Written by: Billy Bones, Founder, Booking Agent Info

In today’s increasingly digital world, geographically-dispersed teams and virtual groups are becoming the norm for many organizations.

As a manager of a remote team at a celebrity contact database company, this set-up can seem daunting at times. Taking my experience into account, I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks that help my remote team function smoothly.

Successfully leading a virtual team requires focus, prioritization and a specific skillset that is complemented by helpful, remote tools.

Tools for Managing a Remote Team

Communication

My team is in different time zones, all on different schedules and they each have important duties. For the company and the team’s success, excellent communication is the end-all-be-all and the lifeblood that keeps our organization running.

Using Tools for Communication Success

In a traditional office setting, there’s constant interaction, but when you and your team are working remotely, your interaction is limited to the platforms you use to connect. To ensure smooth workflow, we use the following systems:

  • Google Drive – Whether they’re large files for projects, images or presentations, this is the tool we use to get the whole team what they need. We use Google Drive to collaborate on shared documents and provide feedback on ongoing work.
  • Slack – We post on Slack about managing projects, have group chats constantly going and keep in touch 24-7. Slack is essentially our team chatroom. We’re all connected to one another, people all post within the room, and, if necessary, we’re able to have private chat rooms for specific conferences. Typically, we use Slack to keep everyone involved and up-to-date.
  • Trello – This is our project management workflow platform. My team keeps this platform open to stay on top of deadlines and assignments and to see which specific tasks everyone is working on. We also are able to use Trello to post our monthly and quarterly goals. This keeps us on target, on track, and accountable for each other’s tasks.
  • Skype – Skype is our platform for regularly scheduled meetings. This is where we all get a chance to speak our minds, realign ourselves and make sure our team is hitting our goals.

Strict Deadlines and Group Prioritizing

When it comes to staying on task, I make sure the team is focusing on prioritization. I focus the group on tasks that are going to help them hit their goals and reach their deadlines. Our communication plays a huge role in our prioritization and our accountability comes into play here, too.

In my experience, cultivating a culture of accountability is huge – keeping my employees inspired, motivated to help out their fellow workers and ensuring all the work is done on time is huge for my team’s morale and their success.

Hiring the Right Team Members

Hiring the right people can set you up for success from the get-go. I always look for members who are overly communicative. It’s also important to me that my team members feel comfortable working independently with the group and the group’s deadlines in mind.

Flexibility, time management and communication (both verbal and written as much of the conversation is over chat on various platforms) are all vital skills for me when it comes to hiring the right people for the team.

Team Building

The success of the team goes beyond just verbal communication skills – everyone needs to get along, too. Though our team can’t gather by the water cooler like in a normal office setting, we still manage to set up ways for our team to interact.

One of the ways we get everyone talking is by setting up a chat for our entire remote team where they can engage.  We also have a unique set-up on Trello with a special section for each member of the team to share their life goals — we post there and check up on each other to see how those goals are progressing. It’s important to implement an office culture for your remote team so they feel connected, inspired, and motivated.

Running a Remote Team is an Ongoing Refining Process

As a remote team, we have to ensure our communication is top-notch, that we’re fostering a transparent and helpful work environment and that we’re providing ways for all of our remote employees to team build productive relationships. Running a virtual team requires you to constantly improve your process and figure out what works for your group.

About Billy
Billy Bones is the founder of Booking Agent Info, which provides businesses with the contact information for the official agents, managers, and publicists of celebrities and influencers.

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