Tips & Tools for Managing & Engaging Remote Teams
My law firm, Yaeger Law, began as a virtual office and is entirely remote. We collaborate, chat, work and manage remotely. I wanted to share some tips and tools for managing and engaging remote teams that make remote work easier, keep everyone engaged and moral up.
Frequent communication is key – work related, and non-work related – for managing and engaging remote teams. Have meetings – weekly – to discuss work related matters. Make sure these meetings are smart and focused. They will help you keep a pulse on your firm while managing and engaging remote teams.
Be sure to schedule times to “just chat” (like around the water cooler). Have a BYOL meeting or a BYOB happy hour. Celebrate birthdays and holidays remotely.
It is vital that you set specific expectations while providing flexibility to remote workers. They need clear direction and leadership. Make time to write down the job duties and expectations and review them with each team member. Place emphasis on what is accomplished and not when it is accomplished.
Slack – This is an instant messaging tool that your whole firm can join. Once you setup your workspace, invite everyone in the firm to join. Then create channels to engage teams and to communicate here instead of e-mail. Channels can be case specific, random, or firm business related. You can message everyone, a particular person, or a group of people. Slack also allows you to share documents and connects with various other applications, like Zoom.
Zoom – This is a video meeting platform. Zoom is free with unlimited time for 2 people. Meetings with more than 2 people are limited to 30 minutes but no need to purchase. Just start a new meeting when the 30 minutes is up. Or subscribe for about $15.00/month. Zoom also lets you share your screen, which makes it easy to review documents in real-time with others.
Google Hangouts – This is another video meeting platform. Connect with your team from anywhere with easy-to-join video calls that link with G-Suite.
Lifesize – This is a video meeting platform. You can quickly start a free video call with up to 25 participants requiring no downloads or installs. Guests can join the live call right from their laptops or mobile browsers by clicking on your personal meeting ID link.
Skype – A video meeting platform. Group video chat makes it easy for up to 50 people to meet and collaborate all at once. You can present PowerPoint slides, video recordings and more to your entire team.
Check out ANYWHEREWORKS that offers various tools to engage remote workers.
*Don’t forget to do some fun things for team building and staying connected. Some examples, change your avatar to your favorite Marvel character, sign up for “Hey Taco”, which allows you to give kudos to team members in Slack, and use VidHug to send group collaborative videos to send messages to team members.
If you want some help in how to use these tools effectively, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura V. Yaeger, J.D., LL.M.