Key Tips to Successfully Manage Work Processes in Your Distributed Team

Improve bonding, communication, and collaboration within your workforce

Written by
January 30, 2023
Tech Recruiter

If you have recently started hiring remotely or have done it for a while but are still trying to get the hang of things, you may be wondering how to handle workflows properly.  

The excitement for engaging nearshore or offshore talents for your company is still there, but you may also think: What is the best way to supervise working hours, tasks progress, and teamwork from afar?

Well, virtuality may seem like a challenge, but it’s nothing you can’t overcome with the right tech tools!

In these last few years, the term distributed team has become more familiar as an easy way to describe business teams who work connected from different cities or countries.  

Developing effective communication and work processes are some of the biggest dilemmas of working distributedly and remotely, but they shouldn’t be a hurdle. You can establish collaborative, purposeful, and quality work within your team. Take a look at the main strategies: 

1. Onboard in real-time

Since remote employees don’t have someone near to assist them through the onboarding process, they can usually feel a little lost, but there are different techniques you can implement to avoid this. It’s essential to structure an onboarding process that helps them adjust easily to your company’s work system. 

  • Organize a video meeting with the team to introduce new members on their first day. Implement ice-breaking activities or a fun game so they can know each other, connect, and feel at ease. 
  • Assign a mentor to each new hire so they can “shadow” work, ask questions, clear doubts, and receive help with any work process through daily real-time video calls. 
  • Avoid emails during the entire onboarding process. Opt for instant messaging and video meetings to connect with them better.
  • Introduce your new employees to key stakeholders so they can get a better and broader vision of your company’s work. 

2. Create communication guidelines

In a distributed team (or any team), effective communication is one of the main goals to ensure successful work processes. So creating communication norms is a must.

  • Choose platforms for instant messaging and video conferencing, like Slack, Google Chat/Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams.
  • Create a specific group chat for each department.
  • Specify the expected time for replies.
  • Set time boundaries for messaging.
  • Encourage work updates from each team member.

3. Establish a video-first culture

In a workplace where everything is virtual, video calls are the most similar approach to face-to-face communication. So, prioritize video meetings whenever you can to better resolve any issues, explain work assignments, and nurture trust among the team. Staying connected is fundamental!

4. Schedule daily meetings

If you are looking for an easy way to manage work progress and encourage accountability within your team, this is it. You can schedule morning huddles to go through daily tasks and priorities for each work department. This will be an excellent way to motivate your team to share detailed updates and information about work. 

Besides, establishing this practice will help your team to know one another and build a trustful environment.

5. Set clear expectations and responsibilities 

To ensure a dynamic workflow, you must explain what you expect from each of your members. 

Distributed teams are very diverse in terms of personality, seniority, experience, and even culture. So, for everyone to work unanimously, you need to communicate your goals from the beginning. 

But this is not a one-time job: goals and responsibilities should be discussed every week and every day to ensure ordered and successful processes. Specify working hours, project deadlines, communication frequency, etc.

Remember to delegate reasonably. Talk to each manager, divide tasks, and organize work accurately. If you divide goals into little steps, they are easier to achieve.

6. Use virtual tools for task and productivity management

So, how do you supervise work from afar? Besides promoting accountability and update sharing, there are great platforms to help your team visualize and organize work more efficiently. Trello, Monday, and Asana are some tools that can help you label assignments to keep better track of work progress. You can divide them into these categories:

  • To-do
  • Work in progress
  • Pending review
  • Completed

If you are looking for a way to manage employees’ working hours, you can use tools like Timecamp, Time Doctor, or Sling to program shifts and ensure your team is working productively. Some of them even offer reports about employees’ web and app usage, activity, and idle time.

7. Implement collaboration tools

Mural, Figma, Google Workspace, MindMeister, Fellow, etc., are brilliant tools to collaborate with your team. Members can work together in real-time mind mapping, note-taking, writing docs, brainstorming, designing, and more. 

That’s one of the fabulous things about living in this era: there’s almost an app for everything. So, teamwork in distributed teams is not only possible but productive. 

8. Do one-on-one catch-ups 

As we mentioned before, face-to-face meetings are always the best tool, but individual time with your employees can help you manage issues, offer guidance, and discuss projects thoroughly. 

This is also a great way to make them feel valued and heard by letting them express suggestions and communicate obstacles that they have been facing throughout their work. You can program these meetings once a month or every other month. 

9. Implement bonding opportunities

Of course, there are excellent and effective ways to nurture a respectful, friendly, and encouraging relationship among your team members. 

You can schedule happy hours every once in a while and give them coffee gift cards to enjoy a nice time chatting outside of work topics. You can also create book clubs, non-work chat groups, or Teleparty movie nights. It’s all about creativity!

This is helpful to boost work engagement and work-life balance among your employees. 

10. Hire the right talent

You need to find people with an excellent sense of responsibility and proactivity. Members of a distributed team should be able to work efficiently without constant supervision because you won’t be able to check in on them every hour. That’s why nurturing employee satisfaction and engagement is always crucial as well. 

Take time to examine soft skills and personality so they can match your company’s culture and contribute to your team more accurately. 

If you need help making the right hire, we source and vet the best-fitting candidates for your business according to your needs. 

We can help you elevate your distributed team with brilliant developers and designers from LatAm. Schedule a call with us!

+1(214) 817-1200

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