The COVID-19 pandemic has led digital agencies, consultancy firms, small and medium business owners to manage a remote team. Now, team members are working from home. This particular scenario emphasizes the importance of communication as there are only a certain number of productive hours during the day.
In this article, we have covered why having a remote team has become a necessity for digital agencies; what are the challenges that remote teams face and how the managers ought to sort things out to streamline the whole working process; advantages of having a remote team working for your agency; and lastly the tools that your agency can use to ensure timely execution of tasks with effective remote team collaboration.
Why do you Need a Remote Team for Your Agency?
You’ll want to manage a remote team for your agency to improve efficiency and cut the costs associated with managing an in-house team. Whether you’re starting your own agency or thinking of shifting to the remote model, your reasons for shifting are valid and can shift your business growth to the next gear.
Individual members of a remote team look out for their reputation, hence they are more sensitive to their perception in the market. Hence, you can trust this remote team with confidentiality as their reputation is literally on the line.
Here are some of our findings that highlight the reasons to work with and manage a remote team;
- It’s a more effective way of completing tasks.
- It’s Cost-efficient as you’re likely to recruit employees/talent with multiple skills.
- Higher accountability and empowerment on the current team when shifting to a remote working model.
- Remote teams have better communication skills internally and externally.
- More transparency in terms of the tasks done and efforts.
- Stronger bond between team members to work together.
- Higher Client satisfaction as team members are available and focused on completing tasks.
- Expanding to newer niches due to the lack of outbound marketing activities.
Challenges of Managing a Remote Team
Most companies adopt a work from home policy to improve work efficiency. We’ve already discussed the reasons why agencies consider going remote, so let’s look at what some of the industry experts and experienced professionals say about the challenges they face when they manage a remote team.
1. Task Management
Ronan Walsh (Managing Director) at Digital Traweler explains how task management can be a real challenge for remote teams:
“Time tracking is a thing of the past, once you go online you can’t measure a 9 – 5 anymore so leave it to go out the window. Time is never where the value is, it’s getting the job done and making sure the output of your job and tasks produces revenue. If tasks aren’t getting done, you aren’t making revenue so make sure that this is what you focus on. Quite often in offices people can stay 9 – 5 and produce no tasks but when working remotely they have to produce something to show you they have been working.”
2. Instilling our Culture in our Staff
Stuart Cooke (Founder) of Levity Digital mentions how working remotely can negatively impact the positive atmosphere of the office. Furthermore, He explains how work culture plays an important role in keeping the team motivated and productive.
“The biggest challenge I have faced running a digital agency is instilling our culture in our staff. By culture I mean the principles we want to work to and the standards I expect of everyone on our team. This can be hard to establish and maintain when the team is spread across the UK as we are. But there are ways to achieve it such as having regular chats/updates on the processes we are using and listening to feedback from the team on what’s working well and what can be improved. Hiring the right type of people in the first place is probably the most vital thing as you will be placing a lot of trust in them to set their own high standards.”
3. Hands-off Approach
Ayushi Sharma (Business Consultant) at iFour Technolab Private Limited explains how task timelines may get complicated quickly. This happens due to interdependencies of team members that are involved in the task.
“This is very common in software development companies to have distinct team members working on the same project and resulting in dependence on other team members. In the absence of Face-to-face communication with all the team members, there may be a time lag to communicate when one has finished the task, and the other can start.”
4. Communication, Collaboration and Teamwork
Rick Ormsby (Managing Content Editor) of KWSM digital agency emphasizes the importance of keeping communication clear to make tasks effective. Keeping communication effective is vital when working remotely.
“One of the challenges is continuing to facilitate communication, collaboration and teamwork with a team that’s used to working side-by-side and is now remote for the first time. People are used to immediate validation and feedback from their colleagues, and it’s been hard for many because they don’t get that without reaching out and asking for it, which can be difficult.”
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Rianna Susco (Business Development Coordinator) of Squeeze Market. explains how working remotely makes task management a real challenge.
