Tips on working with remote teams
Working with people you don’t see everyday isn’t an easy task. You may be a great manager but still be left wondering about whether work is being done or deadlines are going to be met. Around here we are on the other end of the spectrum more often than not, so based on our experience here are a few pieces of advice on working with remote people and teams:
- Be ready to trust: Whether you want to or not, communication is never just as good as it is when you share office space – meaning trust comes into play, heavy. Hiring for remote work is never the same as hiring for the cubicle next door. Make sure you have, or are ready to build, trust in the other party and his/her/their abilities or you’ll never be comfortable.
- Always tell, never hide: More than managing people, you’ll be managing their expectations and a relationship. It may sound corny, but it’s like love: unspoken things will eat away at you and the other party (whether that’s an individual or a whole team). If you don’t want anyone to be disappointed or bitter, be straightforward at all times.
- Help, don’t bother: Communication is key, but over-communication is a sin. If you trust whoever you’re working with guide them as to what you need but don’t be on top of them every 30 minutes – or they won’t have time to deal with you and the work. Micromanaging may work, but only until someone gets pissed.
- Be flexible: Working remotely requires adaptation to how the other party is comfortable doing what they do. Setting comfortable values for when to communicate is of utmost importance, because you may end up being either be too lax or too hands-on on keeping control.
Have you been working with people remotely? Any tips to share with other readers? Make sure you leave a comment.