Managing your remote team

This video is about team management.

Of course there are a lot of things that you can do in connection with management, but maybe one of the most important ones is to work out how you’re going to communicate.

Some people prefer to write to each other in text. Some people prefer to telephone. Some people work asynchronously. Others prefer to talk to somebody at the same time and so on.

Of course when you have a remote team, people are living in different cultures and have different styles. Maybe in one culture people talk a bit more and another one a bit less.

Unless these things come out into the open early on, it can make the communication very difficult.

One way to get around this is to ask your team to put together some rules for communication:

If you have something urgent, do you do it by text or do you do it by telephone?;Or do you do it by email? And how quickly do you expect a response?

Try to be detailed in your plan, because your normal in your culture is most likely different from the culture of the others, but you may not notice the difference.

If you write down the details of how you are going to communicate, you have better chances of working well together. You should end up with a table which has details for different types of communication: problem solving, reporting, communicating with each other, team building and so on.

Maybe it highlights a preferred way of communicating (eg talk in emergencies) and goes into some more detail about for which tools to use or which time of day is preferred

I had a manager once who said “Don’t talk to me before 9 a.m. I’m really very busy trying to work out what to do with the day.”

So all of those details need to be captured, not in too much detail but enough detail to record in a table and get agreement from your team.

Review this communication plan from time to time. Adjust it if over or under-documented? Just use a little more detail than would have been traditional when the team used to all sit in one room.

Thanks very much

Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir (pronounce) is a Collaboration Consultant at Scatterwork, which supports Project Solutions for Virtual Teams.

Email: deasun@scatterwork.com

Tel: +41 79 692 4735 Talk to me

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