Coffee shops are more than just coffee to some people.

While the barista prepares your two-quad shot, 22 oz vanilla latte, you glance around to find yourself a table.

Chances are, you will find a digital nomad glued to his laptop and zoned out in his own world with his headset on.

If you are managing a remote team—one could very well be designing your product Instagram post from an airport terminal while waiting for a flight, another one could be replying to your email from a small hut beachside or one is just at home keeping your bookkeeping in order.

However, business owners who outsource virtual assistants, do not have an employee manual to refer to on how to manage them as a remote team.

No need for that manual, here are 10 tips:

1. Periodically assess your team’s attitude, skills, goals and progress.

Get to know each virtual assistant in your remote team. Aside from regular videoconferencing, make time to communicate with each one. Ask them about their goals or if they have any suggestions on how to improve a process or workflow. Do they need extra help to improve a skill?

2. Trust your virtual team to make decisions.

Virtual assistants need to feel empowered or proactive. Give them the opportunity to make decisions on how to improve the work process to get things done more efficiently.

3. Make a good communication plan.

This is a tool guide that your remote team will refer to while working together, for you. It contains objectives, project requirements and timelines, scope of work, process flow, tools of communication, remarks, action plans and next steps.

4. Provide access, knowledge and effective use of communication tools

Make it clear at the onset, which communication tools are available to your remote team. Provide quick training, monitor usage, and determine if they need further training

5. Delegate

Build trust and try not to micro-manage. Entrust your remote team to share your workload. Delegating tasks is a leadership skill and it allows your virtual assistants to develop and improve their own skills.

6. Use both synchronous and non-synchronous communication tools.

Synchronous tools allow remote team to see and say things at the same time. Examples of synchronous tools are the telephone, instant message and video conferencing.

Due to time zone differences and if action required isn’t time sensitive, virtual assistants are allowed to carefully think and reply to answers to your questions one at a time via email or direct messages.

7. Utilize shared workflow tools is necessary.

To achieve effective remote team collaboration, utilize shared workflow tools like SharePoint, Kissflow or Trello.

8. Invest in social interaction.

Your remote team is a group of real people. Just like in a real office, words of encouragement, some light banter or asking your virtual assistant how she is doing or how her kid is doing certainly goes long way in improving working relationships and boost morale. It shouldn’t be all business 24/7.

9. Plan a meet-up.

Virtual interaction is convenient and is less costly. However, connecting with your virtual team face to face will enhance collaborative working relationship.

10. Establish managerial and corporate presence.

Be visible and within reach with your remote team regularly. This practice keeps the teamwork alive and shared goals are realized.

Outsourcing your virtual team to a reputable outsourcing company will guide you through the process from hiring your virtual assistants to applying best communication practices in managing your remote team that will help you reach your business goals.

Check out Great Work Online, where you can outsource efficient and trustworthy Virtual Assistants.
Building Your Online Dream Team. A Team You Can Trust.

A team you can trust.