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As our workforce spreads across the globe, businesses need to manage international teams from afar. In fact, our commissioned research found that over a third of business managers and directors around the world are planning to allow their teams to work remotely for one or two days per week next year.
As exciting as this is, it does present a problem or two for managers trying to control and motivate their remote teams. They need to find the right balance between being a present and supportive leader without removing any of the benefits employees gain from working outside the office. Here are our top tips to help you run your global team.
Be trusting: Our study found that 56% of telecommuters believe remote working helps them concentrate, while 53% think it provides a welcome change of scenery and a way of avoiding ‘cabin fever’. As long as you trust that your team to get the job done, you can take a step back and allow them to organise and arrange their own schedules. With a more independent, confident and happier team, you should see positive outcomes in the quality of work produced.
Stay in touch: Remote management is more about providing a support framework that allows your team to stay in the loop, wherever they are. Around 86% of workers think that managers and staff should use instant messaging and phone calls to remain in contact. This shows that regular check-ins are a good thing, even if it’s just to make sure your team members have everything they need.
Provide useful tools: Software providers are becoming much more geared towards solutions for employees on the move. Project management and communication tools like Asana, Slack and Harvest can help everyone stay up to speed with your business objectives, but there are plenty more cloud-based innovations that you can try too. Take a look at accounting tools like Wave or Zendesk’s customer service solutions.
Plan regular meetings: Face-to-face catch-ups remain an essential part of management. Structuring these as far in advance as possible will give your team deadlines to work with and can also give them a designated time and space to raise any questions about ongoing projects.
Share inspiration: Offices are still useful for important conversations and to allow workers to share ideas and inspiration. Even without a fixed office, around 69% of people told us that co-working spaces provide a similar level of inspiration through the sharing of skills and experiences. So whether it’s through brainstorming meetings at your central office or through free-thinking messenger chats, don’t forget to share those ideas to get your team thinking positively and creatively.