Why Technology Is So Important When Managing Remote Teams?
Let’s just be blunt about this, you cannot effectively manage a remote team without using and leveraging technology. Ultimately, the majority of your business systems and your outsourcing management can and should be automated as much as possible, and that means using the technologies available to you. Let’s take a look at four different areas of outsourcing and managing remote teams that are dependent upon technology.
How organized is your business? How organized is the management of your remote team? Presumably you’ve moved beyond the world of paper and file cabinets. Your taxes are filed electronically, your content is created on your computer, uploaded onto your blog, and published electronically. Your business is likely digital, so when you’re managing a remote team it only makes sense that the organization of that team is also managed using technology.
Some of the areas where you would leverage technology to manage your remote team include the creation of timelines and sending deadline and milestone reminders to contractors. Project management software is one technology that you can use to organize your contractors.
What about file sharing, scheduling, collaboration and communication? How is that organized? Technology helps you not only create an organization plan; it is used to support that organization.
Training Your Remote Team
You can spend days, weeks, and months training your team. Or you can leverage technology and spend mere minutes on the task. Technology enables you to do live trainings with webinar or seminar systems. You can use tools like Google Hangouts, which is free and allows you to talk with several people at once. You can also use video recording technology to record a process. Screen capture technology lets you to create the documentation to record a process or system. File sharing sites and organizational tools like Evernote allow you to easily and securely share your training documentation too.
Communicating with Your Remote Team
Communication is part of managing a remote team and it’s easy to run into obstacles. For example, there may be time zone differences to contend with. Technology can be used to help you streamline your communications.
Whether you choose to send weekly email messages, hold weekly team meetings using a tool like Google Hangouts or to use a collaboration tool like Google Drive to monitor checklists, communication is important to managing remote teams. Technology means you no longer have to pick up the phone and call each contractor. You can manage it all online.
Communications can be organized using project management system where you can track every response to a particular message. You can see when they responded, how they responded, and what information they delivered.
The Financial and Legal Aspects of Managing Remote Teams
Technology makes it easy to automate much of the administrative functions of managing contractors. We’re talking about filing taxes, making payments to contractors, and also the work for hire agreement. All of that can be automated using technology.
For example, shopping cart and payment processing tools like PayPal actually send contractors their 1099s. This leaves you with less work at the end of the year. You can use it to create automatic payments and automatic invoicing. Work for hire agreements can be stored, delivered and shared using file sharing technology.
The bottom line is that without technology, managing your remote team would essentially be a full-time job. You wouldn’t be able to achieve the goals you set for yourself when you initially built your team because you’d spend all of your time managing them. Look for opportunities to leverage technology. It helps you save time, energy, and money which can all be put to a better use.