Managing remote teams is not new but due to recent events, many businesses have been forced to explore the work from home model in an effort to remain productive and keep business going. This can be a bit scary and challenging when you’re accustomed to managing your team in an office environment. 

One of the main concerns of leaders is the ability to keep the team focused and productive.  Start by setting the expectation early on so everyone is on the same page. Aside from having a whole lot of trust and patience, you’ll want to leverage technology to keep your team on task and your mind at ease.

Below are my favorite tools for managing small remote teams.

1. Zoom

During this time you’ll want to keep the lines of communication flowing.  It’s better to over-communicate than to under-communicate. Zoom allows you to have those quick morning huddles, one on one check-ins or you can use the webinar version to conduct online training for larger groups.

2. Asana

New work from home employees may find it a bit challenging at first to stay on track and can be easily distracted. Asana allows managers to help teams stay focused on goals by assigning tasks with deadlines.  Employees can provide updates to assure that deadlines are being met and share the status of projects and tasks being performed.

3. G-Suite

There’s nothing worse than needing to access a document that someone has stored within their home directory.  While G-Suite contains a full range of tools from Gmail to google docs that are awesome for business, I enjoy the ability to share folders and documents within the team or with specific individuals. A shared link can also be uploaded within Asana and attached to a project or task for easy access.

4. Rescue Time

Working from home can be distracting at times, with social media right at your fingertips, time can easily slip away.  Rescue Time productivity reports allow you to see where your team is spending most of their time. Team members can also set distraction blockers to assure they remain focused, set a work schedule and account for time spent in meetings or offline.

5. Slack

Slack messaging allows for quick communication with your team.  They can download the app on their phone or use the desktop version.  You can broadcast messages to a group or have quick one on one chats. Alerts may be turned off for a period of time to minimize interruptions. This is a great way to have real-time communication without conversations being lost in email.

With the advancements in technology, it is easier to manage remote teams. Having the right tools will make the transition from office to home easier than ever. The five tools listed above are a great place to start.

Establishing a routine and maintaining a high level of collaboration will set the stage for a successful and productive environment. Who knows, you may decide not to return to the office!

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business tips, remote, small business, teams, tools

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