Prolancer’s guide to getting the best out of your remote team
Coordinating a remote team can be difficult – communication issues, loneliness and team members struggling to unplug, all risk impacting the productivity of a project. But, when managed properly, working collaboratively online unleashes greater flexibility and efficiency. In this blog we’ll explain how you can set yourself up to succeed by using the right tools and technology to manage a remote team. We’ll also introduce our ProToolkit, a free to use and comprehensive suite of project management tools exclusive to Prolancer.
Build relationships with your remote team via messenger and video call:
Communication is key to getting the most out of a remote team. Project members need to feel comfortable reaching out to ask questions, which means as project manager you need to create a positive and welcoming environment. Take advantage of the capabilities of online tools to build relationships with team members. Use a blend of informal instant messaging software, with video calls and group messages to create a working environment that is more flexible and proactive than only conversing via email. Prolancer’s ProToolkit effectively manages all of these communication types, by offering users the options to direct message, group message, pin key announcements and schedule video calls (powered by Zoom).
Tip: As project manager, set aside time for regular remote team and individual meetings. Having designated space to catch up with team members will allow them to communicate concerns and questions in a more constructive and time-effective way.
Be transparent about payment and deadlines
Economic security is important to everyone, which is why being clear about payment and expectations from the start is key to getting the best out of your remote team. Offering a fair fee for fair work attracts quality talent, and shows remote team members you are committed to the project. Prolancer’s payments tool displays the budget spend so far, and includes secure ways for prolancers to request deposits and raise invoices. This means team members can spend less time chasing up payment, and more time using their expertise on your project.
Tip: Place deposits and funds in a secure account. We recommend using a secure payment system or Escrow account, like the one available within Prolancer’s ProToolkit, to keep project funds protected and ensure that payment is released to team members smoothly at agreed milestones. You can find out more about our Escrow accounts in our FAQs.
Establish proper file management for remote working
Setting up policies, work processes and areas for collaboration at the start of a project will ensure it runs more smoothly. This is particularly key for file-management, as remote working will mean sharing documents exclusively online. Team members need to be able to upload, download and share project files to a collaborative space. Working in this way will save time and the panic of ensuring everyone can access the same information.
Tip: While there are numerous services offering file management, it is vital that as a business you choose a secure solution. We recommend using a service that is encrypted and cloud based, like our Assets tool.
Track remote project tasks, milestones and goals
To keep everyone on the same page about project progress, use a workflow tool to track tasks. This will allow the whole team to see developments in real time, and facilitate greater collaboration. Make effective use of tags in the tool to mark actions as low, medium and high priority, and assign members to specific tasks. By doing so you’ll provide each individual with ownership over different areas of the project, and help keep the collective team informed about capacity.
You will also find that using a workflow tool ensures team members remain motivated, as complex projects can be effectively broken down into more manageable goals. We understand that every project has different requirements, which is why the Milestones and Tasks section of the ProToolkit allows you to fully customise your team’s workflow board.
Tip: Keep a ‘Done’ card in your workflow to remind yourself as a team of your progress so far.
To sum it up
Remote working brings its own challenges, but with it its own solutions too. Building a brilliant remote team depends on solid foundations, which is why choosing the right digital toolkit is key to success. You will need a blend of secure payment, workflow and communication tools to thrive in a remote environment. Prolancer’s ProToolkit provides the baseline suite of tools that help with remote project management and improve your teamwork and collaboration. The best part? These tools come free with any project undertaken through Prolancer. You’ll have everything you need in one place and new capacity to make your project an even greater success.