Influencing team members dispersed across different locations, time zones, and cultures.

Managing a team remotely comes with its own unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to influencing team members who may be dispersed across different locations, time zones, and cultures. In this blog post, we’ll explore some strategies for influencing remote teams, backed up by statistics and academic insights.

  1. Build Trust

Trust is essential for any team to function effectively, but it’s especially critical for remote teams. Without regular face-to-face interactions, it’s easy for team members to become isolated and disconnected from each other. Building trust takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that high-trust companies outperformed low-trust companies by 286% in total returns to shareholders over a 10-year period.

To build trust with your remote team, focus on communication, transparency, and accountability. Make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, set clear expectations, and be available to answer questions and provide feedback. Regular video calls can also help build trust and maintain a sense of connection.

  1. Set Clear Goals

Without clear goals, team members may feel lost or unsure of what they should be working on. Setting clear goals helps everyone stay focused and motivated, and it also provides a framework for evaluating progress and measuring success.

According to a study by MIT, goal-setting is a key predictor of success in remote teams. The study found that teams with well-defined goals were 16% more productive than those without.

When setting goals, make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Share goals with the team, and encourage everyone to contribute ideas and feedback.

  1. Foster Collaboration

Collaboration is essential for remote teams to work effectively. A study by Stanford University found that people who collaborate regularly are 64% more likely to be productive than those who work alone.

To foster collaboration, provide opportunities for team members to work together on projects and share ideas. Use collaborative tools like Google Docs, Slack, or Trello to help people work together in real-time. Encourage regular check-ins and team meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page.

  1. Lead by Example

As a manager, your actions and attitudes set the tone for the rest of the team. Leading by example means modelling the behaviours you want to see in your team, and setting high standards for yourself.

According to a study by the University of Michigan, leaders who set a good example are more likely to influence their teams positively. The study found that employees who rated their leaders highly were 5.4 times more likely to rate their teams highly as well.

To lead by example, be transparent, communicate clearly, and be responsive to feedback. Show respect for your team members’ opinions and ideas, and be willing to admit when you’re wrong.

In conclusion, managing a remote or hybrid team requires a different set of skills than managing a team in-person. To influence your remote team, focus on building trust, setting clear goals, fostering collaboration, and leading by example. By following these strategies, you can help your remote team work more effectively and achieve greater success.