Working with remote teams is commonplace in today’s global economy and business transcription agencies help companies maintain accurate records of meetings and other interactions with their far-flung workforce. Managing and working with people that you don’t meet in person and those you see face to face is quite different. Here are some tips from experts on how to work with a virtual team:
- Make sure you have the right people on your remote team: Some employees do better in a conventional work environment where they can interact with their colleagues. However, for a remote team, you need self-motivated people who can work well on their own and don’t need to be micromanaged. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to interact with them. You can set up a chat room to function as a virtual office to share ideas, announce events, and send out reminders.
- Ensure proactive communication: Encourage your team to develop proactive communication skills. Proactive behavior taking the initiative to answer questions and reach out when a challenge crops up, instead of waiting for a scheduled meeting. If you are a team leader, hold regular and individual meetings to address specific issues. Inform team members about the appropriate communication method to use – email, phone, or video conference – based on the situation. In a Business News Daily article, one expert says that to translate the best traditional office elements and activities to a virtual environment, you need to reach out to employees regularly to engage in casual conversations.
- Use video whenever possible: Video conferences can be more informative than an audio-only call or chat, the reason being that more than half of human communication is non verbal. One effective way to ensure communication is to record virtual meetings and use a video transcription service to document the encounter so that you can go back and analyze what was said at your convenience.
- Make employee onboarding easy: Onboarding is an important aspect of remote team management. You need to make sure that the new team member understands your company’s technologies, communication style and culture. Investing in onboarding offers benefits such as reduced turnover and improved productivity.
- Use the right project management tools: Tools like TeamViewer and Join.me allow you to share your screen with your remote co-workers and inform them about what you are doing. Many tools come with the option to control another computer remotely. To improve collaboration on documents and spreadsheets, use Google Drive. Identify tools that have useful shortcuts, features and functions that will allow teams to collaborate and work more efficiently.
- Set up an internal blog: An internal blog where everything is updated will keep remote team members informed about everything that is going on. It is a great way to enhance communication and efficiency, allowing everyone to interact about work as well as personal topics.
- Keep close track of what’s going on within teams: Make sure that the team leaders of your remote employees is an effective communicator. This will help you stay on top of things and manage your overall strategy more effectively.
- Have overlap time: Many organizations work with remote teams across various time zones. For teams to work successfully, organizations should identify hours that overlap and request members to communicate during that time.
- Organize your virtual workplace: Just as you would clear your physical desk regularly, it makes sense to clear your virtual office time and again. Delete outdated tasks, archive completed projects and remove any virtual clutter that is obstructing your chats, calendars and other key areas. Mark chats and other important information for ease of access.
- Meet in person: Many companies are realizing the value of meeting face-to-face with their remote teams. Getting together once a year or on a bi-annual basis in a central location will help build rapport and build real-life bonds with your team.
Working with far-flung teams does mean doing things in a different way. This is why you need to put in a little more effort into many aspects of work-life, especially communication. Video and audio tools help you stay connected and productive and manage your remote team more effectively. A reliable digital transcription service provider can help you transcribe your meetings, interviews, and conference calls for future reference.