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10 ways to effectively manage a remote team

In this new era of flexible and agile working there is simply no need for teams to be in the same location to be highly effective. Remote working has its own unique set of challenges but can also be an incredibly effective approach when you have the right management skills for a remote team.

1. Hone your communications

Different methods of communication work for different tasks and teams, so find out which one achieves what you’re trying to do. For example, you might use email for quick interactions or switch to Google Hangouts if you prefer instant messaging.

2. Standardise systems

When individuals work remotely they can quickly develop their own ways of doing things – and these may not overlap with how others on the team are working. Effectively managing a remote team means ensuring that everyone on the team is working in the same way.

3. Enable flexible hours – up to a point

One of the major benefits of a remote team is being able to offer employees more flexible working hours. However, you also need to make sure that people are online and available at key times when you’re likely to need them.

4. Measure productivity

There are many different ways to analyse whether a remote team is doing well when it comes to productivity. You might want to track the number of hours spent logged on or to set regular goals and targets and review how many of these are reached. Whatever you use it’s important to have some way to measure what is being achieved by a remote team.

5. Implement regular review

A monthly or quarterly review can be incredibly useful when you’re managing a remote team. You’ll be able to provide feedback, adjust arrangements and also get an idea of whether the current approach is working for the team members too.

6. Make sure your team has the right environment

It’s no use employing people to work remotely if they don’t have a WiFi connection at home or they’re going to be busy with other commitments at the same time. Effective remote working requires a quiet environment, with a strong internet connection and somewhere your employees can shut the door if they need to have an important conversation.

7. Try to meet in person

It’s always much easier to motivate a remote team if you have met at least once in person. Try setting up an annual social for your team or make sure you at least have a face-to-face interview with them so they know that there is a person on the other end of your emails.

8. Foster a team atmosphere

It can be difficult for remote workers to feel like part of a team but this is important if you want them to work well together. From scheduling regular Skype catch-ups, to encouraging constructive feedback on others’ work there are lots of ways to remind people that they’re not functioning alone.

9. Involvement in the company culture

Remote workers can feel isolated from the rest of the business which makes it crucial to ensure they are involved in its culture. Take every opportunity to communicate firm values, explain objectives and ensure their own priorities are aligned with the wider business.

10. Use video

When you have a remote team, video is a very powerful tool to communicate, inspire and brief. From video messaging to video reports and presentations, you’ll see much more impact if you switch from text to the moving image.

If you’re managing teams spread over two or more locations our Managing Remote Teams course could give you the tools you need to excel. Get in touch with PTP today.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.