Managing a remote team: simple rules for success

To successfully manage a remote team, a leader must follow a few simple rules to generate trust, belonging and collaboration beetwen all members of the group.

Surely remote work has many advantages, such as cost reduction, but makes it difficult to implement a strategy and manage the team.

There are professionals who can work and be productive wherever they are in the world and others who need to stay in the office as they feel the need to confront and physically relate to the rest of the team.

To overcome the difficulties of remote management of the team and implement the strategies that lead to success, it is necessary to establish a relationship of trust with all members of the work group. Indeed, as Fabrice Teboul (Marketing Director of Continental Europe) says “Trust in people who work remotely is a key factor for success“.

Once the correct relationship of trust has started, the one who has the task of managing the team in smart working must be adequately informed, as he cannot let technology solve everything by itself. The remote work team leader have to show prudence and know all the problems that may be verify during smart working. In fact, to manage a team remotely he have to consider support and assistance, communication, transparency, independence of the individual, balance between work and private life.

Support and assistance of a smart working team

Nothing should be left to chance, in fact, not everyone will have the appropriate skills for smart working. For this reason, the leader must be present and dynamic and able to patiently manage even the simplest tasks; he also have to guarantee the orientation of the worker to the new procedures, and clearly define the work objectives.

Problems can only be solved by guaranteeing constant assistance and support.

Communication inside of the team in smart working

In most of the cases, the mistakes made inside of the remote teams are attributable to communication problems. The team leader must be available and able to clearly indicate the communication channels to be used; he must be prompt in resolving any problems. Conveying guidelines and implementation procedures to workers is essential to avoid accidents. In remote work management it’s important to define a call time (usually morning) to define daily goals and expectations. It’s also important for the team leader to have feedback on the activities carried out and any suggestions for improvement, in order to implement the working procedures.

Transparency in remote work management

The person who has to manage a remote team often has difficulty in keeping under control the activities carried out by all the staff. For this reason, the task of the team leader is to try to make transparent work and break time in order to facilitate an efficient performance of the work group.

Making the work of the individual professional independent

The team leader must be able to choose the management systems and tools most suitable for carrying out smart working, making sure that all the workers know how to use them to be autonomous. In fact, it is important that through tools such as guidelines and shared files, those who work from home have the maximum autonomy level.

Helping the team to reconcile life with remote work

Working remotely can create a certain sense of loneliness in workers, as they lack physical contact with the rest of the team. The task of the team leader is to transfer to the members of the work group the importance of finding the right balance between work and private life and to help them understand how to do it. Being able to chat with team members about non-work issues, such as exchanging ideas, advice on physical activity, relaxing moments away from home, is a way to share moments with workers and to mark the right breaks.

It often happens that once the worker is able to be autonomous in his or her remote activity, the team leaders gives advices to work within coworking or shared spaces in order to solve the problem of loneliness during smart working.

Working with different resources remotely is not easy. In order to do it at best, as we have seen, you need to be very prepared in resource management, the team must be valid and motivated, it must have trust and see the overall picture while being at a distance. But the results can be excellent and cost-effective.