Employers’ biggest dilemma when they manage remote teams is knowing if they’re really working or not. As an entrepreneur, you have this deep fear of whether your remote team is working as they should. It’s not because you’re a micromanager or you want people to slave their way through their work. It’s because it’s your responsibility manage your remote team, ensuring productivity and efficiency. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your business survives with the help of your remote workers.
Having team members who are not actually performing can introduce risks to your business. So, Onsite Helper will share a few strategies that we have implemented when we manage remote teams to secure productivity.
3 tips on how to manage remote teams successfully and maximise productivity
1. Using a time billing app
The pandemic is starting to cool down a bit and many people have returned to offices. However, things have forever changed. Many people don’t want to go back to the old way of working. And so we’re in this reality, where we have the challenge of managing and tracking the performance of remote workers. How do we reconcile when you can’t personally see if your staff is getting their work done?
Now, most business owners immediately oblige their staff to install apps on their computer that track people’s behaviour – it measures the keystrokes, the screentime, what people are doing, and whether or not people are actually clicking in different areas of the screen. These apps can even take screenshots of their work every couple of minutes and send it back to a central location.
We think this strategy creates a bit of a culture of fear. It implies to your staff members that you don’t trust them to do their work. If your business is run by freelance virtual assistants, most of them have side gigs, which is pretty understandable, and they don’t want to be closely tracked. So for us, the best solution is to avoid anything that’s coming from a frame of control. Instead, you should try to come from a frame of empowerment as much as possible. This has been very successful for us, managing a team remotely for many years.
Clockify - time tracker
Tracking the number of working hours is very important in any business. To track the number of hours worked by your staff members, we recommend the app called Clockify. It has an extension that can be put inside Google Chrome.
We deploy this to everyone’s account automatically by our Google workspace administration panel. And from there, we ask our team members to log what they’re doing in their different work projects inside the time management app.
Now, in this way, you’re not imposing control and distrust. You’re simply asking your staff what they are actually doing and comparing that to the tasks they set up at the start of the day and they report to their managers.
What we love about using this time billing software is it’s voluntary for the team to report what they’re working on. And as a leader or as a manager, you get the opportunity to review what work they’ve said they’ve done, similar to a kind of timesheet. The software also allows managers to analyse whether or not they think a staff member submits an actual fair timesheet.
The most important thing here is the synthesis between the actual time data being built and a load of work being delegated. And that’s where the art of good leadership and good management comes in.
2. Have clear KPIs when you manage remote teams
Our next tip is to have clear KPIs for your team, making sure that these are measurable, easy to understand, and can have the right kind of impact on your business. Now, we use several tools to collaborate with our team and ensure that we’re in good communication when we’re working remotely. So we use an app called Asana for task management. We obviously use Google workspace for all of our communication and collaboration, scheduling and holding meetings, and even chit-chatting with each other.
We’ve built a business dashboard for all the KPIs in our business. Now, KPIs aren’t necessarily something that you would track day-to-day, but in the cadence of your business. Whether it’s weekly or monthly reporting, you can use KPIs to track the performance of your team members.
One sample of KPI for a salesperson might be the number of calls or interactions they’ve had with customers and probably their conversion rate on their deal. Now from that data, it’s pretty easy to see if you have an outlier.
And so having solid KPIs that the team needs to report on regularly, can give you the insight that you need, without having to focus on the command and conquer control frameworks and control strategies.
3. Have an excellent culture even for remote teams
Finally, the best way to have your team working diligently with each other is to have a culture of honesty, a culture of diligent work, and a culture where you have built intrinsic motivation where your team members have pride in their work. This culture makes everybody want to show up every day and do a great job.
What that means is that you’re more likely not to do any micromanaging of your team. You, as the business owner or business leader, want to make sure that you’ve got each team member in the right seat of the bus for them to work to their strengths. And when that happens, your business is set on the right path.
Businesses that have good culture are the businesses that always perform better, that’s how you can make remote working easy. Whether you’re working in an office or remotely, it’s better if you’ve got a good working culture. Surely, you will all succeed together.