10 Struggles Business Owners Face When Managing a Remote Team

We all know the advantages of outsourcing your teams and swiftly adapting to a remote work model - it's more cost-effective, you have a wider talent pool to choose from, and employees are often more productive when working from home. Many businesses have taken advantage of hiring remote teams for their business operations, as referenced in the most recent reports from Forbes.

But what about the challenges? We're sure there are so many challenges, especially for those businesses who have just made the shift or are doing so.


Here are some of the most common struggles we've heard business owners face when managing a remote team:


1. Communication difficulties

2. Time zone differences

3. Less control over employees

4. Hiring and onboarding challenges

5. Trust and accountability issues

6. Difficulty building team morale

7. Knowledge and resource sharing difficulties

8. Problems with project management

9. Security concerns

10. Lack of face-to-face interaction


If you are a business owner thinking of making the switch or are doing so, don't forget to consider these challenges. While there are many advantages to working with a remote team, it's important to be prepared for the struggles that may come along with it.

Let this article guide you on acknowledging these struggles, along with some tips that you can use to resolve these issues once you experience them.


1. Communication difficulties

Remote teams hugely rely on Internet access to communicate with each other and their clients. Unfortunately, many parts of the world have poor or unreliable Internet connections. This can lead to communication difficulties, such as missed calls or emails, slow response times, and difficulty coordinating work tasks.


According to a report released by Computer Weekly, about 84% of remote workers worldwide have experienced erratic, intermittent, or otherwise poor connectivity in the past year.


Many remote workers have thought of solutions such as subscribing to two or more Internet service providers to serve as the backup in case one goes down. Others have also used communication tools that are not solely dependent on the Internet, such as phone calls and text messages.


2. Time zone differences

If you and your remote teams are in the same time zone, this will not be a problem. However, most remote teams have different members from different time zones. This is probably one of the most difficult challenges when managing a remote team.


When team members are in different time zones, it can be not easy to schedule meetings or video calls. It can also lead to miscommunication since some team members may be working while others are asleep.


Some of the solutions that some workers have done to solve the problem include having team members adjust their work hours to accommodate the majority, scheduling meetings and video calls at a time that is convenient for everyone, or using a tool that allows team members to see what time it is in other time zones.


3. Less control over employees

Of course, when your employees are not on your watch, they can do virtually whatever they want -- from reporting in their PJs to leaving their deliverables unattended for the majority of the shift and procrastinating with them later.


This can be a struggle for business owners who are used to the traditional way of managing employees. When you can't see what your employees are doing, it can be difficult to trust that they are working on their assigned tasks and meeting deadlines.


One way to combat this is by setting up clear expectations and communicating these expectations to your team. You can also use tools to track your employees' work hours and activity, such as time tracking software.


4. Hiring and onboarding challenges

Hiring the right people for your remote team can be a challenge, especially if you're not used to working with remote employees. You might not know where to look for candidates or what skills to look for.


Onboarding new remote employees can also be a challenge since you won't be able to meet them in person and show them around the office. You'll need to find other ways to introduce them to your company culture and values.


One way to solve this is by using video conferencing software to conduct interviews with candidates. You can also create an onboarding program to send to new employees via email or video call.


5. Trust and accountability issues

When you cannot physically check your colleagues' work, it can be not easy to trust that they are doing their job. This can lead to issues with accountability and responsibility.

To build trust within your team, you need to establish clear expectations and communication channels. It would help if you also created an environment where employees feel comfortable asking for help and giving feedback. For example, those who run digital marketing solutions agencies often give their employees weekly or monthly check-ins.


6. Difficulty building team morale

When employees are not in the same physical space, building team morale can be difficult. You won't be able to have impromptu watercooler chats or organize team-building activities.

To solve this, you need to be intentional about building team morale. You can do this by scheduling regular video calls or chat sessions, sending out company-wide newsletters, or organizing remote team-building activities. Some companies do contests where the remote team with the most engagement or best results wins a prize, while others host quiz nights or happy hours over video calls.



7. Knowledge and resource sharing difficulties

Not everyone on your team shares the same wavelengths of knowledge and resources. It can be difficult to find and transfer the right information when certain team members are located in different parts of the world.


This can lead to frustration, especially if team members feel like they're not being given the proper tools or resources to do their job.


To solve this, you need to have a plan for sharing knowledge and resources. You can set up a central repository, such as a knowledge base or wiki, where team members can access information. You can also create process documents that outline how to complete certain tasks.


8. Problems with project management

Project management can be tougher when you're working with a remote team. It can be difficult to keep track of everyone's progress and ensure that deadlines are being met.


Many software options are available, such as Asana, Trello, and Basecamp. These tools will allow you to assign tasks, track progress, and communicate with your team. Those who work in small business marketing companies often use these tools to keep track of their client's progress. This is why it's important to have a project management system.


9. Security concerns

This is a major issue, especially if your team handles sensitive information, such as customer data or financial records. When this information is stored remotely, there's a greater risk of being hacked or leaked.


To solve this, you need to have a security plan in place. This should include password protection, data encryption, and two-factor authentication measures. It would help if you also considered using a VPN when accessing sensitive information.


IT companies use these solutions to keep their client's data safe. Some even take it up a notch by offering additional security features, such as malware protection and intrusion detection.


10. Lack of face-to-face interaction

This is perhaps the most obvious struggle of working with a remote team. When you cannot see your colleagues in person, it can be not easy to build relationships and foster collaboration.


To solve this, you need to be intentional about building relationships. You can schedule regular video calls, organize "getting-to-know-you" activities, or send out care packages. You can also encourage employees to interact with each other outside of work, such as through social media or online forums.


Conclusion


Working with a remote team doesn't have to be a struggle. By being aware of the challenges and implementing the right solutions, you can set your team up for success.

What challenges do you face when working with a remote team? Let us know in the comments below.



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Staffz Outsourcing Solutions

Staffz is an internet marketing agency for people who prefer to be at the intersection of both profit and impact. We scale businesses and bridge dreams, one task at a time.

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© 2021 by Staffz Outsourcing Solutions

Staffz Outsourcing Solutions

Staffz is an internet marketing agency for people who prefer to be at the intersection of both profit and impact. We scale businesses and bridge dreams, one task at a time.

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