According to a Gartner report, there has been a massive shift to work from home. 88% of organizations have encouraged or required their employees to work from home and 91% of teams in Asia Pacific have implemented ‘work from home’ arrangements since the outbreak.
Furthermore, emphasizing on the fact that Coronavirus has been a catalyst for remote work, 31% of people said that Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the trigger to begin allowing remote work at their company.
So, if you, like millions of other employers, leaders, and managers, have been forced to manage a remote working team and are struggling to ease into the newness, here are 10 tips that you need to follow to have successful remote working teams.
Effective tips for employers to have successful remote working teams
Help simulate complete office environment at home
As a manager or a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees are able to have as good a working environment as they would in the office.
it so happens that the employees do not feel equally comfortable on a different device or a different chair than the ones they are reduced to in the office. Provide them with these office equipment and also a broadband or a Wi-Fi connection if they don't have one already.
It is your responsibility to see that the employees working remotely are not facing any troubles when it comes to basic working devices and tools while setting up a workspace in their homes.
Ensure greater internal communication
Now that you have all your employees set up properly in their individual homes, it's time to focus on the internal communication between everyone in the organization.
We all know how important internal communication is but when it comes to working remotely communicating properly with everyone is way more important.
These advanced online communication tools will not only ensure that everyone in your organization is on the same page, but will also enhance the bonds between everyone.
Provide adequate feedback
One of the major problems businesses face while their employees are working remotely is that some of the employees feel stranded and left out.
This is particularly because they are not kept in the conversation threads, they are not being updated daily with the relevant information of what's happening around and more importantly their work is not being responded to.
The best way to resolve this problem is by sending adequate and regular responses to all your team members. Acknowledge their work and provide regular feedback so they do not feel stranded.
This will also prevent them from feeling insecure about the performance and job security.
Keep the brief elaborate
Even though the advanced video communication tools have sufficed most of the lack when it comes to remote communication, but, there still are some drawbacks. When it comes to communicating remotely, people are more prone to misinterpretation.
Therefore it is important for everyone to send in briefs regarding tasks, nature of the task, deadline, etc. in detail and in written form.
When this is done there will be no loose ends open to interpretation and clear information will be transferred.
Celebrate the positives
Another best practice right now to create a best remote team and keep their productivity high is to celebrate the positives. Be very vocal about the positive things and always have a motivating tone.
Having said that, it is also important to give feedback. For the feedback that is critical, you must say it with kindness.
The reason is when people are away, and can't see you, they are prone to interpret the worst. This causes a spiral of worry in them, affecting them and the work eventually.
Have regular informal face-to-face remote meetings
Face-to-face remote meetings should be held regularly during the office hours or after it. These meetings should have an informal agenda, they could be a simple get together work related talks happen.
This is not only going to help you create and sustain a positive and good work culture at your organization, but it will also ensure that everyone feels connected with each other and that they, in general, have a good time.
Video conferencing software, needless to say, is the best way you can do this.
Don't expect them to be online 24/7
Yes, this is true even during office hours. While working at the office no one is attentive straight for 8-9 hours at their desk. it is impractical to expect people to be online and active throughout the official working hours.
While at home there is family, kids, and other things that might pop requiring a person's attention.
So, keep this in mind and modify your behaviour accordingly. For instance, always drop a text message to see if they are available before video calling them. And, if they don't pick up once do not call them again and again, wait for them to call you back.
Practice more acceptance
If you are new to remote working, you will have to learn to be more accepting. There are many factors that employees cannot avoid while working at home.
For instance, most of the employees will have kids and pets at their homes. This might cause an intrusion to them while they work.
It is most likely that when you video call an employee with toddlers at home, you might find the little one's attendance as well, or hear them in the background during a telephonic call.
Because of such reasons you might find employees working, sharing files, and exchanging emails even at odd hours. And this to you should be completely okay.
Focus on the outcome rather than the process
Another important thing that needs to be changed is have you measured the business operations KPIs.
Your focus should shift towards the outcome rather than the process. As mentioned in point 8, people would have a lot of things to deal with while working from home. Therefore, they should be given leeway to finish their work anytime in 24 hours.
In other words, rather than focusing on the number of hours worked focus on the quality of work produced.
Move forward with trust
Even though this is the last point it is something you should start off with. You cannot have an efficient remote working team, nor can you manage them successfully without -- trust.
Have trust in your employees and in their willingness to work. Trust the fact that they will put in equal efforts as they would while they would be working in the office.
In simple words, without trust you cannot have a fully functional remote team.
In the last 5 to 10 years with the increase in advancement of technology like online communication tools and collaborative tools along with the easy access to high-speed internet, remote working has mushroomed wildly.
And this pandemic has acted as a powerful catalyst in adapting a remote working environment.
It seems even after the end of this storm, most businesses will not return to the traditional way of working, at least not fully.