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Tips for assisting a remote team

Friday, 18th July

There are a number of things you can do to help your remote team be as productive as your in-office team. Below you can find a couple of advices based on the experience I have managing remote teams.

Know your team – the only way to really know your remote team is to spend some time with them. As a CEO of StivaSoft, a web development company having offices in multiple locations (two offices based in different cities in Bulgaria and one on a different continent, Vietnam, Asia), I have found the need to often travel to Vietnam. Culture differences are the most important factor to know when working with people in a different country. Spending time with them helped me find that what seems obvious to me may not be the same for my colleagues having different culture, religion and nationality.

Be available – In my case, the time difference is something I should have got used to. I often receive calls in the evenings or very early in the morning. I try to answer all of these calls. An emergency contact number is also a must.

Be patient – with the modern technology and especially in the web development industry, it's easy to communicate with your remote team. Software products for video calls, document or screen sharing will make it easy to explain how something should be done. However, you will often find that even with these tools, it will take you more time to explain something to your team than to the people who stand next to you. Be prepared for that and give it enough time! I prefer spending a bit more time on a group call than on fixing afterwards problems.

Be reliable – do what you promise you will. Your remote team will trust on you for small things such as arranging extra money for buying a new PC or taking care of an office rental contract. So if they need you to help them with something you need to be there. To gain respect is what you need to focus at. As soon as your remote team knows that you are available at any moment to help them with anything they need they will become a lot more productive than what you think.