TMCnet Feature
January 22, 2021

Managing IT Teams from a Distance - 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid



Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of people opted for remote work.

The fact that you don’t have to dress up and travel to work was enough for some employees to stay at home.  Others combined remote work and office hours.

However, with hundreds of millions of employees around the world working from home, company managers need to fulfil some new conditions to stay efficient.

In this article, you’ll learn about 5 common mistakes for managing remote IT teams and how to avoid them.

1)Restricted access to the cloud

Some companies restrict access to cloud-based solutions available to their employees. Most managers claim that this measure is here to protect them from potential data theft and unauthorized access.

So, they restrict their employees and teams strictly to the tools they need for their core tasks. On the one hand, this is an understandable move when it comes to confidential financial information. On the other hand, such an approach can slow down the collaboration between your employees. This becomes even more frustrating for employees if they need to log into each tool separately.



A reasonable solution for ensuring proper protection of your business systems and remote workers is a single sign-on method. Once your employees sign into their cloud or any other company account via this option, they’ll immediately get access to a pre-listed number of solutions and tools.

That way, you’ll ensure smooth access while still being able to restrict it, but without compromising remote workers’ user experience.

2)Poor communication

When we’re not together in the office, it’s not easy to ensure smooth communication.

If your workers don’t receive vital business information on time, they won’t be able to complete their tasks properly.

Because of that, every business owner managing remote IT teams needs to rely on the following types of communication tools:

  • Email for notifications and negotiations. Everything that is not urgent should be communicated via email. From notifications for your employees to negotiations with your clients, email is still a practical and powerful tool.
  • Video conferencing tools for meetings. Microsoft Teams, Skype (News - Alert), and Zoom are only some of the options remote teams can use for meetings. Still, avoid having business video calls via social media. It might look unprofessional and it’s less secure than purpose-made communication tools.
  • Project management tools. Some business owners might distribute tasks via email. This is something you should avoid. Instead of that, use Trello, Basecamp, Teamwork, or other project management tools to ensure proper collaboration and communication on projects between your teams and team members.

3)Messed up documentation

IT managers handling remote teams might loosen the reins when it comes to project documentation. However, the fact that you’re working remotely doesn’t mean that you can let people enter documents the way they want it.

Because of that, it’s important to stay disciplined in terms of document categorization. Using cloud-based solutions is already a good starting point because that way all your workers can easily find the documents they need.

Combined with the single sign-on above, it will ensure smooth access to properly organized documentation.

Apart from that, using various IT documentation tools will make it easier for IT managers to track their remote teams.

4)Potential workers’ burnout

As reported by Bloomberg, working from home means longer work hours for most remote workers. When you go to the office, you separate your professional life and your business life. On the other hand, working from home often means handling work, family, and chores at the same time.

Since IT projects often require a higher level of commitment than tasks in some other niches, workers in this industry are even more exposed to potential burnout.

IT managers can prevent this by distributing tasks on time and giving reasonable deadlines. Workers, on the other hand, need to make proper estimations and base their work schedules on them.

Managers and their employees together need to plan their projects, tasks, and work hours to reduce the level of stress as much as possible, while ensuring high productivity.

This is where mind mapping comes in handy, as well. When you visually map your plans, ideas, and professional development, it’s easier to organize both your time and your business projects. As a result, you’ll reduce the risk of burnout while showing a proactive approach at work.

5)Inadequate device management

In these times, when remote work is gaining popularity, there are two types of workers: long-term company workers, and newly hired employees. In many companies, the first group of workers has been assigned company devices for remote work. However, newly hired employees often use their own devices.

For some niches, like content writing or HR, the type of device you use doesn’t make any difference, as long as it’s properly secured. However, for more demanding jobs in terms of tech equipment, such as software developers and UX designers, inadequate devices will result in lower productivity.

Because of that IT managers of remote teams need to convince CEOs and other managers to provide adequate machines for people working in such positions.

Also, as new normality is taking over the business world, now it’s possible to manage all your business devices via a single solution and network. In the light of remote device management, it’s a practical option for monitoring both company and personal devices for enhanced security and improved productivity.

Conclusion

Managing remote IT teams is more demanding than coping with some other groups of home-based workers. You need to cover many bases, from ensuring proper access to software solutions and documentation, smooth communication to high workforce productivity, and device management. So, follow the tips above and you’ll ensure that your teams properly carry out their tasks and grow on a personal and professional level.

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Silvana Carpineanu is an enthusiast Marketing Specialist who works for mindomo.com. Driven by passion and creativity, she's responsible for copywriting, advertising, SEO, and content creation. She does all of this knowing that for every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.



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