If your business spans multiple geographies or multiple time-zones, then you may be managing a team that is spread across multiple locations. Managing remote teams can be a bit of a challenge, it is a different dynamic than when you have everyone that you are working with together in one office.
In this article we take a look at some of the latest tools that can help you maximize the performance of your team and ensure that you are delivering the results and outcomes that your business needs.
Use real-time communication
One of the most critical challenges that faces a team working remotely from each other is how to effectively communicate. Just because you are not in the same office with each other does not mean that you communicate less, if anything it makes communication even more critical to the success of your business. Using real-time communication tools such as Slack is a great way to organize conversations by project or subject group, but also look for opportunities for video communication. Face-to-face communication includes a lot of non-verbal, visual cues that are missed when conveying information via the written word. If you can’t physically be with your team members to communicate important information, then video is the next best thing. Make sure that you prioritize video for performance feedback or major business updates.
Use collaborative work-systems
One of the common downfalls of teams who are working remotely from each other is when information is not shared correctly, or an out-of-date version of a document is relied on instead of the most current version. The days of version control and emailing documents from staff member to another are a thing of the past. Use tools and platforms that enable multiple users to be working on something at the same time, simultaneously. Edits are made in real-time, so everyone knows that they always have the most current version in front of them.
Use a cutting edge CRM system
Your team may not be a revenue generating sales team, but you will have clients or customers in some shape or form – even if they are purely internal. Using a customer relationship management system such as Dynamics CRM is an essential tool for remote teams. Customer relationship management tools come in all shapes or sizes, and can generally be tailored to the specific needs of your team. From the perspective of a team that is working remotely from each other, the benefit of using a CRM system is that it enables everyone to see in real-time what the status is on a specific customer, and what the last contact or product interaction has been. This boosts your team’s efficiency by sharing knowledge and allowing real-time response to any customer queries.
Ultimately, no matter how cutting edge the technology you have, or how forward thinking your tools, effectively managing remote teams comes down to understanding how people work and how to get the best performance out of them. Having the best tools is part of the picture but also only ever part of the total solution.