Many workplaces are either shifting their employees to remote work or working with a hybrid team where some key members may be halfway across the world. This shift was ongoing as the business world transitioned to a global market, but it was accelerated by the pandemic that had everyone working from home for months. But the question is, can a remote team truly be as effective?
Some workplaces are finding that their teams are, in fact, more effective working from home! But whether this new dynamic works for your business will depend on your team, your business type, and how you lead your team. A team sinks or swims based on its manager’s skills, and that goes double for remote teams. Here are five practices of the most successful remote teams.
1. Create a Remote Work Policy
Before moving your workers to best tools you can use in a remote team, make sure that everyone knows what this entails. There is nothing worse for a team than trying to organize everyone remotely when everyone has a different idea of their new job responsibilities. This was a common event in 2020 when teams had to shift to remote work with a moment’s notice and no preparation.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a remote workplace, as every team has different skill sets and different responsibilities. What they will all have in common is the ability to perform better when expectations are made clear. Ideally, make sure all employees attend an in-person or virtual seminar explaining the ins and outs of remote work before you start.
2. Use the Right Tools
It’s not just about your team; it’s about what they have to work with. Many teams that struggle with remote work, face common problems like unclear deadlines and expectations, shifting schedules, and a lack of communication with management.
Remote work is a modern-day trend requiring managers to equip their team with the best work tools.
One of the most important tools you’ll have to work with is a project management app. This is an all-in-one software suite that provides your team with a calendar, interactive schedule, and easy ways to communicate between team members and share files. This helps to keep everyone up-to-date and ensure accountability before problems derail the project schedule.
3. Value Communication
No area of technology is more important than how your team communicates. One of the biggest logjams in remote work is waiting for people to return emails, so why not eliminate this altogether? The best communications apps make use of instant messaging and other systems to keep team members appraised and make sure any work-related or resource-related challenges are dealt with.
One of the best tools you can use in a remote team is a virtual phone number complete with virtual voicemail you can access anywhere. System like RingCentral allow the team to share a phone line no matter where they are and easily patch through callers to the correct team member with the press of a button. This is also ideal to avoid the full mailboxes common with older voicemail systems.
4. Follow Up Regularly
How do many remote teams find out about a problem in the schedule? Unfortunately, it often happens when the schedule gets derailed, and a major project falls apart. This is what happens when a company has a lack of accountability and follow-up. It’s important for management to remember that even though the team isn’t in the office, it’s still key to meet with team members regularly and get an update on the project. One snag in the process can cause massive delays later, and a conscientious manager will keep up with the process as it advances without being overbearing.
5. Celebrate Wins
What’s the biggest drawback of remote work? If you ask the employees, it might be the loss of the office pizza party after completing a big project. Celebrating your team’s hard work might get forgotten in the shuffle of remote work, but that doesn’t mean recognition isn’t a key part of an effective remote team.
This recognition can take many forms, including perks or discounts with partnering businesses. But it can be as simple as taking time out of the day to congratulate an employee on a job well done. This motivates employees and boosts company retention and overall workplace morale.
Success in the Remote Workplace
Shifting to remote work will mean a lot of changes in technology and structure. It doesn’t need to mean a shift in the core principles of your business. A skilled manager will keep his remote team motivated and guide them to delivering results.