If I would have told you: these days, many companies and teams are being forced to work remotely, did you believe me?
Of course, you do! Though we all are aware of the current situation, I would still like to highlight it; It is not other than COVID 19 outbreak.
The current situation is causing anxiety in the one who has to manage their company or development team virtually. They are quite upset, and juggling surrounds maintaining proper communication, fostering collaboration to have smooth working with remote teams so that it becomes easy to deliver a client’s project at a given time.
Yet, do you miss working in the office? What do you prefer as you start shifting your company or team to working remotely?
As per research led by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, there was a spectacular 159% growth in the development of remote work in the US somewhere from 2005 to 2017.
Besides, as Buffer’s yearly report on remote work indicates, 95% of the 2500 workers confessed that they need to urge others to work remotely. But let see what the several challenges you are going to have while working remotely.
Challenges Faced While Leading Remote Teams
How do you ensure that your teams maintain that high productivity level; you are used to seeing in the office?
One of the biggest questions we saw asked on Quora is people asking and wondering how they make sure that their teams are still productive and not slacking off as they work from home. And that is an enormous challenge that you will have to overcome moving from being in the office to being at home.
You will also be more deliberate about communication; make sure that you are over-communicating. You will not have the opportunities to communicate like you do while you are in the office.
Collaboration is another thing that can suffer a little bit when you go remote, and you have to be conscious about how you foster collaboration in your team.
You want to make sure that you are doing things to continue building your team and having those social interactions to feel isolated as they move to work from home.
Thus, to overcome these challenges, I will share with you the best practices for working remotely.
7 Remote Work Best Practices That Will Help You Manage Remote Teams Flawlessly
#Practice 1: Move To a Results-driven Environment: Set Productivity Standards
You can walk around to glance and see if people are at their desks and work at the office. But once they are remote, you don’t have that luxury anymore; you can’t just visually take a scan of the office and see who is working and who is not. You have to be a little bit more conscious about it and have a results-driven environment.
It is an excellent way to give you the confidence that people are working, but the nice side effect is that your team will have a bit more autonomy working. That is because, in a results-driven environment, you are more concerned about the outcomes that they are delivering versus just seeing them physically at their desks.
You can shift to a results-driven environment by introducing a scorecard for each role in your company. So the scorecard is a blueprint for success. It outlines KPIs, which stand for key performance indicators or measures of success for the role.
KPIs are the secret sauce for managers who are shifting to a results-driven environment. So we don’t have to rely on seeing people in the office working or monitoring what hours they’re working because we can measure the productivity and the outcomes and results of their work.
#Practice 2: Schedule Regular One-On-One Communication With Your Team: Remote Teams Communication
This is when you start to replace that in-office sort of gut feeling on people’s productivity. One-on-one communication is the chance you have to build confidence. When you are in touch, teams are maintaining their high level of productivity. Now, you can expect they are doing things in the right way.
Introduce virtual one-on-ones every week—some companies like doing this every week totally up to you. You are going to need some video conferencing software such as Zoom, Google Meet, etc.
Give time to each individual, and one-on-one communication gives you the space to let your employees help in what they are struggling with. It is a perfect opportunity to coach your people, support your people, and even though you are working remotely.
#Practice 3: Have Regular Monthly Remote Meetings To Define Company’s Goals
Remote meetings replace that organic communication that happens very naturally in the office that you will be losing as you move remote. Make sure that everyone is aligned and moving in the right direction.
Execute remote meetings where your team comes into a video call, giving a presentation, and talking to them all as a group about where the company is going. Remind each of your employees about the vision and goals.
Ensure that you build that momentum forward even though everybody works separately in their own homes or locations. Another benefit of doing virtual meetings is that it helps give people purpose and motivation, driving productivity.
So when you are working in the office with everyone you are collaborating you see what other people are working on. Similarly, with remote meetings and virtual meetings regularly, there is that energy vibrancy you feel like you are a team and you are all working toward something together.
#Practice 4: Have Regular, Weekly Departmental or Team Meetings
It is imperative as you have gone remote to do these and make sure that they happen every week because you don’t have that luxury of organic meetings at the office anymore.
Team members aren’t just going to hit into each other and discuss what they are working on. If you are using proper project management software or a CRM, you will see and get an overview visually.
- Where are the projects?
- What is the status?
- What tasks need to be done next?
- Who is responsible?
- By when can you deliver?
As a manager, it is your job to ask the right questions to create that environment for collaboration, ask people if they are facing bottlenecks or things they are struggling with? That helps facilitate that communication and collaboration with your team.
