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Keep teammates accountable

Creating accountability is a great way to manage the work remotely. Accountability is shifted to the teammates, who are now supposed to be responsible for their own work and decisions.

One way to build accountability in remote teams is to assign groups and let teammates hold each other responsible. Also make teammates share their work experience and any issues they face, publicly (within the team) so that it acts as a ready solution for others, reducing repeat work.

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A Central Management Tool

Physical presence does play a large part in moving our projects forward. Managing a project remotely requires a diligent and transparent approach to keep track and maintain the various tasks, deadlines and processes.

It's important to deploy a project management tool, assigning each different task to all the team members. Have regular check-ins and status update meetings. Having a singular place for distributing information ensures that team members do not complain that they were not updated or didn’t know where the specific file was.

Even if the team is small, document, formalize and map each process, making it scalable and automatic.

Standard Operating Procedures, if used correctly in a remote setting, can act like a central nervous system.

Open channels of communication are imperative in managing remote work. Effective communication is the single most important part of handling a remote setting, and is also the most challenging.

Use your favourite software, like Slack or Microsoft Teams and ensure that everyone adheres to the same.

Asynchronous communication happens when you are not forced to respond to each and every ‘ping’ in real time. Its benefits:

  • Communication becomes less ‘urgent’. It makes for less firefighting and more ‘deep work'.
  • Conversations are meaningful and are not ‘hurried’.
  • Quick movement of teams.
  • More transparency.
  • Less work stress.
  1. Allow Offline work, so that team members do some real work.
  2. Use the right communication tool.
  3. Minimize status meetings, as they are mostly a waste of time.
  4. Make Transparency the default setting.
  5. Overcommunicate to make sure all the pieces of information are in place and known to all.
  6. Adapt, as you grow in scale, as what is working for 5 people won’t work for 500.

Trusting your remote coworkers is the only way for it to succeed. Trust the employees and use empathy. Do not assume the worst.

To avoid any communication breakdown, always overcommunicate and ensure questions are asked and answered.

If there is no response to a request, it is crucial to figure out if everything is ok, after a stipulated amount of time( according to the urgency of the task). Many people can feel isolated and as monotony sets in, some can withdraw or stop contributing.

Regular interaction can minimize the ‘no response’ problem. Setting up partners to look after each other for a project completion is also a great way to ensure productivity.

Multiple complex projects require juggling of conflicting priorities, making it a challenge to meet deadlines, and separating urgent work from important work.

The way to look at priorities is to step back and see a birds eye view of the overall objective that is to be achieved. Add resources or delegate as needed.

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RELATED IDEAS

Hybrid companies function best when the entire company is optimized for remote work. Successful hybrid teams set up processes to help their remote workers thrive alongside their office teammates.

Leadership must acknowledge the various challenges remote workers face and create solutions. Create a remote work policy that keeps remote workers and contractors from feeling like second class team members. Remote workers should feel fully connected and not missing a thing.

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IDEAS

  • Some of the most innovative software projects are open-source, developed remotely and asynchronously, such as the Linux kernel. As of 2017, roughly 15,600 developers from all over the world had contributed to the kernel.
  • In 1962, "Freelance Programmers" was founded. The work-from-home contract programming company was instrumental in helping develop software standards, management control protocols, and other standards that were eventually adopted by NATO.
  • Automatic, the company behind WordPress, is fully distributed with 1,335 employees in 77 countries speaking 99 different languages.
  • Remote-first companies GitLab and Zapier are currently valued at US$6 billion and US$4 billion with 1,289 and 350 employees, respectively.

While asynchronous communication has so many proven advantages, like happier employees, there is still a need for synchronous communication to be ensured within the team

Each team member should have at least one monthly one-on-one with their leader, teams should participate in Zoom sessions where only non-work topics are discussed, there should be organized yearly team buildings or new members should be given the chance to spend some time with their mentor while working in-person with them.