Remote teams require extensive support from management to thrive. Remote teams do best when they have the tools required to facilitate efficient collaboration. Special tools are required because collaborating from afar is different than in person.
When your team works from individual locations as opposed to working out of a centralized office, you can’t call a quick meeting to update everyone or tap some shoulders to collaborate on the fly.
Although it’s challenging, it’s not impossible to support a virtual team. You just need the right tools and the right company structure. Not sure where to begin? The following tools and strategies will help.
1. Syncro MSP
If you’re a managed service provider, you’ve probably realized that no matter how much help you get, it requires a ton of time and effort to run your business. Hopefully, you have a full team on your side, but even so, the MSP industry is demanding. You have to be on call 24/7 to manage customer service, monitor remote processes, handle sales, invoices, and stay on top of cyber security.
Syncro MSP streamlines tasks and processes to support business owners and their teams to stay organized and efficient. This integrated platform handles all the small tasks that eat up most of your time and payroll. Tasks like handling customer service tickets, invoicing, processing online payments, email marketing, and data reports can all be managed within Syncro MSP’s unified platform.
Syncro MSP’s automated processes free you up to spend your time and money growing your business and fine-tuning your strategies.
2. A flexible company structure for submitting work
When your team works in an office, it’s easy to set deadlines throughout the day. However, with a virtual team, deadlines need to be flexible. Don’t worry, flexible deadlines won’t encourage people to slack off. On the contrary, flexible deadlines give remote workers the freedom to get their work done and manage their lives with minimal stress.
If you’re worried about productivity declining by not setting hard and fast deadlines every day, know that 85% of businesses report an increase in productivity with remote teams. Many of these companies allow employees to set their own schedules and have flexible deadlines.
You can’t keep remote employees on call from 9am-5pm like you would have in an office. The more flexibility employees have, the more productive they are.
Most remote workers run their personal lives around their work tasks and aren’t sitting at the computer the entire time waiting for direction. They’re self-motivated, they keep track of their own tasks, and meet their deadlines by doing the work in their own time. This makes it nearly impossible to assign and manage deadlines for a virtual team like you would manage an in-house team.
3. Google Drive
There are infinite file storage and sharing tools out there, but almost everyone has a Google account and that means they have easy access to Google Drive.
Google Drive may not be the ultimate file storage or sharing solution, but it’s easy to use and anyone with a Google account can use it without having to remember yet another set of login credentials.
Amazon Web Services is another good option for storing data, but for daily use, Google Drive is better.
4. Connections via email and video chat
Remote teams should connect with each other to share life updates, thoughts, and just casually chat once in a while. Doing so makes team members feel more connected to each other and less isolated. Teams that feel connected produce better work.
Make it a habit to send out an email once every couple of weeks to check in with your team to find out how they’re doing. Encourage your team to talk to each other and share a bit about their lives. They’ll feel like they’re truly part of a team.
If you’re like most businesses, you’re probably using Zoom for video conferencing, so why would you need Skype? What’s great about Skype is that you can send instant messages to people and they’ll get those messages in real time on their computer or their phone.
You don’t need to use Skype for planned video conferencing, but it’s great for sending quick messages to people who aren’t expecting a video call. Unlike Zoom, many people keep Skype open while they work.
Want more tools? There are endless options
These are just five tools and strategies you can use to support your remote team. For a long list of collaboration and organizational tools, check out the ultimate list of virtual team tools from the Couch Manager and see what’s right for you.