Human resources

How to Manage a Remote Team with Bitrix24

Yuliya Skorobogatova
April 26, 2018
Last updated: December 4, 2018
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According to the Ernst and Young study conducted in 2015, one of the top concerns for employees was, “being able to work flexibly and still be on track for promotion”. Remote work is said to replace office work by 2020. But while remote work provides tons of benefits to employers and employees, there are also many challenges. It’s not uncommon to see remote workers struggling to see the bigger picture and become a part of the company. Employers, too, fear they won’t be able to get the work done and consider remote work from productivity and efficiency standpoint.

Remote work is a relatively new phenomenon, so there is not enough information to support the transition. But once you establish a working system, managing and being a part of a virtual team becomes effortless and brings amazing results for the business and employees’ well-being.

Here is how to make remote work beneficial for both parties:

Streamline communication

Despite the prevalence of social media apps, we still subconsciously crave real face-to-face connection. Body language makes it easier for us to understand the other person and emphasize with them. Surprisingly, many people don’t feel like they’re talking to a real human being when they’re texting, so the choice of communication tools is crucial in establishing a true connection and making sure the instructions are perceived the right way.

With a variety of Bitrix24 communication tools, such as video conferencing, group chat, and instant messaging, your employees become an indispensable part of the team. You can stay in touch with your team members, give real-time feedback, and conduct meetings with an unlimited number of participants. Having access to many communication tools also gives employees a sense of security, as they know they can reach you anytime to share their problems.

Become a coordination master

With many team members and tasks vying for your attention, work can easily turn into a nightmare. Remote team managers often complain that they can’t control what the team members are doing. Remote work is mainly based on the notion of trust. You just have to believe that the work will be done. But you’re still accountable to your clients. So how do you keep the project on track while giving enough flexibility to your team members?

Bitrix24 task management features give you a range of instruments to effortlessly manage a remote team. By planning tasks in advance and assigning them to your team members, you can ensure that every employee knows what’s on their agenda. You can then see the task progress, learn how many tasks are still being worked on, and how many of them have already been fulfilled.

Embrace company culture

The biggest challenge of managing a remote team is making people feel as a part of the team. You can be a team member on paper, but it's the overall atmosphere in the company that makes you feel accepted and supported. Being a part of company culture helps remote workers stay motivated, as they start seeing the bigger picture and aspire to the company’s brand vision and values.

Bitrix24 interface acts just like a social network with an activity stream, Like button, badges, announcements, and conversations. When remote employees use it, they ultimately become a true part of the team. We used to come to an open office to connect with our co-workers, and Bitrix24 social intranet creates that same office environment, only in the digital space.

Track productivity

Having mutual trust and welcoming employees to the company culture goes a long way. But as a business owner, you still want to make sure that business makes profit and projects get to the finish line.

When it comes to remote employers and use of their time, you want to have a clear indication of progress and productivity. With Bitrix24 time tracking you can add estimated time required for task completion, and then have the remote team members track their time. Time tracking gives employees enough personal freedom to plan their day, but also gives you a clear picture of productivity and profitability.

Combat time zone differences

Scheduling team meetings or even one-on-one calls can be tough when your team members are scattered all around the globe. Managers often have to accommodate remote workers and work beyond standard office hours. This puts a strain on both the team and business. Time zone differences are probably the main reason why many businesses are still reluctant to hire remote workers. There is a common understanding that planning will be tough.

While it’s impossible to erase time differences, you can still make things work with Bitrix24. With a shared calendar, you can easily coordinate the schedules and give employees access to managers' schedules so that they can book one-on-one meetings whenever they are stuck on the task. Another feature that simplifies task management is task reports. Task reports collect all the data across different tasks and provide a comprehensive view on the project. With task reports, you can minimize the need for daily checkup meetings and thus let your remote team worker work convenient hours.

Support employees’ careers and aspirations

Lastly, remote workers aren’t that different from office employees. They have goals and aspirations, and they want to see their career progress. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to help people develop personally and professionally, so that they have an additional incentive to stay with the company. Many remote workers don’t see all the opportunities company offers on-site. That’s why often remote workers don’t stay with companies long enough - there is this perception that career advancement for remote employees isn’t possible. When you hire remote employees, you need to outline potential benefits and promotions right from the start and also guide the worker through his career advancement journey while they're on the job.

When the remote team members regularly see their personal future connected with the company's future, they become highly engaged and motivated and tend to stay longer. As a Bitrix24 user you can establish consistent rapport with remote employees: from real-time communication tools to easy to use task management features, your employees will see you as an organized, supportive, and caring leader.

Final word

Learning to manage remote workers comes down to putting enough effort and having patience. It takes time to hire experienced workers who know the tricks of remote work experience and build a culture that supports inclusion in the company. But with the right attitude and digital tools such as Bitrix24, you can overcome all the challenges and build a truly productive team.

Bitrix24 is a free HRIS solution with over 25 HR tools, such as private social network, absence chart, shared calendars, document management, resume storage, employee portal, leave requests, employee workload planning, tasks and project management, to name a few. Use promo code TIP10 when registering your free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB.

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