How to Build and Manage a Remote International Team

Strategy Analytics estimates that by 2022, approximately 1.87 billion employees (nearly 43% of the world’s working-age population) will work remotely. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have already switched to hybrid or remote work. Therefore, it is important to learn how to effectively work with and manage your dream remote international team.

Choose a Project Management System

To manage a remote team, you must have a project management system. It would be best if you created a “virtual office” in which the primary project work will be concentrated. Platforms like Trello, Asana, Microsoft Project, Jira, and more offer intuitive workspaces where you can create project boards, assign a specific team member to a task, and more. Try several platforms and choose one that has the interface and capabilities your team needs.

Besides the platform, you need external apps. Remote employees store business information on PCs and smartphones, so it’s vital to protect this data. Use security software like Norton 360 or 1Password.

Read more: Best Free Project Management Software for 2021

Motivate Remote Employees

For both on-site and international employees, material motivation is required, such as the opportunity for career growth, extra days off, a comfortable remote workplace, bonuses, and training courses. Therefore, be sure to introduce an internal reward and motivation system for your distributed team. For example, you can create a gifting system. Employees can have the opportunity to give rewards to colleagues for their help in solving problems. At the end of a pre-determined period, the accumulated rewards can be spent on gifts.

Motivate employees to continue to develop in their field or related fields, paying for courses if necessary. Recommend making lists of goals or checklists so you can help employees realize their aspirations and celebrate their accomplishments.

Use Video Conferencing Software

Good communication between employer and employee is essential. According to body language expert Patti Wood, people use about 10,000 non-verbal cues per minute when communicating. Therefore, visual contact is desirable in the workplace. Periodically communicate with employees via video conferencing software. If you want to discuss a task, it is better to talk via video link to better understand the employee. Remember: the task of the manager is to create a comfortable virtual office life for each employee.

Read more: Webex Meetings Review 2021

Use the Services of a PEO

Has your startup or small business ever considered using a professional employer organization (PEO)? A PEO specializes in providing benefits and human resource assistance to many different clients. Because they serve multiple companies, they can leverage their client base to improve healthcare and retirement opportunities. The key is to choose the right PEO services at the country and region level. International firms like NHGlobal Partners enable small businesses to maintain their competitive advantage without high costs.

Focus on Results, Not Activities

Many managers make a big mistake in managing a remote team — they begin tracking every step of the employees. This leads to an employee’s unwillingness to work effectively, and destroys team relationships. Managers should focus on an employee’s results rather than monitoring every hour they work. Get away from micromanagement!

Let the employee manage their time and prioritize tasks on their own. After all, you have assembled a team of specialists — not interns. Using weekly reports, you can monitor the work of employees in a project management tool without excessive control.

Managing a remote international team can seem like a daunting challenge. Provide employees with more independence, motivate them to work towards results, communicate via video conferencing tools — all of these will make your team more successful.

Hanna Bennett

Hanna is an HR Generalist who oversees the areas of Global HR Operations, Compensation & Benefits, Employee Safety, and HR Compliance. Effectively balancing big-picture thinking and strategic planning with hands-on execution has allowed Hanna to combine decisiveness, strong business acumen, and formal education to achieve objectives both professionally and personally.

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