The challenges of managing a Remote Team
What is a Remote Team?
Just as the name suggests, a team which is geographically distant from the main centre of work is a Remote Team.
You could be a single person or a team working for an organisation, with a common purpose and goal, without a designated shared space for working.
Example: If you are a freelancer, you will usually prefer working remotely, could be from home.
The concept is not as exclusive or fancy as it sounds. Here’s what founder of Virgin Group says:
“One day offices will be a thing of the past”.
– Richard Branson
This is not a trend, as around 70% of the people all over the world work remotely at least one day per week. With the pace at which this is being promoted due to the dynamics of outsourcing, freelancing and collaborations, the following doesn’t seem unreal:
“By 2020 over half the employees will work remotely”.
– Amir Salihefendic, CEO, Doist
Nevertheless, there are always two sides of a coin, with the increase in the count of remote work, there are various challenges which the organisations face:
1. As a consequence to Globalisation.
Cultural and Language Constraints
Working remotely motivates the idea of diverse cultures and languages, but one can’t deny the barriers it poses when it comes to communication. There is no doubt that it becomes a rather time-consuming communication process when the mother-tongue is different. Thus, hampering the efficiency of the processes.
Example: Both the employee and the employer must keep in mind the cultural calendar each follows. Christmas holidays last at least 2 weeks long and understanding these differences makes the professional terms stronger.
Different Time Zones? – Scheduling Difficulties
With cost efficient professional teams, outsourcing has got a greater boost. Yet, extra efforts go into adjusting to the time zones, scheduling meetings, communicating with various stakeholders, decision making etc. It becomes a crucial activity in itself. Time tag becomes a byproduct of having a remote team in a different time zone.
2. As a consequence of varying Methodologies.
Building the right SOP
Creating standard operating procedures which are in consonance with the methodologies of both the parties which further assists in achieving the goal in the most efficient manner. Well, it is a tough task when it comes to an organisation, and here there are two kinds of perceptions willing to achieve a single goal. Operating procedures are directly proportional to the quality of the output, and neither would want to compromise on that.
It sure becomes a time consuming activity, but is a must have when it comes to working with remote teams.
Monitoring the Performance
Remote work does have the perks of time flexibility, but if you look at it in the other way, it makes the process of measuring performance ever harder than it seems. A team might work on an hourly basis while the other on completing the work on the deadline. The KPIs for either of them need to be set in a different way.
3. As a consequence of varying organisation cultures.
Accommodating into the organisation culture
Generally, remote teams function on a single factor that is the successful project completion. But, such a mentality doesn’t bring recurring business. Thus, it becomes important to abide by the employer company’s rules, regulations and remain sensitive to the company culture. Professionalism must be the aim!
Lack of Trust
A trustworthy tie has a great dependency on face to face interactions. As the remote teams are geographically distanced, it becomes difficult to rely on the remote team. And if a project has been assigned to a remote team, the success depends on the thin thread of trust. Building the trust strengthens the business relationship, and thus can’t be ignored.
If a right and professional approach is taken towards managing remote teams, it could lead to long term partnerships benefiting both the parties. The key still lies in the processes, the better the look-out the better shall be the output.
Living in the millennial age, it has truly become possible to work from anywhere, not merely work but work that is more efficient and more productive.
At BoTree Technologies, we build web and mobile applications to add value to our client’s business. We align ourselves to ensure that our client benefits the most out of our engagement.
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