“Since our communication has become virtual and a bit more sparse, task management has also been a challenge. Sometimes timelines and duties can get lost during phone meetings and we forget to ask certain questions about who is doing what. Our team has used a task management software (Asana, to be exact) for quite some time now. However, we have all agreed to be more diligent using the software than ever before. This way, we are tracking assignments and notifying other team members of our progress so we always know who is working on what and if anyone can step in to help.”
6. Team Self-motivation and Productivity
Alexandra Zelenko (Senior Marketing and Technical Writer) at DDI Development believes that the team’s self-motivation plays a crucial role in improving productivity.
“Teams are the way that most companies get important work done and achieve success. When you combine the knowledge and skills of a motivated group of people, then you and your remote team can accomplish any task you set. In addition to that, every member of the team should be self-motivated and engaged to be more productive. Without these qualities, productivity will suffer. However, team motivation is difficult. Any time you’re dealing with a group of different, unique individuals remotely, you’re going face some challenges.
Unfortunately, managers who are truly good at motivating are few. This is partly because it isn’t something you can learn overnight. That’s why at the very beginning set up clear communication procedures and regular calls to stay in alignment with tasks and objectives, monitor progress to understand the time spent against tasks.”
7. Pushback in Creative and Strategy Tasks
Brian Robben (CEO & Founder) of Robben Media explains how creative and strategy-driven tasks could likely face pushback in a work-from-home scenario. He explains that some of these tasks are quickly concluded with face-to-face meetings and clear communication.
“Creative and strategic types have different ways of getting from point A to point B. And because of that, there’s often pushback and lack of clarity around every corner for managers. My best tip is to clearly lay out the objective, see if the employee has any questions, and then hold them accountable to the end result—not how they get there. This hands-off approach where work is tied to the end result will leave the employee feeling freer to create and you less stressed. This has been working tremendously for my digital agency. Try it yourself.”
Challenges in Managing a Remote Team During COVID-19 Lockdown
To adjust to these changing times, most companies are adopting a work-from-home – policy to safeguard their employees from this imminent threat. We’ve run a few queries online for experts and experienced professionals of the digital agency industry, to seek out what specific challenges did they faced in these testing times.
1. Social Distancing
Ben Landers (CEO) of Blue Corona explains how social distancing makes run-of-the-mill tasks complicated, usual interactions sluggish.
“All of our business tools-including our phone system and client management software-live in the cloud, so staying connected from a work-perspective is no problem. Where I see people struggling is with social isolation. No longer can people go grab lunch together or an early afternoon coffee. Some people really crave in-person, social interaction, and the absence of it can be problematic. We’ve tried to counter this with games, virtual happy hours, etc., but while helpful, I don’t think it is a cure.”
2. Creating the Perfect Workspace
According to Kent Lewis. President and Founder of Anvil Media, Inc pre-COVID-19 many people did work from home, however, they didn’t have a designated space.
“Underline the challenges and obstacles you have to face while setting up or managing a remote team: We were not a remote team prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. It wasn’t difficult to transition, however. Mostly, the team had to style out a workspace at home, and many borrowed chairs and monitors from the office. We’ve modified all meetings to be virtual, which has definitely lost some of the energy, collaboration and creativity provided by F2F interactions, which is why we haven’t been a remote company prior.”
3. Logistical Nightmares
Erik Oster and Patrick Kulp, Agency reporters from ADWEEK explain how working from home during this pandemic can be a major source of stress for employees and employers alike.
“Working from home can often lead to logistical headaches, like delayed response times and communication misunderstandings. It can also make real-time editing of visual work more difficult than it would be if workers were physically gathered around the same screen.”
Benefits of Managing a Remote Team
There are many benefits of remote working, in addition to the exposure one gets operating in a remote team. A workforce that’s familiar with remote working procedures has a different way of tackling problems, hence, they also have a variety of skill sets that you’ll find interesting.
Let’s look at some benefits of having a remote agency team.
1. Optimum Work Efficiency
There’s no doubt that work efficiency increases tremendously in an agency when it opts for working remotely.
Kasey Kaplan – Founder of KWK Studio elaborates on how working remotely increases efficiency.
