Remote Team Management through Conference Calls
A growing number of teams today work in a global environment: Some members of the team work from the same office, while others work from home – be it in the same city or on the other side of the planet.
Managers of remote teams know that distributed teams offer more flexibility in hiring practices as well as the more efficient use of the company’s resources; however, they also know that unifying a remote team to work towards one goal, together, is a tricky business.
There is one crucial tool that could help you maximize the work of your remote team: Conference calls. Once a week or once a month, as the case warrants, all team members gather around a virtual table, and discuss their work. Conference calls provide you, as a manager, with an excellent opportunity to get everyone together on the same page, and transform a group of people into a functioning, capable team. Here are five steps to accomplish that:
When everyone’s working from the same location, in the same offices, forming personal relationships comes easier: Employees can talk making the morning coffee, eat lunch together, or on countless other opportunities throughout the workday. When managing remote teams, personal interactions are usually limited to sending a to-do list and discussing the work that needs to be done.
It is best, therefore, to allocate “personal time” with team members every occasionally. QCONF offers a fixed rate, as opposed to per minute plans, so you can feel free to chitchat before you get down to business – just like you would have if you have met over morning coffee in the office.
Your team members come from different places and cultures. In addition, they are each in charge of different facets of your joint project. Everyone needs to work together towards a common goal and to do that, they need to know and use the accumulated knowledge of each team member.
It’s recommended, every once in a while, to allocate a conference call dedicated to sharing knowledge – be it professional or cultural. For example, once a month, you can arrange a team meeting that focus on a 15-minute lecture given by one member about his/her filed of expertise.
You may be the official team manager, but that does not mean you have to run every conference call. If you share that responsibility, every team member will get a chance to hone his/her leadership skills and let his/her voice be heard.
Celebrate Things Together
QCONF also enables people to connect to every conference call through any device. You may use this tool to schedule calls unrelated to the work at hand . Team members can talk while nursing a beer in their favorite bar on Fridays, drink coffee “together” in their favorite coffee shop on Monday morning, and even set up a remote meeting to watch a major sport event together.
QCONF’s features include group chats that enable each team member to send attachments to the others. Teams can use this option to lighten the mood and get to know each other a little bit better before the work begins. Team members can send each other pictures of their present location, their kids, links to their favorite sites, etc. Sharing a personal detail, however small, can bring people closer together.