How to Manage Remote Teams working from Home

With more and more teams working remotely or being forced to work from home due to health concerns, companies are exploring the best way to manage teams working from home and keep the productivity high, business as usual. Below are 5 key tips, software recommendations and advice to help you get the most out of remote working with your team. 

1. Communicating with a Remote Team

Probably the most important point is to maintain open and clear communication if you want to Manage Remote Teams effectively. When you can’t have the same face-to-face time with work colleagues as you would if they were in the office, you should use simple software to engage employees and manage the communication between teams. We use Slack and think it is one of the best team communication platforms out there today. It is simple to use, professional and works extremely well for what it is intended to do. Slack has become an invaluable part of our communication not just for managing people remotely but for all internal communication. 

2. Be Organized and have a Transparent Schedule so People know what to do.

Take the mystery out the plan by having a transparent work schedule so people know what to work on, what is coming in the pipeline, important dates they should be aware of and who is available is critical to a successful and up-to-date member of the team. Using a resource management tool like Hub Planner creates the transparency level in the schedule, understand who is available, and report on key metrics so you can keep it business as usual when people are working from home. This is key if you Manage Remote Teams or people who work from home.

3. Be Open and Emphatic

Don’t think that people are watching movies at home when they should be working, in fact the opposite will most likely happen. Studies show people can be more productive in a different environment where they want to be more results oriented than they would be at the office. We recommend that you should set up planned checkins rather than constant interference or micro managing which disturbs the workflow. Doing a daily stand up meeting like in the Scrum methodology where you can talk to your team in the morning and then again in the late afternoon to get an informal status update can be a productive way to have more engaged team members.

4. Start Using Video Calls

Video calls are a fantastic way to gather people from remote locations, share screens and discuss problems. Just like you would if all the people were sitting in the same office. People are more comfortable nowadays on video chats since the explosion of Skype and FaceTime to mobile and desktop devices. At Hub Planner we use Zoom for all our video calls, the picture is clear and crisp and handles a lot of people on the 1 call. Of course try and keep the team size down to a manageable amount especially in standup calls, otherwise it is difficult to keep the attention of everyone. 

5. What software should we use when managing our remote team?

You need to use a variety of software, while most companies are already using this software in the office, you may find you need to adapt some of your processes to manage people working from home. Not only will you get more out of it, but the team members will also appreciate the structure in place and the transparency to maintain communication flow. These are 5 of the softwares we would advise, but there are plenty more out there. Try keep the list short too.

  1. Team Communication – Slack 
  2. Resource Management – Hub Planner
  3. Document Collaboration – Google Drive
  4. Issue Tracking – Jira
  5. Video Calls – Zoom