“When done correctly a remote and distributed team provides amazing efficiencies. For the last two years, my team has been 100% remote with people living all over the world. Once we implemented proper systems and communication my team was able to increase throughput because a project could be worked on almost all hours of the day. It actually reduced
bottlenecks because there were clear tasks assigned to each member of the team and each person on the team could work with minimal distractions at least part of the day. It might not be the most traditional model but we’ve had great results and the team has an increase in work-life balance.”
2. Save Time
One of the interesting benefits of remote working is the ability to work round-the-clock with a team.
Bob Bentz, President of Purplegator explains how working remotely is a great benefit to companies.
“Employees don’t need to commute. Some of our employees drive 30-45 minutes each way to get to work. This is time that may be used to increase the time spent working. That appears to be the biggest benefit. I am glad that we are in quarantine at a time when the weather is changing. Imagine if it were the middle of winter and none of us could get outside. We’ve seen employees sitting outside and enjoying the weather. That is helping with the psychological effects of being at home all day.”
3. Proactively Staying in Touch with the Entire Team
Jasleen Saran – a PR and Marketing Consultant freelancer gave her two cents regarding the benefits to work with and manage a remote team. She mentions about staying engaged with the entire team and keeping motivation high are two benefits from working remotely.
“Engaged team with a scheduled all-team call every morning and at the end of the day Eager to maintain phone conversations with a client through Hangouts to keep relationships going. Big emphasis on getting tasks done and keeping motivated during the lockdown. Employees are proactively going the extra mile to help businesses keep Afloat.”
4. The Shift in being Task-Oriented
When teams work remotely, the team members are more focused on getting tasks done rather than killing the hours of the day. Productivity increases with the focus to complete maximum tasks.
Liam Ridings, the Director of Safari Digital explains:
“Employees are task focussed, not time focussed. Generally speaking, digital agencies are more progressive than a lot of work-places in terms of output over the clock. You go through periods where you can complete an entire week’s worth of work in a couple of days, and other times when you’re clock-watching and getting very little done. Do you know what consistency is? You get paid exactly the same.
Working with a team of digital marketing professionals and developers who are —quite simply— outstanding in their field means that they are in high demand. We reward employees for the amount of work that they complete. We don’t mind if they are juggling other projects or their own entrepreneurial endeavors, we’re only concerned with their output. If it takes them 3-hours to complete a project that might take another professional a week, we don’t mind. We pay them for the work, not the amount of time it takes them to complete it.
For us, working with a remote team means cutting out clock-watching and bureaucracy. So long as the work is completed, we’re not concerned with how many YouTube or Instagram breaks it takes you to get there.”
5. Finding Talent at a Good Price
When recruiting candidates to create your remote team, you’ll come across many different talented candidates.
Filip Silobod – Owner of Honest Marketing mentions two major benefits of working with a remote team.
“1. Find the talent you need and at a good price For example, you are open to a much bigger pool of talent that in your local area. This includes countries where expenses are lower so you don’t need to pay as much if you live in a more expensive country.”
As appealing as having a larger pool of talent to pick from is, it also means that a significant amount of time is required to review each potential candidate’s résumé and organize interviews. As a result, many businesses seek recruitment process outsourcing to assist them in finding the right employees and managing the onboarding process.
6. Challenging Communication Skills
Ashley Sterling – Director of Operations in The Loop Marketing explains how working remotely presents an opportunity for the remote team to challenge communication skills.
“Before COVID-19, our team had the ability to work remotely one or two days per week. The benefit of having the ability to work remotely ensures that clients needs will be met no matter what. In addition to this, it presents the opportunity to challenge our communications skills, review where there may be weak points within our protocols, and work to make them better. The flexibility that remote work provides allows for more life-work balance in our everyday lives.”
7. Reduced Running Cost
Working remotely can cut down costs to a great extent, as no physical space is required to run operations. .
Iqbal Hussain – Founder & CEO of Norm Defiers elaborates how running a remote team can actually save you
“Needless to say but getting a decent office space with all the amenities a digital agency needs can quickly add up in the running costs.
By working remotely, that cost is entirely cut-off without any real downside.
Also in situations like the current pandemic, a remote team’s day-to-day operation doesn’t face any significant impact.
