Remote working is here to stay. Here are ten best practices for remote teams that will help you adjust to the new normal.
Organizations will succeed in a remote work environment if they focus on what employees accomplish and whether it meets quality standards. They should also be willing to experiment with technology and how meetings are conducted.
Top 10 Best Practices for Remote Teams
These best practices will improve the engagement and productivity of your remote employees:
1) Schedule Frequent Check-ins
Frequent check-ins are crucial if you’re a manager or team new to remote working. Rather than relying on email, phone, and texts for communication, remote managers often turn to video conferencing to establish the face-to-face interaction they are missing.
2) Focus on Team Communication
Communicating is key to the remote team’s performance, duties, responsibilities, and outcomes. Even in a non-remote workplace, a lack of communication can be a problem. Communication is critical when employees work remotely and possibly have new or different tasks and goals.
3) Set Up Clear Rules
Managers can make remote work more efficient and satisfying by setting expectations for their teams’ communication frequency, means, and timing. For example, employees should use videoconferencing for daily check-ins, but IM for something urgent. Also, set expectations about when team members should reach their manager and when the manager should contact them.
4) Manage Expectations
Most companies and teams have had to pivot (some significantly), which affects employee ability and motivation as well as performance and outcomes. Ensure alignment by setting clear expectations and asking for feedback. Don’t just assume the team knows where they should focus.
5) Be Empathetic
Managers must acknowledge stress, listen to employees’ worries, and empathize. Employees take cues from their managers about handling sudden changes or crises.
6) Focus on Outcomes
Focusing on outcomes increases employee engagement and empowers them. Clarifying goals and ensuring employees have the training and resources to execute enhances creativity and ownership.
You can’t micromanage people in a remote environment anyway. The key to high performance for remote teams is ensuring everyone knows their role in achieving success in a new environment with new initiatives, uncertainty, and complexity.
7) Provide Resources and Remove Obstacles
Remote teams now require laptops, better connectivity, headsets, and webcams. In addition, budgets may have to be shifted to tools critical for remote work. So make sure your team has the things they need for success.
Some obstacles remote employees include physical and emotional isolation, distractions at home, kids engaged in homeschooling, and frequent package delivery, to name a few. One of the responsibilities of leadership is to protect the team so that they remain focused on their immediate tasks. Therefore, make sure to remove obstacles where possible.
8) Encourage Social Interactions
Even though virtual happy hours and pizza parties may seem forced and inauthentic, research indicates that they work. Instead of mandating more Zoom meetings, carve out time during already scheduled meetings for non-work-related conversations and activities. On occasion, have a pizza party or happy hour!
9) Be Flexible
The home environment of each team member is different. Some people will have spouses and children. Others won’t. Home offices will be the norm for some, while others will be taking meetings from a closet, bedroom, bathroom, or even Starbucks. Relationship challenges may be affecting some people. A manager must understand the unique circumstances of each employee.
10) Leverage Collaborative Technology
Most organizations are going through a digital transformation that can take months, if not years. Tools like Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Microsoft Teams provide great collaborative platforms for remote teams.
We partner with you to fully adopt your preferred technology tools for your remote workforce. It’s not just that we know these technologies like the back of our hand. We understand how to encourage remote teams to learn and use tools and empower everyone.
Meet Me In The Cloud can turn your digital collaboration tools into productivity engines. We provide the technology and training so you can leverage best practices for remote teams. At any point in your collaboration journey, we partner with you to fully adopt your preferred technology tools. To get started, contact our experts today. 1-866-221-3221