Working from home is no longer a one-off perk that employees get to ‘enjoy’ when they are under the weather or wish to stay in. Working from home, also popularly known as remote working is one of the fastest emerging workplace trends today and as per FlexJobs, the remote workforce has seen a 115% increase since 2005.
Thanks to the evolution of technology, more and more people are turning to remote working cultures which offer employees the flexibility to take work beyond the four walls of an office, allowing them to choose to work in a way that best fits their life.
While remote working has a lot of benefits, it also comes with challenges along the way. We bring you 5 practices that can help you manage your remote team better and maximize productivity –
Build a Rapport
Yes, your team members are miles away but that does not mean that you must immediately jump right in to work matters. Always try to build a genuine rapport with your remote team members to ease out communication. Get to know more about them, their schooling, family and future plans. Every time you hire a new member, remember to do an induction session wherein you introduce him/her to the larger team. Such ice-breaker sessions are important and help in building a collaborative work culture.
Remote Work Tools
The rise of remote work has also given rise to advanced remote work tools that help in better communication, planning, delegation and follow-ups. For instance, you can use Slack to communicate with your team, Google Docs for sharing files easily, Everhour for time-tracking and project management and Zoom for video conferencing.
Chatting and exchanging e-mails are great but don’t restrict communication to just those. Nothing establishes a connection better than having a face-to-face conversation with someone. So, once a week, make it a point to conduct video calls with all your team members. This will help your employees work better as a team.
Be in Touch
As you don’t meet each other, it is imperative to be in constant touch with your team. Conduct regular meetings to be on top of things and ensure you are updated with everything the team is working on. You need to make yourself accessible, so they can reach out to you in case they face any hurdles on the way. It is also a good idea to plan a team meet-up once or twice a year to strengthen your bond.
When the team is spread across different time zones, scheduling meetings can get complicated. Being the manager, you need to be sensitive to each of your members’ time zones and schedules. While you cannot make everyone happy, you need to take everyone’s opinion to decide a meeting time and date that causes the least convenience. It is also a good idea to keep track of their respective public holidays and accommodate them whenever need be.
Keeping your team focused and engaged lies in your hands. Make sure you set the right foundation in the beginning to put together a winning team and not let distance be a hindrance.