Five Tips For Increasing Productivity for a Decentralized Team

Sophia Ellis
Mar 03, 2017

Right now, decentralized teams are pretty common. Thanks to advances in technology, it’s becoming very common for you to work with people miles away from you.

What can you do to make sure those miles apart don’t decrease productivity?

We’ll tell you our top five tips for increasing productivity in a decentralized team:

1. Face-to-face communication:

Communication is one of the biggest problems for decentralized teams. The solution? Simple, make it a priority to occasionally forget the chat and email and use technology that allows you to speak face to face with your team. Not only is this better for your team’s communication, teams who speak face to face are considerably more productive than those who do not. In a global survey, 67% managers said their company would be more productive if superiors put priority on personal discussion. You know what they say – say it to my face!

2. Use a Task Manager:

Working with a clear objective is much easier. It’s even easier to plan out objectives when you can see the whole week’s workload ahead of time. This is why using a task manager is an indispensable tool in a decentralized team. Employees will be able to track deadlines and see the work volume and managers will be able to see progress and distribute tasks amongst employees.

3. Minimize Meetings:

Meetings in decentralized teams, by default, should be minimal. With this type of team, it’s very difficult to get everyone together and with a larger decentralized team, nearly impossible. You should try to minimize or eliminate mass meetings all together. Use a task manager to communicate the goals of meetings with smaller groups of employees. This way it is much easier to communicate everything important to the whole group and no one misses anything.

4. Organize a strong internal communication system:

Like we said, communication is a huge difficulty of this type of team. Even some of the tips we’ve mentioned above can be difficult to implement for all members of decentralized teams, depending on how big. Something that is vital for all teams is to create a good internal communication system to unify different methods of communication and bring all employees together (virtually). To organize and simplify communication, organize employee communication by different groups for projects, function, etc.

5. Periodically Revise Productivity:

A positive feature of decentralized teams is that they’re constantly changing. The members of a decentralized team depend on things outside the team like their own processes and environments and this can affect productivity.  Periodically review and analyze indicators of your productivity. Watch how the team adapts to changes in process you make to determine the best way to work together. Adaptation is a very important part of the success of decentralized teams.