Agencies can also use the cost they save on physical office & utilities to give away little bonuses to their team members. Small gestures go a long way in building relationships.”
How to Setup and Manage a Remote Team?
If you’re looking to set up and manage a remote team, there are many aspects you need to consider. You’ll want to treat this team as an external team that will need a supervisor to manage and streamline schedules and tasks.
Yes, this means that you’ll want to spend extra time understanding and identifying who fits certain roles in your current team and then assign roles accordingly. Therefore, you’ll need a Project Manager.
i. Finding a Project Manager
When working remotely the presence of time and distance adds complexities to daily run-of-the-mill tasks, which is why you’re now looking for a project manager. The primary function of your remote team’s project manager is to ensure that there is a smooth workflow according to a planned schedule, identify roadblocks, and ensure the smooth running of daily operations of your business.
If your agency has a small team, you may not need to hire an additional resource to manage them, as this role can be fulfilled with someone within your team.
The traits you’re looking for – in assigning a project manager is someone that understands the different personalities in your team and great communication skills. After all, your project manager will know how to tweak the gears of your team to get work done effectively without compromising on the level of satisfaction.
ii. Establish Workflows and Guidelines.
The next important aspect of setting up a remote team is to establish workflows and guidelines.
So what’s a workflow?
It’s a basic schematic that explains the way tasks move along the operational funnel. It’s a way of defining the process itself so each area of responsibility has its own workflow – as most work processes don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach.
A simple workflow process in a digital agency may look like this.
With workflows, you’ll also need guidelines to ensure that the logistical support your business needs to grow is in place – as it would be the same case in a brick-and-mortar model. Documentation of guidelines helps organizations in not only establishing workflows but also rules and regulations that need to be followed.
Furthermore, these documents contain frequently asked questions that new and existing team members can refer to when revising processes and standards of procedure.
Watch out for this video below to also know why it’s important to have standard operating procedures while you are managing a team of developers.
Now that you have what you need to lay the groundwork for your remote team but you’ve still not hired that team. So how does one go about hiring the right team to operate remotely?
Let’s find out!
iii. Hiring a Remote Team
You’ve made it to this part of the article, where you’re now ready to hire your own remote team! You’re expecting to unravel the true potential of your business by gaining access to a diverse talent pool. Your team can now go global, which should make brainstorming and ideation far more interesting.
When it boils down to finally recruiting a team member, it can be easy to get distracted by the candidate’s individual skill. However, another very important factor to consider is whether the candidate measures up the behavioral profile of his team members.Therefore, include AI-based HR tech solutions in screening candidates on their psychometric and cognitive skills.
To work efficiently, you’ll need to hire a team that’s effective and works well with each other. This means that the effectiveness of your team is directly proportional to the skill set your workforce has at an individual level.
Be Clear When Seeking a Remote Team!
Needless to say, you should post about the vacancy in places with the most traction to pull a larger pool of remote team candidates. Here’s what you’ll need to consider
This is a remote position, however, we’re looking to hire candidates in the time zones UTC-1 and UTC-4.
This explains the parameters of your hiring and what time you expect the candidate to be available.
You’ll want to elaborate on your expectations when setting up a remote team as that sets the pace of your work. You’ll be looking for candidates who understand that this work can be stressful and enduring to self-discipline. You’ll have to be critical about the candidate’s communication skills as that’s what helps members of the remote team function as a collective unit.
You can pick out behavioral skills by assigning tasks such that require the candidate to connect with different team members and extract information. A task like this helps in identifying how well this candidate gel in with the team.
Be Okay with Rejecting Unqualified Applications, But do it with Gratitude!
You’d want to keep your filters tight and strong in order to keep your company’s image positive. Nothing screams unprofessional behavior more than not communicating clearly with the audience pool, so always keep that in mind during the hiring process.
A lesser portion of candidates applying will be a good fit for your remote team. This means that the screening process can be too time-consuming.
Some of the more essential skills you’re looking for when recruiting your remote team are::
- Great communication skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Good time management skills
- Powerful collaboration skills
You can get recommendations from your current team as these team members will have to work together. It’s also good practice to get a second opinion from your team before you place the job posting.
