Trends like Cloud Computing and the Internet have completely changed the way we do business. We no longer have to worry if we don’t have the necessary expertise and talent within the organization. Instead, we can hire a remote team of experts from any corner of the globe.
Perhaps, this is the reason why remote working is gaining a lot of traction. According to a report by Cisco, around 69% employees were more productive while working remotely. Not only this, remote working has also grown by 140% since the year 2005.
This is the reason why more than 42% of remote workers are planning to work from home, as the Owl Labs Stare of Remote Work report 2019 states.
However, remote working is not as easy as it seems. Managing remote teams is an art that needs careful planning and a well-crafted strategy. It also brings along a lot of challenges. We, at Softobiz, understood this very well when our entire team had to start working from home. It was an enriching experience in which we learned a lot. Perhaps, you can also learn a thing or two from our experience.
Here are a few pointers that might prove helpful:
1. Create a remote work policy
Managing teams can be difficult when you are working online. Since your team members are miles away, you can’t keep a check on them. You don’t know what they are doing, i.e. whether they are sincerely doing the work you had assigned or just scrolling through social media on their phones.
The only thing that will keep you on track is a remote work policy in which the roles and responsibilities of each employee are clearly defined. With this policy, you need to set some standards that each employee will have to follow to ensure the timely delivery of what’s expected from them.
This will make sure your business runs seamlessly like a well-organized, streamlined, and a modern-day digital assembly line.
2. Communication should be simple
While working online, you also need to make sure you are constantly in touch with your colleagues. For this, you will have to opt for a communication channel that’s simple to use and can ensure you and your team are always available.
There are many such communication channels available in the market like Slack, Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc. You can choose the one that suits your needs.
3. There should be at least one meeting on a daily basis
Just being available all the time and drafting a policy is not enough for remote working. You also need to indulge in daily meetings with your team members so that you know what they are up to. This clears all the doubts and ensures that tasks are executed faster. Apart from this, small discussions also help in keeping employees indulged all the time.
4. Track your team’s performance
Tracking the performance of your team always helps, no matter whether you are working virtually or in the office setting. Even if employees need to be responsible for their own good, it’s not wise at all to leave them on their own. They perform better if you are keeping a check on their performance.
So, keep a regular track of your employees’ performance. You can use tools like screenmeter or teamlogger for doing so. At Softobiz, we have used both.
It will also help you a lot if you can ask them for feedback and try to implement their suggestions wherever you can.
5. Offer real-time feedback
Offering real-time feedback to your team members is another thing that will help you become more productive while working remotely. It helps them realize what they are doing wrong and how they can improve to enhance productivity.
So, make sure you regularly talk to your team members and offer them real-time feedback. This will help them grow more and become more productive.
6. Managers should appreciate their team’s contribution
Working remotely can take a toll on your employees. They may feel isolated, dejected sometimes, and may need appreciation to work hard. So, you need to provide them a warm and welcoming environment where they feel appreciated and connected.
So, make sure, you praise your employees and appreciate their efforts.
7. Allow flexible hours
While you can regularly come and go at a fixed time during the office routine, doing so can be difficult when you are working online. There are many other things that your team members may need to take care of. Some of them might have kids, some of them might be living with their parents, while some of them might be working other shifts.
So, offer them flexible working hours so that they are able to offer enough time as per their convenience and give a hundred percent to work. Meanwhile, you can ensure their availability through virtual tools if you need any help from their end.
8. Keep your employees engaged
Now, this part may seem like a challenge because all the employees are available at different locations. But it’s not as difficult as it seems. You can still engage them with fun games, quizzes, and songs. We keeping our team members engaged this way when most of our team is working remotely due to the Covid-19 crises.
However, make sure you keep these activities work-oriented and they learn something from them. This will help them grow from every aspect.
In a Nutshell
Given the recent Covid-19 pandemic times, remote working is gaining a lot of traction. Businesses are looking at it as a way to keep their business on track. Employees are seeing it as a chance to keep their jobs safe.
However, as intriguing the idea of remote working may sound, it’s a learning experience on its own. You will face problems, things will go off track, and there will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. Keeping these pointers in mind while working remotely will help you throughout the entire journey.