Having regular team meetings is the best practice for working remotely and doing this every week. It helps make people feel like part of the team again, and they understand their work’s purpose.
#Practice 5. Invest In The Right Tools
Start investing in the right tools and software that can easily collaborate and communicate with your team effectively. Provide your people guidelines on how you expect them to use those tools; this sounds like an obvious tip for remote workers’ best practices.
But it is a trap that a lot of companies ourselves included fall into as you are going remote, you are going to need to onboard new tools that you haven’t used in the past, and you want to give your people guidelines on
- How to use them?
- What are the best practices?
- How to get the most out of these remote collaboration tools?
Ensure that you maintain a level of productivity with the tools, but it is also going to make sure that everybody uses them together and in the right ways.
#Practice 6: Remote Team-Building Activities
When you are in the office, team-building and socialization happen very naturally, and as you go remote, that starts to break down. People begin to feel isolated. They start working alone for a whole day.
They don’t interact with many people, definitely not face-to-face, so you need to take steps to make sure that you are helping them feel included in the team and realize that they are not alone day-to-day.
There is some activity or game to make it a little more engaging to help people break the ice and get to know each other, and chitchat a little bit more.
So it would be best if you came up with ways to do events or things online that bring people together and let them have those same kinds of moments that they would have organically in the office.
#Practice 7: Define Each Individual’s Responsibilities Clearly
Whether it is in-office or remote working culture, you should take a step that makes everyone clear off their roles and responsibilities in a particular project. Early declaration of responsibility improves the flow of work.
If any fault you caught in the ongoing project with some particular part, then you can directly reach out to the one you have assigned the task to despite disturbing the entire group.
For example, a group 4-5 is working on the app development: you have to assign who will look at the development part, who will look at the designing part, who is looking for the marketing part, etc. Whenever you find any fault in the designing part, you can mainly contact the designing team.
If you don’t want to face any communication mishaps, it’s always better to have an explicit declaration of responsibilities, particularly at the initial or before starting any projects.
Final Takeaway On The Best Practices For Remote Workers!!
That is all from my end; we hope you enjoyed it; going remote can be challenging and daunting, but you can overcome these challenges with the above practices. I hope that the tips that we share today will help you do smooth remote work culture.
These tips were to understand where you are standing at the different departments of remote work culture. I hope you follow these tips; they can help you collaborate effectively and solve mishaps in communication.
If you like this, please comment, and if you have any questions or have tips to share about going remote, please leave them in the comments down below.
Q1: Is communication important in remote teams?
A1: Of course it does!! Remote team communication plays an essential role in the proper working of each project. The result of regular communication in the workplace helps the manager to build trust among the team. They all work together as a team instead of competing with each other to achieve the goal.
Q2: How do you work effectively with a remote team?
A2: Working with a remote team can be challenging but with the right approach and practice you can easily tackle such problems. There a few tips you need to follow while working with remote teams:
- Have a daily check-in with all members, don’t let them feel they are not important for the company.
- Communicate more and more to listen and convey proper information about what going on in the company.
- Take the help of technology to automate tasks.
- Focus on outcomes instead of the number of activities.
- Manage expectations.
- Resource your team with appropriate tools and software.
Q3:What step should I take to motivate a team remotely?
A3: Presently, more and more companies are working remotely than in the past years. There are approx 4.3 million remote workers in the United States. 18% are full-time employees who are working remotely. (Source: Soapboxhq)
It should be the mission of every company to motivate their employee whether they are working remotely or in-office. Motivating employees at work culture helps in boosting productivity. Here are a few motivational tips for leading remote teams:
- Have frequent check-in with a team.
- Execute a recognition program.
- Provide feedback and appreciate if they did best in their work.
- Help your team in managing time problems.
- Invest in their skills and development.
- Provide the team with the right tools.
- Invest some time in building trust with the employees.
Q4: How do I communicate effectively with a remote team?
A4: Communication is a key to share one another views about a particular problem especially in working culture. So, to have it more effective, there are some tips you can follow.
- Use communication tools such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet for remote interaction with the working staff.
- Be careful with the body language you are using while in virtual interaction.
- Share PPT with clear and precise content.
- Conduct open meetings remotely.
- Have regular one-on-one communication.
- Conduct training programs remotely.
- Use visuals
- Communication with clients via emails is important.
- Communication is expected to be a two-way path-don’t forget to listen to each of the perspectives.