After you’ve looked at the behavioral profile, you should now consider building this technological profile. A technological profile is the ability of your team members to use tools that help in collaboration, file sharing, security, communication, and maintenance.
“Hiring the right type of people in the first place is probably the most vital thing as you will be placing a lot of trust in them to set their own high standards,” says Stuart Cooke -Founder of Levity Digital.
iv. Setup Communication Channels
Also, with many tools available online to communicate among team members, it’s vital to use the official communication channel. This helps team members keep conversations on one platform as opposed to having communication scattered around.
For instance, you can use Slack as the official channel of communication among external teams, while using Skype as the official internal communication channel.
Ten Expert Tips & Best Practices to Manage a Remote Team
We’ve rounded up some expert tips to help you in getting the ball rolling to help you manage a remote team. These tips help in during the setting up and improving the work efficiency of your remote team members.
1. Centralize Communication
By Trivinia Barber (founder and CEO of Priority VA)
“The top tip for managing a remote team is to Centralize Communication. As a business owner, it’s important to decide right away how you will communicate with your remote team and how they should communicate with each other.
Without large staff meetings, or quick pop-ins to somebody’s office, how will you disseminate information? Digital communication is hard to get right. Factor in the myriad modes of communication — email, Slack, text message, phone call, video message, etc. — and it’s downright overwhelming.
Our best advice is to pick two to three channels and communicate your expectations around them.
For example, use Slack for all internal communication and Zoom for virtual meetings.
Advise that email be used with clients and third-party vendors only and that all employees be available for phone calls in case of an emergency.
Discourage intra-office texting unless it is an emergency.
After years of leading and advising virtual teams, we developed the “Two-Strike” rule, which says that if something requires more than two emails or Slack messages to get your point across, hop on the phone or conduct a Zoom meeting.
Being consistent with the channels you use keeps operations organized and creates a process for your team to follow.”
2. Document Everything
Will Brown (WordPress Consultant Zero Point Development)
“it’s a central source of truth that even I refer to myself as the business owner.
Sure it takes time to build up the repository of knowledge, but you work it into your daily routine, and soon it just becomes the new normal.
*Tip #2 – Set up a reporting template*
Don’t let remote team workers report to you using their briefing templates. If you want to get the most out of remote team members progress, give them a template to use, so you set them up for success.
The template should cover the basics such as an update on issues from the last check-in, current tasks, completed tasks, new problems, milestones, AOB.”
You can also use task management software to track individual goals and work progress.
3. Work Together, Apart
Kassi Fleming (Head of Marketing at 5Tales)
“Although a remote working team may only see each other in person once a month, a year or even every few years, it is important to solidify a feeling of teamwork and encourage communication so that no employee is ever unsure of where to turn for advice or assistance. This can be encouraged through one-on-one weekly meetings between managers and staff, daily team “check-ins”, and using company-wide instant messaging. There are a number of online tools and apps which allow for collaborative working, but some of our favorites are Slack, Trello and Zoom.”
4. Share Instructional Videos
Kassi Fleming (Head of Marketing at 5Tales)
“Sometimes, sharing instructional videos is a better way of collaborating remotely. You can use tools like *Skype Screen Share*, *CloudApp,* and *Loom* and others like these to record videos and guide teammates. This makes communication more effective.”
5. Having Comprehensive SOPs, Workflows, and Guidelines
By Jason Lavis (Managing Director at Out of the Box Innovations Ltd.)
“My best tip for setting up and managing a remote team is to have a comprehensive set of SOPs and communication tools in place.
We have strong SOPs for each part of our operations, allowing people to come in and hit the ground running. We provide videos of all steps of the process, and of course, I’m always available to train and help when needed.
We also use Asana and Slack to manage workflow and communications. We’ve even added a water cooler channel in Slack to ensure that people have a. A place to talk about what’s on their mind, which is especially important these days. Having that outlet helps people feel more human, and also means our actual meetings are more focused because people feel heard elsewhere.”
