CIOs Face Challenges in Managing Remote Teams

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 05-01-2014 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Biggest Challenges for CIOs in Managing Remote Teams: Fleeting Face Time
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    Biggest Challenges for CIOs in Managing Remote Teams: Fleeting Face Time

    30% of CIOs say they greatly struggle with communications issues among their remote teams.
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    Biggest Challenges for CIOs in Managing Remote Teams: Accountability Issues
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    Biggest Challenges for CIOs in Managing Remote Teams: Accountability Issues

    22% indicate they find it difficult to stay on top of their remote teams' productivity, and lack insight into how work is getting done.
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    Biggest Challenges for CIOs in Managing Remote Teams: State of Disconnect
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    Biggest Challenges for CIOs in Managing Remote Teams: State of Disconnect

    22% say their remote teams deal with significant technology issues, including the ability to access needed information.
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Outline Expectations
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Outline Expectations

    Make it clear as to how often you need remote employees to check in by phone or e-mail, and when they must be reachable during office hours.
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Keep Eyes on the Prize
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Keep Eyes on the Prize

    Establish concrete immediate and long-term goals and benchmarks to help remote workers stay on track with department objectives.
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Establish the Chain of Command
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Establish the Chain of Command

    Each remote team needs a leader who is ultimately responsible for making sure all deadlines and expectations are met, in addition to a back-up appointee for when the primary leader is unavailable.
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Leverage Tech Tools
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Leverage Tech Tools

    Take advantage of teleconferencing, online meetings and file-sharing services to foster collaboration. Use videoconferencing to "put a face" on remote staffers.
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Create Opportunities for In-Person Engagement
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Create Opportunities for In-Person Engagement

    To help these teams stay connected, arrange for them to work on-site a few times a month (or as appropriate). Ask them to attend important events and meetings in person.
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Get Them to Unplug
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Get Them to Unplug

    Remote team members often feel there is no separation of their work and personal lives. So encourage them to electronically unplug when not on duty, and seek a healthy work-life balance.
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Set Aside Play Time
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    Best Practices for CIOs and Remote Teams: Set Aside Play Time

    Schedule days to get together with remote teams for meals and team-building exercises in order to build trust and comradery.
 

Business legend Richard Branson has said that offices one day will be "a thing of the past." While that may amount to a bit of hyperbole, it's projected that 43 percent of U.S. workers will work remotely by 2016, according to industry research. Additional studies have found that telecommuting boosts productivity, performance and overall engagement levels. That said, managers still encounter considerable challenges in supervising remote teams, and CIOs are no exception, according to a recent survey from Robert Half Technology. Managers struggle to establish goals and expectations with these workers, and admit that the lack of face-to-face interaction presents accessibility and team cohesion concerns. "As remote work arrangements become increasingly popular, managers are often concerned that camaraderie and collaboration could suffer due to lack of regular, in-person interaction," says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Even senior executives in a technology-forward department like IT can feel disconnected from remote teams because of limited face time with staff and lack of visibility into how work is being accomplished." To respond to these issues, Robert Half Technology also presents the following best practices for CIOs. Additional best practices were compiled from prior research from IBM. An estimated 2,300 U.S. CIOs participated in the survey research. For more about Robert Half Technology's findings and best practices, click here. For more about the IBM research, click here. 

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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