3 Tips For Managing A Remote Team
We’re 15 months on from the first official lockdown and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had to adapt our day-to-day routine in work. Some more established businesses have had the astronomical task of reinventing the way that hundreds/thousands of people work and others have had the difficulties of scaling their start-up in the height of lockdown. We definitely fall in the latter part of that, so we thought it would be a great idea to share our findings over the past 15 months and share some processes that have massively helped our business manage a remote team while scaling significantly.
Throughout this blog, we’ll briefly outline our 3 top tips for managing a remote team and directly comment on how we’ve implemented these tips into our business.
1. Workflow, workflow, workflow (and comms)
From a business that used to operate solely on emails, if you haven’t already discovered or implemented a workflow tool or communication platform into your daily routine, we highly recommend doing so.
A workflow tool enables each team member to manage and prioritise tasks each day and also allows management to visibly see what each team member is working on, especially when you don’t have the ability to lean over the desk and ask them. Internally, we actually use Trello, it’s perfectly suited for what we need and has a simple, easy to understand interface for new starters and team members who are new to the platform.
Within the workflow section, we also include communication tools which are slightly different, however, also an important implementation when managing a remote team. We like to look at communication tools as replacing the office general chats (and banter). As a business, we initially ran from google hangouts which worked perfectly until we got to around 14-15 team members, then it became a little too hectic. So, we decided to implement slack into our team and we haven’t looked back since. As a team of over 30, slack enables us to set up different channels for different topics, rather than having a big long chain of messages that everyone has to read.
2. Let your hair down.
One thing that remote working has taken away, especially in a young and growing agency, is the after work pub. As a business that was founded just before lockdown, we actually decided to hire our team based on talent and not location, so we are actually based all around the UK. This was such a good decision in some respects, but in others, we miss the human interaction and typical office banter.
So we decided to set up a Friday afternoon group video call where typically, everyone who wants to, grabs an alcoholic beverage and we have 30 minutes to an hour of letting our hair down and not talking about work. We spend so much of our lives working, that as a business, we want to make it a fun environment for all of our team.
Typically, we run these calls on google meet, however, as the team has expanded, we’re finding we’re getting so many different personalities joining the team that one chat became too much and people wanted individual conversations. So after a recommendation from a client of ours, we’ve recently implemented cosmos.video into our Friday calls which is a virtual venue that has games, break-out areas and the ability to hold private chats and conversations.
3. Video calls are a must.
We found out early on that regular video calls are essential to managing a remote team, without these, we would never see anyone’s faces or really get to know them. As a business we’ve implemented morning calls, every morning, for just 15 minutes with our team split into 2 groups. This call enables the team to see each other every day, to chat about what they have on today and what they would like to achieve and also, to see if they need support from any other team members.
To conclude, we’ve all had to adapt throughout lockdown and our businesses have had to evolve, become more efficient and managing a team from home has been difficult for everyone. However, looking back, lockdown has pushed everyone into finding a better way, stepping up and pulling together as a team.