6. Communicate often, but communicate efficiently
By Paige Arnof-Fenn (founder & CEO Mavens & Moguls)
“Efficient communication is key. Schedule weekly one on one meetings to know how your employees are doing, and help them stay on the same page. Do daily stand up calls every morning so everyone can list what they did yesterday, are going to do today and if there are any blockers. Help people stay oriented towards your goals and show a little empathy. It’s a tough time for some people.”
7. Invest in The Best Communication Tool
By Kateryna Reshetilo (Head of Marketing at Greenice)
“Invest in a great work messenger (Skype and Google Hangouts won’t do, look for Slack or its alternatives), if you haven’t already! It will become your new office and in some ways even better. Make sure to organize it really well. We have chat groups for various projects, as well as for employees sharing similar responsibilities (e.g. Sales Team, Project Managers, etc.) and informal conversations to keep the culture alive.
Have remote team-building activities (yes, it is possible!). For instance, we have a workout challenge for quarantine. It is simple: we have a common workout schedule in a Google Sheet and track our weekly progress there. Besides, we also occasionally get together on a video call to chit-chat and drink beer. These things are so simple, but yet do wonders for the team spirit.”
By Holly Sprague (President of Windstream Enterprise)
“With everyone working remotely, there will be new challenges to protecting your company’s data. Firewalls can ensure no one can access your company’s network but authorized employees. And if you’re planning to take orders online, you need PCI Compliance to accept and protect credit card numbers.”
9. Select One WorkSpace App
By Melissa RinaProfeta (Influential Brand Strategist and Managing Partner of Melpro Marketing Consultancy Services)
“Keeping track of everyone’s tasks is hard if you don’t see what each other is doing. It is best for you to choose one workspace app that will allow you to not only keep track of each and everyone’s progress but at the same time, give each other some feedback.”
10. Place Comprehensive SOPs
By Curt Storring( CMO and Content Director at Floor Five Hundred)
“My best tip for setting up and managing a remote team is to have a comprehensive set of SOPs and communication tools in place.
We have strong SOPs for each part of our operations, allowing people to come in and hit the ground running. We provide videos of all steps of the process, and of course I’m always available to train and help when needed.
We also use Asana and Slack to manage workflow and communications. We’ve even added a water cooler channel in Slack to ensure that people have a place to talk about what’s on their mind, which is especially important these days. Having that outlet helps people feel more human, and also means our actual meetings are more focused, because people feel heard elsewhere.”
11. Utilize time tracking tools to manage productivity
By John Larase (Content Marketing Specialist at Time Doctor)
“The most difficult part of managing a remote team is how to track their time and productivity. As you are not able to keep an eye on them throughout the day, you are putting all your trust in your employees and make sure all tasks are executed. But sometimes it can be really difficult to know if they are working. Are they logging in for scheduled shifts? Are customer support questions being answered?
As a manager, you need to make sure everything is well taken care of. Frequent chats and emails to your employees just to know what they are working on may sometimes lead to employee burnout. Worst part is they’ll find you irritating and very strict.
With the right tools for project management, time tracking, and remote communication, managing remote employees becomes a breeze — even during these difficult times.”
Tools to Manage Remote Employees
Now you’re probably wondering about the vast library of tools available online to help with remote team management. We’ve asked industry experts about tools that can manage a remote team.
1. G Suite
Charlie Worrall – Digital Marketing Executive at Imaginaire shares his insights about this tool.
G Suite is a Google product that comprises online software to help professionals work mobile.
“We use G Suite for our emails and so we also have access to the likes of Hangouts and Currents. These are great because we can schedule in reviews and meetings for the whole team or just a few of us at a time and this will integrate with Google Calendar too. All of this integration means that we can stay organized and connected wherever there is an internet connection.
So, if someone moved to the USA or even Bali, we can still continue to work as normal without missing a beat. “
Michael Chammas – founder of Makro Agency shares his opinion about this interesting tool.
Asana is a platform that helps teams in collaborative work and monitoring the status of tasks. and estimate progress. This is a great addition to the list of tools to manage a remote team.
“Asana is a very versatile tool that enables us to create a team for each of our clients and create multiple projects within that team. Even though you can save and reuse project templates, each project can be set up differently with any number of custom fields and project-specific workflows.”
