New Research Indicates Aligning a Remote Workforce is This Simple

Keeping track of a remote workforce can be a task in itself, which is why we’ve put together these helpful tips for aligning your remote team. Whether you’re using software to sync everyone up, or still communicating via chain emails, these tips will help you get everyone on the same page and working toward their goals. Here’s how to make aligning your remote workforce simple!

Project Management Software

If you’re not using project management software at this point, you’re really only doing yourself a disservice. Project management software makes uniting your team simple and accessible, as the software itself is usually web-based and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. You’ll be able to assign projects, deadlines, track progress, and even make comments or edits.

Project management software usually comes equipped with cloud storage as well for easy sharing. Your projects will be more streamlined, your remote workers more punctual, and nothing will ever be lost in translation. You can even chat via the project management interface, so you won’t have to rely on emails to offer minor suggestions or inquire about progress.

There are plenty of project management software options available, but two of the best are Trello and Basecamp. Easy to use, effective, and trusted by hundreds of businesses worldwide, these two options are some of the best in the business. Give project management software a try today and improve your projects tenfold!

Online Meetings

Having meetings is a must, even with remote teams. Whether you’re discussing or meeting with a new client, setting expectations, or just getting a general sense of the team’s projects, online meetings should be simple and easy to access with crystal-clear audio and video. Easy online meetings are the most effective, so you’ll want to choose a service with a focus on quality and simplicity.

You should meet with your remote team at least a few times per month, but if projects aren’t meeting deadlines or are lacking in quality, a bi-weekly or weekly meeting is probably the better route to take. A stable connection and good quality audio video will ensure your meetings are effective at getting the message across, and many online meeting platforms provide extras like video and screen sharing software.

Google Calendar

If you’re not using project management software, a good alternative is Google Calendar. This cloud-based calendar allows you to set deadlines and events and invite people to participate. You’ll be able to see who is coming to what even or who’s responsible for which project, as well as the due date. You can share events and dates via email or social media, and Google Calendar automatically syncs to a Google account for backups.

Best of all, Google Calendar is free with a Google account, which also grants you access to some other amazing tools such as Docs, Google Drive, and more. Google Drive offers up to 15GB of free storage, so you can freely store and share files with your team as well!

Expectations

Perhaps the best way to ensure your remote workforce aligns is by setting expectations. You’ll want to set very clear expectations from the very beginning and update project-specific expectations as your workload changes. You should have a basic set of expectations for everyone to follow, however, and be sure to remind everyone from time to time what those expectations are.

Clearly state project deadlines, content expectations, employee requirements, and pay rates at the beginning of your projects. You can even send out an email or host a conference call specifically to achieve this; whatever you do, just make sure everyone hears and understands what you expect from them, so there’s no confusion in the future.

Be a Good Leader

The absolute best way to align a team and inspire good work is to be a good leader. Leading by example and having respect for your team members goes a long way, and helps differentiate you as a leader that cares rather than one who just wants a paycheck. People follow those who make them feel valued, not those who make them feel like they’re a means to an end.

Being a good leader starts with honesty and communication (setting expectations). You’ll need to be very clear about what you expect and also very honest. If things are going to get tough or slow down, tell the team. They’ll respect you more for telling the truth than if you tried to cover it up with a sugar-coated lie!

Conclusion

Remote teams can help increase productivity and even sales if managed correctly. By following these few tips, you’ll help create a much more effective remote team that can handle any project that comes their way; just remember that success starts with you as their leader! Make your team members feel valued, and you’ll get a lot further than if you make them feel like just another employee.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.