6 Ways to Thrive As a Remote Project Manager

Remote workers can be a challenge. The unique challenges of being a distributed manager for a team are many. You don’t have the traditional manager privileges of a boss: squeezing employees’ necks, meeting face to face in the conference room, talking it up with the coffee maker, etc. You do have to manage your employees, regardless of distance and time zones. There are strategies and methods that can save any remote manager’s sanity. This article is for remote managers.
I have been a remote worker for six-years and worked as a remote manager for most of that time. This article isn’t typical manager talk. This article is intended for remote managers only and will provide you with straightforward advice to improve your game.
Remote managers are a new breed in today’s world. As such, remote managers can write the manual, redefine rules, and reorganize the boundaries regarding location-independent team management.
Remote work is becoming more popular. Many startups hire remote workers exclusively. Many startups are moving towards remote work, including digital consulting companies, content marketers agencies, social media businesses, as well as SEO consulting firms. Even brick-and-mortar businesses with a physical location may hire a remote social media manager or content marketer. Managers must manage both remote and in-office management.
This article focuses on remote management at a deeper level, the level of management strategy. Remote management can be a wonderful thing, but it can also get a little confusing at times. Here are six tips to save your sanity as a remote manager.
1. Ensure that you have enough overlap time with your team members
“Overlap time” refers to any time during the day when you work online simultaneously with your team members.
Some jobs do not require overlap time. It’s important to have overlap time for other tasks.
You can focus on the real-time tasks you need to do by using overlap time. I have consulted with companies that insist on a minimum of three hours overlap time. Some companies are flexible and allow employees to choose from a variety of time zones or schedules.
One of my colleagues is based in the Philippines. She works late at night. I work in the mornings. We have a few hours overlap and it works perfectly. I have daily interactions with people from five different time zones. I can overlap with most of them during my nontraditional workday.
It shouldn’t take too much to meet the overlap time requirement. There are many managers who live in Chicago but have full-time employees from Eastern Europe. The Chicago manager might start work at 8am, but the employee in Ukraine will be just past 5pm, which provides a short overlap during traditional work hours.
But who says remote workers aren’t traditional? Maybe the Chicago manager is a morning person who enjoys high productivity. Perhaps the Ukrainian employee prefers to work late. Remote workers are not traditionalists when it is comes to their work hours so overlap time is rarely a problem.
TimeandDate.com is a great tool to help you manage your time zone issues. Simply enter your date and location to instantly find a time that works for everyone.
2. Cloud-based software that works
Remote workers are increasingly turning to the cloud. I use Google Drive, Skype and Evernote, Google Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, ConvertKit and Leadpages as my main tools.
Cloud collaboration is crucial. Collaboration means sharing information online. Email doesn’t always cut it. There are other factors that can be helpful.

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