Research - Managing Remotely

May 2014 - 2015 

Managing Remotely will examine the current knowledge and practices centered on the management and sponsorship of virtual teams. Remote management is both a growing trend and a growing challenge. The virtual business model is a relatively new concept, with no hard and fast methods established to effectively manage and mentor non co-located workers to create the most productive working team. Our discussions will focus on such questions as, how do you make non co-located workers feel included in the team, especially those located within different cultural environments; what tools are available to assist in mentoring, coaching and training in the virtual environment; what are the best modes of communication to address diverse team integration; which performance evaluation tools would be the most effective in promoting excellence across the board; how do you best leverage the talents of your remote team; how do you create the “water cooler” environment that encourages the valuable informal exchange of information and ideas; and, what practices would be most effective in creating a cohesive team throughout the virtual organization.

Why Managing Remotely?

Through research, surveys and discussion we will examine what practices currently exist to promote happier, more productive virtual teams, as well as explore new ideas to help facilitate the successful management of such teams. We plan to: conduct a literature search; survey for best practices within the IRI memberships (e.g. – Boeing); survey companies that have dealt with virtual challenge and moved away from it (e.g. Yahoo); analyze the findings/data; build a hypothesis; test that hypothesis.

Deliverable: What will the end result be? How will you share your findings? (example: RTM article, presentation at Annual Meeting or Member Summit, Special interest session…etc.)
The culmination of our discussions will enable us to craft guides, even maybe a “Playbook” for achieving high quality management of remote teams. These management guides will provide a roadmap on how to manage people in a virtual environment as effectively as they are managed in a co-located environment, without the necessity of excessive “in-person” interactions. Our findings will likely be published in and RTM article.