Jennifer Will – the Editor at Etia mentions how HubStaff helps track her remote team members’ productivity. Hubstaff is tracking software that helps streamline time tracking, work monitoring, and reporting. All in all, this is a great tool to manage a remote team.
“Hubstaff includes features like online timesheets, time tracking, scheduling, tracking, as well as reporting. Similarly, InterGuard also aims to protect data and confidential information by recordings, alerts, blocks, and maintain productivity, and ensure legal compliance.”
Ayushi Sharma – a business consultant for iFour Technolab Pvt. Ltd elaborates on some of the features of Slack. Slack is the best place to create channels to communicate with internal and external teams. Tiy to integrate slack with multiple apps which helps manage the entire workflow from one platform.
Slack is the most popular communication management applications well suited for remote work. It allows you to create team channels and send messages. Adding to it, It lets you drag-and-drop files, bookmark messages, and pin documents. It’s quicker, more efficient and more user-friendly.
As an alternative to Asana, Micheal Chammas from Makro Agency recommends using Notion to write, plan, collaborate, and organize tasks in one place. A simple yet effective tool to manage a remote team.
This is where all company documentation lives. At any time, any team member can go into Notion and find all a step by step guide to any agency task. The notion is very easy to use and can be organized in many different ways to make it very easy for everyone to find what they are looking for.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that allows more than 100 users to attend a single meeting. It’s great for conference calls and brings back the nostalgia of a classroom/office space.
Ashley Sterling – Director of Operations at The Loop Marketing gives her opinion on using
Zoom. as a video conferencing tool.
“It has features such as screen sharing, content sharing and local recoding which makes it an end-to-end conference solution. Zoom makes meetings accessible. Only single people download and share the link to others can join from their devices. It provides windows for toggling between users while sharing screen-sharing and whiteboarding.”
Shagun Chauhan of Technolab Pvt. Ltd recommends using Trello as project management and team collaboration software.
“Trello allows your team to create, design, and assign tasks through a visual interface. I help to create a card and sort them by departments. It’s very collaborative tools that let you informed about the various tasks to achieve in a more engaging way rather than emails or memos.”
Kassi Fleming – the Head of Marketing at 5Tales gives her two cents about a tool that helps her manage remote teams.
“Our favorite time tracking app! As a remote team, Toggl allows our management team to support employees with time management and task prioritization without being physically present to observe work habits. It also reinforces our values of self-responsibility and discipline by keeping us honest and accountable about our productivity and time. The other bonus of using Toggl is that we are able to track which clients and campaigns are occupying the most time from our team and allow us to better allocate resources.”
9. Google Drive
Tihana Drumev; the Head of Digital Marketing at Best Response Media and her team lead’s choice of tool to be Google Drive. It helps collaborate and place documents online for mobility.
“Google Drive and Google Doc, Sheets and Slides are also the tools I can’t imagine running a virtual team. Through these, we can all collaborate In real-time on a particular document or spreadsheet.”
Immy Ransom – the Head of Content at Digital Silk endorses using Teamwork. He explains that this platform is simple and effective to manage a remote team.
“This platform centralizes our projects, making it very easy to assign, oversee and provide feedback on tasks. It helps us track the performance of all our team members, giving us deeper insights into bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. It facilitates billing, giving clients transparency over our work. And finally, it also has its HR-related benefits with calendar logs and directory.”
That concludes all the recommended tools, expert tips, and their opinions on working with a remote agency team. Whether you’re new to this working lifestyle or you’re wondering if you’re on the right track, you’ve now known about the challenges experts faced when they adopted this lifestyle.
We’ve also compiled opinions of experts and experienced professionals about the benefits of managing a remote team. We’ve also helped you understand the process of working remotely and the aspects you should consider when assigning/recruiting members of your remote team.
Be sure to keep an eye out on this article so you don’t miss out on newer tools and more tips that you can adopt in your remote work routine.
Share your comments below. Comment in the section below If you know a tip, or wish to add your two cents about how to work with or manage a remote team, share your comments below.
Arsalan, a Digital Marketer by profession, works as a Startups and Digital Agencies Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves all things entrepreneurial and wakes up every day with the desire to enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs through his work!