How To Manage A Team Remotely

30 Second-Summary

  • Establishing a strong company routine is essential for rallying the team together and ensuring everyone is on track when working remotely.
  • Morning meetings allow colleagues to check in socially with one another, build comradery, and set their goals for the day together.
  • Keeping an open and clear line of communication within the team is the way forward for effectively managing a remote workforce.
  • Establishing clear expectations for your remote working team is a vital part of ensuring productivity is maintained and balanced with a clear work/life distinction.
  • Even though your team might be working from their home offices, hundreds of miles apart, it’s still important to invest in their comradery and sense of being a true part of the team.
  • See tips for how to unite a remote working team below!

Due to the current climate, many companies have had to pivot to embrace remote working and managing a team working from home. At Absolute Digital Media, we have found remote working so effective for our business that we have committed to becoming a fully remote digital agency.

Moving the agency forward and embracing the benefits of remote working has meant that our team of digital experts has grown and we now have digital gurus across the UK – meaning that we can hire the best of the best!

Yet, with a team spread across the country how are we managing a remote team? And, importantly, how are we keeping our remote team connected?

For more information, or to enquire about our award-winning digital marketing services, get in touch today! Speak to one of the Absolute team members today on 0800 088 6000.

What Is A Remote Team?

A remote team is any team that is working together for one company or organisation, working towards the common goals and objectives of the group. However, they are physically apart, working from their individual work stations.

Remote working teams can vary, from organisations that work half remote and half in office, to fully remote teams who operate purely online.

 

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How To Manage A Remote Team?

Working remotely can bring its challenges, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when employees are forced to work from home and look after other family members. However, often navigating these issues from a business perspective are a lot simpler than you might think.

How To Manage A Remote Team?

Structured Daily Check-Ins

Establishing a strong company routine is essential for rallying the team together and ensuring everyone is on track when working remotely. Scheduling a daily check-in call with your team is the first step to establishing a strong work from home routine.

At Absolute Digital Media, each team starts the day with a department morning meeting. This initial check-in gives our team a clear start to their working day. Plus, starting the day with their colleagues means that, as a team, they are collectively working towards the shared goals of any projects or campaigns they are jointly working on.

Morning meetings allow colleagues to check in socially with one another, build comradery, and set their goals for the day together. This also means that the team is aware of any pressures or deadlines individuals are facing and can offer a helping hand if needed. Providing regular opportunities for team members to air any concerns or questions is vital for maintaining a healthy and effective remote working team.

 

Rich Communication Lines

As well as setting regular check-in opportunities, remote workers need to have rich communication channels with their colleagues to combat isolation and ensure the team is working effectively together.

Video calling platforms such as Teams, Zoom, or Ring Central are perfect tools for ‘face-to-face’ communication lines and allow for visual communication among the team. This is particularly useful for any complex or sensitive conversations that need to be held.

As well as video calling, quick messaging systems are also extremely useful for managing a remote team. Instead of sending an official email, colleagues can shoot a quick message to a team member or group chat for an instant messaging conversation. This will help progress projects forward, minimise blocking your inbox and allow teams to dedicate certain channels to specific projects. For example, making a group chat for each project is a great way of keeping everyone connected and motivated as we work from home.

 

Set A Clear Working Day

Set A Clear Working Day

Establishing clear expectations for your remote working team is a vital part of ensuring productivity is maintained and balanced with a clear work/life distinction. Setting a clear time expectation for the working day will help encourage healthy work remote boundaries and allow your team to focus on their work within these scheduled hours.

Using management tools such as Wrike, Asana or Trello are fantastic for scheduling tasks, identifying team effort, and keeping on top of what each team member is up to throughout the week.

Within this, you can also identify the best times for team members to contact each other. For example, “I’m more responsive to ad hoc tasks in the afternoon”, or “please don’t contact me on a Wednesday morning as I have client calls.” Keeping an open and clear line of communication within the team is the way forward for effectively managing a remote workforce and ensuring everyone works effectively.

 

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The Best Remote Team Building Activities

The biggest concern for managing a remote team is how to maintain a social aspect of working and ensure the team feel connected, despite their physical separation. The team at Absolute Digital Media has been extremely active in maintaining regular team bonding activities and this has enabled the team bond to grow even stronger.

Here are some tried and tested methods for engaging a remote team and building team connectivity:

Scheduled Team Video Calls

As well as our everyday team check-ins, we also hold a weekly full agency meeting on a Friday afternoon, focused on sharing positive news from the week, catching up with colleagues, and often playing games together.

It’s important to schedule regular opportunities for less serious team engagement so that there is a continued sense of team connection. Our Friday Feel Good Meetings (with a drink in hand) are an opportunity to feedback about agency life, share our successes, and feel united as a team. They are one of the many team highlights of the week.

Group Activities: Exercise!

Keeping moving is crucial for everyone’s health and wellbeing, and often, working remotely can lead to team members sitting at their desks all day every day. This isn’t good for your team’s health or your company’s productivity!

Why not schedule team exercise sessions or sponsored walks for everyone to subscribe to? At Absolute, the team enjoys weekly ‘Absolutely Pumped’ exercise classes where PT puts us through our paces on Zoom and the team starts the day feeling united and pumped!

 

Care Packages

Even though your team might be working from their home offices, hundreds of miles apart, it’s still important to invest in their comradery and sense of being a true part of the team.

Why not bring the ‘office comforts’ of your agency to them? At Absolute, we send every new member an Absolute care package complete with a branded mug, mouse pad, snacks, and more to remind them that they are part of the wider A-team! Often, it’s the little things that go a long way to ensuring your team feels connected.

 

One-on-one Meetings

Often, when working remotely, workers could spend hours speaking to someone about work projects but not know anything about that person. When working remotely, the opportunities to get to know your colleagues over a water cooler chat are taken away from us. However, that’s not to say that these opportunities cannot also be made!

Scheduling out opportunities for colleagues to have a one-on-one conversation with a member of their team in a relaxed and social setting does wonders for team connectivity and a shared sense of working together for the good of the organisation. Within our agency, we set people up on ‘lunch dates’ and gift them 20 minutes of their workday to have a lunch takeaway on us and get to know one another over a video call.

 

Ideas For Remote Team Building Activities

If you’re inspired to build your team culture you’re making a good choice! Investing in your team will directly impact their performance results and loyalty to your brand, plus, a happy team means happy clients!

Here are some team building ideas for remote working teams:

    • Virtual, seasonal company events (ie. pumpkin carving at Halloween!)
    • “Good News” team chat
    • Team Pictionary game
    • 2 truths one lie
    • Team ‘blind dates’
  • Virtual cocktail making class
  • Stream a film night together
  • Daily snapshot challenges (ie What’s everyone having for lunch?)
  • Friday meeting and drinks together

So, there we have my top tips for keeping a remote team connected and well managed. How do you find remote working? Join the conversation on Twitter @AbsoluteDMedia and share any tips you may have!