In today’s digital age you have the privilege to work with talents from across the globe. You can create a virtual team who can collaborate together to work on a project.
I have been working with remote teams for quite a few years now. I also manage the remote teams of my clients. I find it very beneficial for both the start-ups and the established business.
With the remote team, you have the ability to hire resource on the project basis i.e. you only get to pay them when they actually work on the project. It helps to reduce the fixed cost of the business.
You also get to choose resource from across the world that gives you the opportunity to work with great pool of talents
But, Is it easy to work with a remote team? No. It’s not that simple. Working with a remote team requires an organized process in place. Not having a systematic approach will lead you nowhere!
Here are some of the tips to manage a remote team perfectly:
1. Use of digital tools – When your team is not physically present, make the best use of available digital tools to get connected with them. There are various forms of digital tools that I use to keep myself connected with my team:
- Instant Messaging – Slack, Skype, Hangout etc.
- Project Management Tool – Asana, Basecamp, Trello, etc.
- Voice and Video Call
2. Transparent communication – When your team is working virtually, you sometimes might not know what’s happening on the other side. So, having a transparent communication is very important. Keep your team updated about the current status of the project, client’s feedback, upcoming projects etc. It will help your team to be prepared for future projects and they will make them available when the need come.
3. Weekly voice/video call – Even though you are in touch with your team regularly on emails and messages, it is important to have a voice or video call with them at least once a week.
I find these weekly calls very interesting. Sometimes I get some great business ideas while talking to my team.
When your team is working in different time zones, find an overlapping time period when everyone is available and organize a meeting during these times.
4. Cloud computing – Cloud computing is a lifesaver when you work with a virtual team. You just have to save all your project documents in a cloud (Google Drive, OneNote, Evernote etc.) and you are free from sending files to and fro with your team.
We mostly use Google drive. Every team member (who has given the access) can make changes to the document that others can see in real time.
5. Implement systems – And last but definitely not the least, all the points mentioned above come down to having a standard system in place. Without having set process, workflows, and procedures, your business can fall apart.
When you are working with a real team, you might get saved even if you do not have a system and process because you can always go directly to people and talk about any issue. There is very little chance of miscommunication. (Although I always recommend having a system)
But, when you work with a virtual team, everyone has their own way of doing work. They might have their own process and procedures, which is not in align with you and other team members working on the project.
So, It’s always beneficial to have a documented and standardized processes and workflow which every team member can refer to.
When I start working with any new client as a project manager, I first work on creating systems and workflows (If not already available) such as what will be the approval process? What is the standard process to be followed by each team (Designer, Developer, Copywriters etc.)? Etc.
We are living an awesome age of digitization. And, what better way to use this time to the fullest than working with a virtual team and enjoy all the benefits it brings to your business.