18 JANUARY, 2020


Do you have employees who work remotely? Having a remote team can save you on overhead costs, but it can also be challenging to manage a team outside of the office – especially given that many workplaces have structured their processes and operations around a traditional office environment. The good news is that you can manage your remote team and their performance by using remote channels.

Why managing remote teams can be difficult

Here are some common challenges of managing remote teams:

  • Different time zones – This’ll make it difficult for you to schedule team meetings and find a suitable time for everyone to connect and work on projects together. Plus, waiting for a remote employee to answer an important email will lead to unnecessary downtime and lost productivity.
  • Communication problems – The team may not know what other members are doing or how to contact them, and an in-house employee may exclude sharing information with remote employees. As a result, work progress will suffer and members could feel isolated from the team and company, lowering morale.
  • Lack of accountability – It can be difficult to tell if and when members of the team are working, and they may try to reduce their work time without you knowing.
  • Unclear roles and tasks – The team might not know who is doing what or who to go to when a task must be completed. And since they’re out of sight, their talents and roles might also be overlooked, resulting in an unequal distribution of work.
  • Tracking performance – It can be difficult to ensure that team members complete all their work on time, efficiently, and up to your company’s standards.

How to use remote channels to manage a team’s performance

1. Choose the most appropriate channel/s

There are various communication channels you can choose from to manage your remote team’s performance, such as:

  • Email for feedback or short, neutral interactions involving objective discussions.
  • Instant messaging for general news and group chats.
  • Video conferencing for longer, more detailed talks with everyone in the team.
  • Phone for longer, detailed conversations between two people.

You can also use tools like Slack or Asana to create project channels where you can assign tasks, create schedules, set deadlines, add comments, and share calendars.

2. Develop clear expectations

To ensure everyone is on the same page and that your remote team performs well and how you want them to, set clear expectations on:

  • Work hours and availability.
  • How you’ll communicate.
  • When meetings will take place.
  • Key projects and deadlines.
  • Goals and objectives.

It’s best to use video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts when discussing your expectations. It’ll also allow everyone to meet each other.

3. Constantly communicate

Regular communication is key to managing your remote team and their performance. You can communicate via email, instant messaging, text messages, phone calls, or video calls. This’ll make your remote employees feel included, engaged and valued, which can help boost their performance. It’ll also allow everyone to ask questions and get answers, as well as share ideas, thoughts, problems, and solutions.

Moreover, consistent communication is conducive to good teamwork, which in turn leads to increased productivity, improved morale, and a more positive work environment, in the office or online.

4. Track performance using software

You can track the performance of your remote team by using project management software such as Hubstaff Tasks, Harvest or Patriot. You’ll be able to assign tasks, track projects and productivity, maintain and manage timesheets, add comments, and much more. The software can help you ensure that all work is completed, and that your remote employees use their time efficiently and effectively and meet your standards.

5. Give and accept feedback

Giving and asking for feedback can help you better manage and improve your remote team’s performance. You can give feedback via a project channel in Slack or Asana in the form of constructive criticism and to address any issues or challenges your remote employees are facing. On the other hand, you can collect feedback on projects or work processes via email. Get frequent feedback to make sure your remote employees have everything they need to do their jobs well.

6. Take into account different time zones

Some of your remote employees may be from another state or country. Consider the different time zones when assigning and tracking tasks or sending email for feedback. You can use scheduling software such as Hubstaff Employee Scheduling to schedule shifts for each team member and receive alerts if someone hasn’t started tracking time during that window. You could also use the project channels in your project management software to schedule and track tasks or projects for each team member.

Improve your team’s performance with DeakinCo.

As you can see, using remote channels for communication and tracking projects and productivity can help you effectively manage your team’s performance, no matter where they are in the world. And if you follow these tips, you can support high performance from your remote team.

Helping your teams learn and grow is essential for improving their performance, and this can be achieved through DeakinCo.’s workplace solutions. Contact us today to find out more about how our solutions can assist you and your employees today.