Working as a geographically disperesed team presents both challenges and opportunities. For Innovare Group as an business it provides flexibility and the ability to work in an environment free of distraction but requires self-control and motivation. From our perspective it lowers overhead costs, provides access to wider geographic reach, and, when used effectively, a more productive team.

An article on Inc.com suggested that working successfully as a remote team comes down to all members of the team working following three approaches:

1. Building Common Ground
This is about ensuring the team is on the same page by frequently talking about goals, objectives and current tasks. This means productivity can be maximized through effective task allocation and ownership (people know what is required of them, and who else is doing what). Another component to this approach is making work visible through actively sharing what you’re doing, and being open to feedback.
Key Tactics:

  • Use task management software
  • Have regular team wide updates via Google Hangouts.


2. Be ‘at-hand’
This idea focuses on recreating the feeling of having local teammates. To make a remote team work you must be willing and eager to be ‘consciously at-hand’. This doesn’t mean you have to be on your phone, or email 24 hours a day 7 days a week - it means that within working hours you should be trying to actively connect, provide assistance and make yourself available to other members of your team. This concept is a two way street - building a common ground means you know what your teammates are doing and where their priorities lie meaning you can find mutually convientent times when to communicate.
Key Tactics:

  • Use chat to communicate with team mates.
  • Provide input and, importantly, *be open to input *(both positive and constructively critical).
  • If you’re willing too - talk about things outside your work - find common passions or interests.


3. Use technology aggressively. Building a common ground and being at-hand can be facilitated through the use of technology - we are a technology consulting company after all - but it must be used wisely. This means that email shouldn’t be used to ask questions like: “Can you set up this dropbox folder”. Instead we propose the use of a wide variety of communication and teamworking tools each of which can be used depending on the complexity and priority of the topic.
Key Tactics:

  • Project/Task Management tools such as Asana or Trello can be used to keep track of what you and your teammates are working on as well as when tasks are due.
  • A CRM (Base,Capsule, etc) should be used for keeping track of communications.
  • Chat: (Google Hangouts, Hipchat, Campfire, SMS) should be used to social conversation and medium-priority/low-complexity communication (“Can you set this dropbox folder up for me”).
  • Email: We propose email be used for “Annoucement” type communication (“Congratulations: We’ve secured a new client - here is the link to the Asana project - and the link to the contact in the CRM”).
  • Video Conferencing: Use Google Hangouts or Skype as highlighted above.

Utilising a combination of the key tactics above can prove to be a effective method in order for your team to work remotely. Any questions? We'd be happy to assist in setting you up!
 


Brisbane Office

Level 3, 571 Adelaide Street
Brisbane CBD QLD 4000
Phone: (07) 3555 8470
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.innovaregroup.com.au

Innovare Group Mission

"To do the best we can for our clients, and for our people, in everything that we do."

Our consultants will analyse every aspect of your business, devise an appropriate management strategy, and gear your company towards success. Not only do we find solutions, but we have our own contractors that help implement these strategies.