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More and more companies are going remote, and the reasons are obvious – flexibility it offers has a positive effect on productivity, and, nothing less important, it saves money in multiple ways. That sounds great, but it in order for it to work for your team, you have to take into consideration five factors that are key to a successful remote team:

Communication

Communication can be an issue for both remote and in-office workers, as it all relies on communication culture nurtured within the team. Effective use of communication has an important role in building trust, which is a foundation for every successful business. Trust factor is even more important for remote teams, as they lack face-to-face contact.

Regular contact with your team members is the glue that holds a remote team together. With different time zones it’s possible that your working hours don’t match all of your employees’, but sometimes it’s necessary to have them all online at the same time to review project status and plan your strategies.

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Create a better team connection by allowing your employees to give their input and engage more in the whole work process. A good communication is a two-way communication, so allow them to be heard.

Leadership

Behind every successful team is a good leadership. This is true for both in-office and virtual teams. You might nurture teamwork and equality between team members, and that is highly desirable, but even such team environment requires good leadership to hold it together. Good manager’s expertise displays the best when dealing with conflict. But nothing less important, a good management reflects through proper recognition of employee’s contribution.

Goals

Setting goals is a base of every business. This is even more true for virtual teams. Flexible work and time zones make staying updated on everyone’s work difficult. Make sure that everyone stays on track by setting up long-term and short-term goals, and check up on your employees’ progress regularly.

Breaking down goals into tasks helps you distribute work between employees and makes it easier to track how everyone is working towards the main goal.

Technology

Without it, virtual teams wouldn’t exist. Technology is what keeps them together, and allows them to work united while divided.

First things first, and in the case of virtual teams, this means communication tools. There are many different tools you have at your disposal, each suitable for different situations. Emails are good for sending documentation, but are too slow for daily conversation, and can easily get lost in the junk folder. For regular check-ins it’s best to use chatting applications, and sometimes a video call is a must.

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The next important gadget for a remote team is a good employee monitoring productivity software, like Workpuls. This not only makes your managing function a piece of cake, but it creates team transparency. Remote pc monitoring software offers many advanced features that help you see what employees are doing on their computers. Let’s mention a few:

  • App and website usage – this shows what your employees are using at any given time and for how long. Workpuls has a unique feature that allows you to categorize apps and websites into productive, unproductive and neutral, which helps you measure productivity
  • Screenshot – periodic and rule-based screenshots give you proof of what employees are doing. Employees don’t know when it will record their screen and they can’t avoid it. This is really handy in making sure they’re using their work time for work and not leisure
  • Payroll calculator – this is really helpful in distributing earnings, as it helps you pay them accordingly

Take caution when implementing pc activity tracker to your virtual team. Be transparent about why you’re enforcing it, to avoid creating trust issues between you and your employees. Employee monitoring performance software might sound too invading, and they could feel like you’re breaching their privacy.

There’s a way to please both sides, and that is to enforce a policy which explains why employees are monitored, and what is being collected. Another thing you should do in order to prevent any possible legal issues is to make a consent form for your policy. Some countries have laws regarding employee remote monitoring, but they usually just refer to  employee’s consent to being monitored, so having a consent form helps you avoid legal problems concerning using remote employee monitoring tools.

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Feedback Culture

There are many benefits of giving regular feedback to your team. On one hand, you save money and time by dealing with potential issues on time. For your employees, this means keeping them motivated and on top of their performance.

Workpuls helps you create daily, weekly and annual reports which you can use to evaluate each worker’s performance. Make sure to praise the good work and show where they have room for improvement. Both you and your employees want to advance, so make a good use of these reports and offer growth opportunities where applicable.

Final Thoughts

Leading a virtual team presents more challenges than in-office team does, but with tools that support communication, collaboration and transparency, you have what it takes for such team to succeed.

 

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