Remote teams may be the way of the future, but learning to manage remote workers sometimes comes with a steep learning curve. Working remotely and managing remote teams is an entirely different experience than on-site work because of the unique challenges that are presented within a remote working environment. Frequently, remote workers can feel disconnected from the rest of the team and communication gaps can start to creep in. By understanding how these issues begin to occur and utilizing proven solutions to eliminate them, you can start advancing toward a more productive and connected remote team. 

Have as much support available as possible

What kind of support is in place for your remote workers? Make sure that there are multiple points of contact – the easier you make it for your employees to reach out, the more likely they will be to do so. When your team members know that it takes longer than it should to get in contact with someone for a quick question, they’re more likely to brush the issue under the rug. Your team needs to be able to contact support quickly in order to eliminate miscommunication and move on to the next task. Establish email, phone, social media, and video support along with any other mediums frequently used by your organization. Also, make sure your employees have the technology they need to do their jobs securely and efficiently

Make sure everyone is on the same page at the beginning of a project and during crucial points in the process

Make use of web conference services to create webinars and presentations for your employees. Video conferencing all but removes the physical barriers between you and your remote team. You’ll be able to engage with your team, no matter how large your operation is. Ideal for training, briefings, live events, and more, web conference software allows employees to start projects off right and stay on track throughout the process. 

Help remote workers stay organized and on-track

Project management software will help organize your teams into smaller groups, present tasks in a clean interface, and deliver assets and resources to your employees. Using a project management solution, a remote worker can log into and quickly understand where their responsibilities lie within a project. You can create answers to frequently asked questions, provide further clarification for each project, link to external resources, and upload helpful files. A project management solution generally acts as a “home base” for remote teams, because it houses so much helpful information for employees, including deadlines and specific tasks. 

Make weekly recaps routine

When employees feel like they don’t know what’s going on at the company they work for, a disconnect can start to occur. Try asking your employees to submit a weekly recap of their biggest achievements, the challenges they encountered, and their goals for next week for everyone to read. Your employees will feel in-the-know and connected to the company, they will get to know one another, and they’ll feel less alone. You might conduct scheduled recaps video conference to have employees present their findings. You could also create a chat channel in your project management software specifically for these weekly exchanges. Fostering frequent communication between team members is central to running a well-connected team. 

Plan team-building events

Team-building looks different depending on the size of your organization and how spread out your employees are. The main takeaway from this tip is that team-building helps remote workers create more meaningful connections with their employer and their co-workers. When employees feel connected to the company they work for, they’re more engaged and productive. Some companies plan quarterly retreats or annual events for their staff. Some hold virtual team-building games and events as a more cost-effective method of bringing their employees together.