Managing workers in-office is challenging enough, but what about remote workers? According to a 2017 Gallup poll, an estimated 43 percent of American workers do some form of remote work. These are just your telecommuters. Combine that with outsourced global workers and the percentage increases, especially for startups.
The very nature of the startup is remote. Most startups have humble beginnings at kitchen tables, coffee shops, and dusty garages. The remoteness of startups often becomes part of the company culture after growth and dedicated office space.
So how do you manage remote workers effectively to ensure powerful collaboration and increased productivity? Here are 5 remote work management hacks you can use for your startup.
1. Organize remote teams using innovative tech
One of the most important aspects to remote worker management is to keep remote workers and projects organized. This means integrating project management tools into the workflow. The good news is that there are innovative remote team organization platforms available online.
Top project management platforms include:
These project management tools serve up a live chat, real-time feedback, email integration, calendar views, and more. Once you find the right project management tool for your remote workers, employ it. Just be sure to provide training on the platform of choice to ensure productivity goes up.
2. Hold Monthly Check-Ins
Are your remote workers part of the conversation? Another essential remote worker management hack is to make transparency remote. Transparency is certainly a buzzword, and implementing it into your startup culture can boost efficiency and productivity.
How do you get more transparent with remote workers? It’s actually easier than you may think. Hold monthly check-ins with your team, both in-house and remote to spread current and future business news, as well as get valuable feedback.
Next time you gather the team, patch in the remote team via Skype or Zoom to make everyone part of the conversation. This can be valuable for remote departments, like marketing or your remote sales team.
3. Be an available startup founder
The startup culture can be a bit chaotic at times. As a founder and entrepreneur, you probably have your plate full, from investor meetings to developing new products and services to keep innovation alive.
However, a strong startup founder is one who always makes time for the team, and this includes the remote team too. You can be accessible via email, on Slack or Skype, even WhatsApp. Just be available.
Whatever your communication style may be, by staying consistent and predictable, you will create a fluidity in your business that your employees, customers and vendors will come to expect and rely on,- Jack Fischman explained in a Forbes article.
4. Encourage remote workers to make decisions
Being an accessible founder is certainly a powerful remote worker management hack for startups, but this can cause a pitfall in the production process. To be an accessible founder, but also a leader, you’ll need to empower your remote team.
It generally makes sense to empower remote team members to make day-to-day decisions, rather than getting approval from HQ, The level of decision making should vary by role, but successful remote team members typically prefer this type of freedom and are often more effective when given the latitude to make decisions.- Tom Wozniak noted in Forbes Communications Council.
This means giving remote workers the power to make decisions on multiple business aspects within their departments. Let’s say your remote marketing consultant is continually messaging you about social media marketing budgets. Instead of continually giving the green light on a campaign amount, empower them to make decisions based on rules. For instance, let your marketer make the call on anything under $500.
After every month review charges and ROI and make a decision if it had value for the startup. By encouraging your remote team to make decisions without you can increase productivity and empower them to take ownership of their work.
5. Have in-person team building once a year
A remote worker management hack for startups is one that many startup founders simply don’t do – but absolutely should. Bringing the whole team together once a year may not be affordable, but to boost team cohesion and synergy, it is necessary.
If you have a solid team in place that is perpetually showing results, get them together to make the bond even stronger. This can have a big-time productivity boost. You can hold a get together in a centrally located place for all to attend, or bring everyone remote into HQ for a few days.
A synergized team that takes as much ownership in startup success is a team that will continue to churn out exceptional results.
Wrapping Up . . .
There are a number of remote worker management hacks for startups. The above are just the tip of the iceberg, but some of the most vital is to employ as a startup founder. You want to invest time and give your remote team the tools to be efficient and productive.
After all, they are the foundation that is helping bring your entrepreneurial endeavor to fruition.