Nowadays, many companies have decided to adopt a remote work structure. And it is not just because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Having a remote workforce comes with a couple of benefits. Studies have shown that organizations that have remote workers have lower turnover rates. It also boosts employee happiness and productivity. Resulting to decrease in overhead cost.
Despite that, you might still be wondering how you can finish a project. Let alone manage a remote team.
Well, let us show you how:
1. Use the right project management tools
Having a remote team means you are less likely to meet your team in person. There is also a chance that you will experience a delay in responses or in implementing changes.
Hence, the best way to be efficient when managing a remote team is to use the right tools.
What tools you use will depend on the kind of team you have and the projects you are working on. Nonetheless, it is vital that the tools can help you do the following:
- Streamline your communication line
- Update your tasks
- Store and secure your output
The key to choosing a project management tool is that it should give you an overview of your project. Doing so allows your remote team to get things done.
2. Keep communication lines open
As mentioned earlier, you are less likely to meet your team members in person. Hence, it would help if you kept the communication lines open.
In relation to this, Ian Giles of The Crossover shared six communications habits of effective remote teams:
- Be mindful of your tone.
- Give every communication tool a purpose.
- Integrate an online calendar.
- Allow a just-for-fun communication chatroom.
- Have a channel for task check-ins and milestones.
- Don’t forget to celebrate success.
Keep in mind that effective communication forges meaningful relations between colleagues. It does not matter whether you work in the same space or function remotely.
3. Keep your team accountable
Faulty communication can kill a project for sure. But so are vague expectations and roles. Hence, making everyone in your remote team accountable is vital.
To make your team accountable, it is crucial to define the purpose of the project. Next is to appoint someone who will be responsible for completing a particular task.
It will also help if you inform your remote team how each task ties with one another. Doing so will motivate them to get things done since they know how their actions can help achieve their goals.
4. Adopt agile methodology
Being agile is more than putting Agile project management practices in place. It has something to do with making improvements and being efficient at what you do.
Going agile reinforces autonomy, communication, discipline, and efficiency.
That’s because remote team members rarely have overlapping schedules. Nonetheless, they can work on what needs to be done, ensuring that you are making progress. It also reduces the risk of missing a deadline.
Moreover, agile project management enables you to be strategic in developing your process. The same thing goes when allocating a task. This also explains why Agile methodology usually works in a remote team.
5. Stay on track using status report
There is more managing a remote project than allocating tasks and learning when a team member has a problem. It is also crucial that you know the status of the project on different levels.
This is where a project status report comes in. It keeps you, your team, and clients updated on what is going on. That said, you will need to write different status reports depending on who will read it.
Regardless, it should include the following:
- Actions you took that are critical for the business
- The progress you are making (i.e., “Phase 1 is done.”)
- Associated risks (e.g., “Making changes here can affect the following steps)
Robyn Birkedal shared different types of status reports and templates that you can build upon.
6. Encourage feedback
As a project manager, it is imperative to encourage feedback among your team members. It does not matter whether you are an in-house or a remote workforce.
That’s because it helps you achieve the following:
- Optimize and streamline your process
- Get things done efficiently and in time
- Create a clear picture and encourages transparency
- Helps adopt new knowledge and kills
- Prevents making repetitive mistakes
- Helps generate better results
Hence, it would be ideal to make room for giving and receiving feedback when working on a remote project.
7. Clean and organize your workspace
According to Maid Sailors office cleaning service NYC, keeping your workplace clean and organized no matter where you’re working is a great way to manage your projects effectively.
The workplace is a space that you should use for work and nothing else.
We can start by taking care of the physical space, but don’t forget the digital space too. A clean workspace helps you focus on your tasks and stay away from distractions. It also helps you prioritize what you need to do first, and what can wait until later.
One example of cleaning your digital workspace is to clean up your inbox and organize your files so that they are easy to find when you need them again. This step will make it easier for you to work on your remote projects with ease.
There is no denying that many companies now prefer to hire remote employees. Regardless, it can pose challenges when managing projects for clients.
That’s why it would be best to keep the above tips and use it as you move forward with remote workforce.
Doing so ensures that you have a streamlined process, be efficient in what you do, and get things done on time.