Remote Team Management: Overcoming Common Challenges

Remote working has been getting more popular as more and more professionals are starting to embrace all the benefits that come with distributed teams. Some say that flexible work arrangements have even become more of a norm versus the exception, as many companies thrive with freelancers who work from the comfort of their own homes. However, in order to lead successful virtual employees and get the results you want, you will need to focus on remote team management skills.

The preference for working remotely has been met by a favorable response. Companies around the world have realized that the benefits of remote work are mutual. As a consequence, the number and size of teams working remotely is growing at a fast pace.

To lead virtual employees and get results, you need remote team management skills. Click To Tweet

People in charge of remote teams know very well that it’s not all smooth sailing trying to manage a remote team. However, rest assured that there are foolproof ways to overcome the obstacles.

How remote management can get tricky

Managing one or several teams working in the same office is difficult enough as it is. Throw in differences in time-zones, language and culture – and everything becomes even more challenging.

When things get troublesome, the first instinct may be to get away from it all. However, in a distributed team you can’t just abandon ship, especially if you’re the captain. If you’re leading a distributed workforce, you need to remember that the benefits of remote employees outweigh the struggles of remote team management.

The benefits of remote employees outweigh the struggles of remote team management. Click To Tweet

Challenge no. 1: Setting up the team

It doesn’t make much difference if you’re setting up a remote team or looking for new members to join an existing one. Finding competent remote workers is never easy. It’s true that the freelance market is bigger than ever, but that fact doesn’t always work in your favor.

There’s a good chance that you will end up with an abundance of candidates for your remote team. The good news is that you can discover top-notch talents from all over the world. However, to get to these gems, you’ll have to go through countless applications from inadequate freelancers.

Learn how Hubstaff Staffing can help you find and manage excellent freelancers.

Challenge no. 2: Organizing projects and tasks

There are many threats to project management, and even more so if you’re working remotely. One of the dangers that appear quite frequently with remote work comes from scope creep. Scope creep is a situation where the range of goals is stretched beyond the original scope of plans while the project is still in progress.

Going beyond the outlined plans usually starts out gradually, only to end in what seems like unexpected chaos. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned remote team manager, project organization should be one of your topmost priorities.

Read about how we use Trello to manage our marketing projects.

Challenge no. 3: Managing employees and workflow

When it comes to attaining success in remote work, your employees are probably the most important variable in the equation. You have to keep them motivated, focused and collaborative. Effective communication flow is vital to working efficiently, so you also have to pay attention to the team members who aren’t good communicators (a crucial skill in remote work).

Keep remote workers motivated, focused and collaborative. Click To Tweet

In terms of workflow, you’ll have to recognize which team members are most competent for different types of tasks. There should be a clear workflow structure that employees can refer to when questions arise or approval is needed. As the manager of the team, you should make the workflow completely clear to avoid confusion or mistakes.

Challenge no. 4: Keeping all parties happy

Regardless of your experience as a team manager, always keep in mind that there are as many different personalities as there are people. As a remote team manager, you’ll likely be dealing with both team members and clients who vary in likes, dislikes, communication styles and personalities.

It’s of utmost importance to acknowledge that one man’s heaven can be another man’s hell. When dealing with both your employees and clients, you have to keep all points of view in perspective. By ensuring that all parties involved in the work process are on the same wavelength, you eliminate potential setbacks before they even occur.

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How Hubstaff can improve remote team management

Founded in 2012, Hubstaff is a company whose main goal is improving remote collaboration and team management. Hubstaff was founded by people who have dealt with literally every remote team management problem possible. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Hubstaff has the background experience to provide excellent solutions for effective remote team management.

The team behind Hubstaff is 100% remote, meaning they are working examples of a functional, effective distributed team. Hubstaff’s team is able to provide answers to different concerns in remote team management, and the answers are not limited to software solutions.

Hubstaff is best known for its all-inclusive time tracking for remote teams. It utilizes a desktop app that works offline and covers every aspect of remote work monitoring. The app takes randomized screenshots to provide a transparent picture of what work is being done and activity levels to show insight into productivity. It also tracks URLs visited and applications used while the timer is running. These records are automatically compiled into timesheets and reports that can be used to analyze your team members, bill clients or simply get an overview of ongoing projects. Furthermore, Hubstaff offers automatic payments to make pay days seamless, accurate and on time, every time.

In addition to the remote team management software, Hubstaff can also solve challenge no. 1 and help you set up your remote team. Visit their dedicated contractor page to learn about how they can eliminate the headache of recruiting and screening new employees for your distributed team.

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The practical solutions from Hubstaff will make remote team management seamless and efficient, but there are times when you’ll need more than just the tools–you’ll need practical advice and guidance. Virtual team managers have to keep an open mind and continue to learn and adapt as new strategies and technologies come out. You can stay on top of industry news and learn from others’ experiences with Hubstaff University.

Learn remote team management with Hubstaff University

As a company founded by individuals experienced in each facet of remote working, Hubstaff has decided to share the wisdom. Although they work hard to share lessons in growth and more on their blog, they took it a step further with Hubstaff University.

Hubstaff University is a structured collection of handbooks, posts and video materials available completely free of charge. It’s a curriculum and resource for anyone interested in mastering remote work. The materials contain unveiled secrets to successful remote working in the form of tips, tricks and detailed guides.

Hubstaff University includes advice for a wide range of issues related to remote working. It doesn’t matter if you’re the remote team manager or a remote employee, Hubstaff has it all covered. Some of the guides address issues related to team building, prioritizing, management issues or productivity problems.

You can begin with one of the shorter guides, or go straight to the handbooks. In the videos section of Hubstaff University you can also find some of the assorted Hubstaff Webinars. Whichever subsection of Hubstaff University you choose first, you will always come across insightful ideas and comprehensive advice.