Home-based businesses are part of the major drivers of the technological economy. The number of home-based businesses have been increasing and is estimated to be around 38 million in the U.S. alone. Home-based businesses are a lucrative market, with estimated total revenue of $427 billion per year. A percentage of home-business even earn between $100,000 – $500,000 per year. However, running a home-based businesses means working with remote employees. You would still want to have a website or an app but you would need to know how to get them done remotely, this should be of more help to alleviate this burden – one great option, in this case, is outstaffing.
How to Manage a Remote Team
Outstaffing is where businesses hire distributed teams or remotely based staff. Outlined below are some tips and tricks on how to manage a remote team. And the tools to better capitalize on outstaffing.
- Outline and reinforce your goals.
Having a team that works towards a common goal improves the chances for a business to succeed. With an overall goal, the team will be able to define and align their individual objectives. With clear goals and objectives identified, team productivity and team efficiency will improve.
- Define your and your team’s expectations.
If goals and objectives define the purpose of remote team collaboration, expectations shed light on how the goal will be achieved. How your team will achieve their individual goals – such as tools, timelines, project management paradigms, and others. Remote workers may have varied expectations on how the work should be done. It would be best to discuss with your team beforehand and do your best to come up with a compromise. Team efficiency is improved with clear work timelines and deliverables.
- Manage them as you would local teams.
Without the trappings of a physical office environment, it may be a challenge to build a working environment when working with remotely distributed teams. However, cultivating a similar work environment of openness and accessibility for you and each of your team members will be an asset to your team dynamic. This ensures that everyone is comfortable and open to communicate.
- Establish and maintain communication.
Communication, specifically regular communication and engagement, is essential to the success of remote team collaboration. Because of the distributed team setup, face to face or personal interactions with your team members can be difficult. Which is why establishing team communication tools and regular communication is paramount. Through regular communication and engagement business progress, feedback, improvements, and team rapport are built and maintained.
- Build individual and group capacity.
Communication should also be utilized to improve the skills of both the team and its individual members. Regular team conferences or consultations are opportunities to identify where the improvements can be made to the team and the project. One on one consultations or discussions can be made to build team members skills on different aspects of the projects. This improves the skills and capacity of the team overall and provides the project more potential for growth.
- Identify a common set of tools.
A common set of tools will enhance team efficiency. Collaboration, information transfer, and project management are more manageable with consistent tools. There are numerous tools that you and your team can choose from with today’s technology. Work with your team to come up with a set of tools that everyone is comfortable using and is essential to the business and project.
- Establish a safe and inclusive zone.
It is also important to ensure that the working environment that you and your team have is safe and inclusive for everyone. Safe in a sense that anyone from the team is comfortable enough to raise issues and concerns that they may have with the project or other team members. Having a safe environment assures members that they can speak and, in turn, promote change on how the team and business works. This also raises the profile of your business as a safe and inclusive place to work at.
Tools to Manage Remote Teams
In our technological age, there are numerous remote team management software tools you can use. Remote management software tools can cover different aspects of collaborating with remote teams. The essential aspects of remote team collaboration are communication, collaboration, and project management.
Establishing and maintaining regular communication with the team members ensures that everyone is aware and up to date with the progress of the projects and the business. Remote team communication tools also provide a platform for feedback, discussions, and capacity building.
Tools: Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, Zoom
Team collaboration tools assist in monitoring the progress of the business and the individual team members. These tools are essential when multiple individuals are working on the same project or product. In software development, collaboration tools help preserve and update code versions and contributor logs.
Tools: Github, Invision
Project management tools tie together the different aspects of the business and projects and are used to monitor and oversee the entirety of a project. These tools provide a platform for both communication and collaboration. On a higher level, project management tools provide the means for monitoring communication and collaboration of multiple projects.
Tools: Trello, Asana, Confluence
Remote Team Collaboration as a Business Paradigm
Running a successful and sustainable home-based business requires extensive work and maintenance. Alternative manpower options such as out-staffing help businesses to lighten this burden. A successful out-staffing venture necessitates remote team collaboration. Regular communication, team collaboration, and project management tools are some of the essential tools that make a successful remote team collaboration.
Utilizing project management software tools and remote team communication tools can go a long way towards easing and streamlining business and project management processes, and improving team efficiency and team productivity. Working with remotely distributed teams may be a challenge, but, with the right tools and mindset, will be worthwhile and advantageous in this rapidly growing technological economy.