, however through culture, technology, and hiring some great personalities,
remote working needn’t feel remote.