A few successful Australian businesses have cracked the code of how to manage an effective distributed team.
I heard from several Australian businesses recently about how they make their distributed teams an asset to their business. They talked firstly about why they chose the distributed team model.
Quiip is one of the leading community management service providers nationally. They offer a 24/7 service, enabled by a global workforce. Julie Delaforce, General Manager at Quiip talks about why a distributed workforce makes sense for Quiip in the video above.
Erik Bigalk sees a productivity advantage in greater transparency. People work to outcomes, and the results are more visible through the use of online task management tools. Those tools are only in use because of his team’s distributed way of working.
Similar to Quiip, Remote Work Hub provides a 24/7 service online. By having a globally located team, they are able to respond to customer enquiries around the clock.
With these strong business reasons in play, distributed work is backed by a powerful business case.
I dug deeper with these and a few other business leaders to find out how they make the distributed team model work in their favour.
Julie Delaforce, Quiip: “We work really hard especially in the senior team to really ensure that we’re running our client teams effectively and building a culture that celebrates our people and helps them work really hard and communicate effectively with each other.”
Dave Curtis, Dave Curtis Consulting: “Certainly the biggest challenge is communication and collaboration. If you get those two things right, I find that you can work really effectively and it’s not all that different to having your team sitting next to you.”
Deb Dutton, Remote Work Hub: “Be very clear on your tasks at hand, write your systems and procedures. Don’t assume that everyone knows what you’re talking about.”
Dave Curtis: “It is very important to make sure that people do understand clearly, particularly my overseas team. I try to document and record the process so that they’ve got instructions to follow, or a standard operating procedure.”
Ian Little, Suitebox: “I guess there is an element of trust bestowed on me by management that I’m senior enough in what I do that they give me the ability and the autonomy to kind of make decisions off my own bat.”
Deb Dutton: “I think that’s probably one of the things that employers struggle with the most, actually. The trust side of it and having the right mindset that it’s about output. Concentrate and focus on the output.”
Successful distributed teams take the challenges of culture, communication and performance and manage them actively, rather than leave them to chance. They give their staff the opportunity to work autonomously by shifting their focus away from monitoring attendance and effort, toward managing outputs.