One of the advantages of running a web design business is that you can operate as a virtual business without taking a step backward. In fact, it’s easier – in many senses – to operate remotely than it is to manage the business out of a physical location. However, in order to keep the business running properly, there are some things you must know.
Key Factors in Managing Remote Employees
There are pros and cons to managing a remote team. The obvious advantages include cost-savings on the employer side and better work-life balance on the employee side. But there are also a number of challenges. For example, it’s harder to keep tabs on what employees are doing on an hourly basis. There are also additional security threats and issues with keeping everyone on the same page.
Keeping all of these unique advantages and challenges in mind, here are a few tips to help you be successful with managing a remote team of people.
- Hire the Right People
The number one piece of advice is to hire the right people. If you have the right people on your team, it’ll make your job a whole lot easier.
Not only do you need people who have talent in the web design space, but you also need people who possess the discipline and drive to work independently. In the recruiting world, these people would be called “self-starters.” Ideally, you should pursue people who have experience working remotely, though this doesn’t have to be a requirement.
- Select the Right Communication Solutions
At the heart of any successful remote team is good, seamless communication. In order to get communication right, you need a specific strategy in place that allows for information and ideas to be freely shared without delay or dilution.
A good communication strategy includes access to advanced solutions that make it possible for your team to stay in touch, regardless of where you are. Dialpad’s UberConference tool is a good choice. It allows you to host efficient meetings and conference calls straight from a web browser. Slack is another product worth checking out. It can be used as a substitute for internal email and makes project management much simpler.
- Have Clear Policies in Place
It’s imperative that you have strong and clear policies in place to handle any situations that may arise. The last thing you can afford is for a problem to emerge and not have a way of quickly and efficiently dealing with it.
- Encourage Bonding
One of the bigger challenges of managing a remote team is that you don’t get the face-to-face time that you would if you all worked in the same office. While you can’t replace this time together, you can work to establish some rapport by encouraging team bonding whenever possible. This might look like opening up meetings with 10 minutes of small talk, hosting friendly competitions, or doing online team building exercises.
- Prioritize Trust
If you’re going to be successful managing a team of remote web designers, there’s no substitute for trust. Not only do you have to know that you can trust your employees to get their work done, but they have to trust you as well. At the heart of trust is transparency, so make sure you’re open and honest with everything you do.
Make Sure You Have a Plan
There are dozens of different management strategies you can implement in your web design business. The important thing is that you have a plan with concrete steps and objectives. This will provide you with a sense of clarity in the midst of ensuing chaos.