Distributed teams are notoriously difficult to manage. While teams are hard enough to get on the same page while in the office, a distributed team of remote workers is even more difficult to maintain. Disparate time zones, schedules, and priorities make it more difficult to communicate and collaborate. However, with the use of digital tools and getting rid of unneeded meetings, it can make it easier for everyone to focus on the same goal without being caught up in the hierarchical structure of a typical team.
However, in order to do this, teams need to feel like they are being valued. Although companies need to prioritize profitability to keep growing, they also need to understand the needs of their team and how to make their lives easier. An overworked team is not going to be productive and not produce the results that you want them to, so you’ll have to find a balance between pursuing profitability and properly managing your team to bring out their best capabilities. With that in mind, here is what you need to do to make sure that you bring the most out of your team.
Managing with digital tools
These days, most teams are used to some sort of remote management structure. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most have had a taste of what it is like to work remotely, particularly if they are working behind a desk. However, not all businesses have a staff that can work remotely. For example, service companies, such as plumbers, electricians, and general contractors, have employees that need to go to job sites to perform their job. However, their support staff, including dispatchers and customer service representatives, don’t have to be in an office setting. To help with this, a popular tool for service companies to use is service dispatch software. This software can help with scheduling work orders for your team and help you to keep into account a contractor’s schedule as well so that you do not send them to jobs that are far away or schedule them when they have blocked out time off on their personal calendars.
Digital tools can help in other contexts as well. For example, fully distributed teams can often benefit from a project management tool to help in managing assignments they are working on. This helps to keep a comprehensive schedule of what tasks need to be performed by what person at what particular time, and also hold your team accountable to you and you accountable to your team if anything goes wrong or falls through the cracks. This is a lot more effective than using email or phone calls to manage everything, as it can be difficult to keep track of progress in this way.
Get rid of unneeded meetings
Meetings are an unfortunate fact of life. However, that doesn’t mean that meetings have to be terrible. While all teams need to meet on occasion, an agenda should always be set. To follow this agenda, teams should have access to a cloud-based document such as Google Doc to take collective notes. This can help make the meeting more effective and give everyone a clear way to contribute to the meeting. Making meetings more collaborative not only helps to boost team morale, but it also helps to make team’s feel like their individual contributions are valued.