In the early 2000s, the number of people who worked remotely from home increased by 170%. Since 2019, this number has grown even more, and more than five million American citizens currently work remotely. Working from home is a major shift in mindset. For many people, it can be difficult to keep productivity up when there are distractions at home.
Are you looking for ways to work with your colleagues digitally, or you are trying to motivate your employees to engage more with one another? Managing teams remotely is vital to establishing proper workplace policies and improving communication no matter the position you hold. Consider these six options to create an efficient remote team.
Working remotely means that there is limited face-to-face interaction to communicate with employees. It requires more virtual meetings to stay on top of everything that needs to be completed. Simplifying the workflow basically means designating tasks under different categories each with a priority level. To manage a large project, you need to outline everything that needs to be performed, otherwise, you may forget vital details.
Depending on the project and type of work, different flowcharts can be used to simplify the tasks for each day. You can find a flow chart for any objective, no matter how complicated it may be. Flow charts are useful to create timelines or just map out a process that needs to be carried out.
More Communication Equals Improved Productivity
At home, you become socially isolated when you don’t interact with people often. Even at home, there will be plenty of distractions throughout the day that call for your attention. Over time, this can affect your work productivity. To lessen these common challenges, schedule more check-in meetings with employees. It’s better to communicate too much than too little.
You don’t have the luxury of running downstairs or calling your colleague to check up on something. Make daily virtual meetings commonplace. Include two meetings a day if it helps your team to stay focused while they work on the business’s goals remotely.
Digital Collaboration Tools
Technology is at a point where you can do pretty much anything you can think of, short of creating something out of thin air. Take advantage of the digital technology available by incorporating more online software and collaboration tools. Some programs offer remote work hangouts where employees can communicate constantly throughout the day.
Other collaboration tools include Google Sheets or project management programs where more than one person can work on the same document. Each time a change is made, the rest of the office is notified, and the document automatically updates itself with the new information. Just for getting stuff done, these types of collaboration tools increase engagement, which improves office culture and productivity.
Outcomes Outweigh Activity
When working remotely, the most important part is to get the work done. How the work is completed isn’t important, so long as it is done correctly and on time. Make it your focus daily to complete the most important tasks in the morning and leave afternoons for meetings and research. There is no single way to best manage your team remotely, so you must put expectations in place to ensure everyone still performs.
The idea is to set expected outcomes and detail the results that you want. If you are managing a team, allow them to work through the project themselves, in any way that they can. You want them to complete the project, and not focus on just being busy. As an employee managing yourself, this incentive can motivate you to enhance your creativity because you have defined goals in place. As long as you achieve those goals, your methods are not of great significance.
Incorporate Time for Idle Chat
Although the idea is that you can get a lot more work completed at home than you can at the office, you will still be isolated. This is not something that everyone is used to, and losing out on those social interactions can have negative effects on your mental health. Make time for a small chit-chat during the check-in meetings. Don’t make every virtual team meeting just about work. Take a few minutes for everyone to catch up, have a laugh and grab some coffee.
If you can learn to communicate on a personal and emotional level with your employees or colleagues, you will start to work better together. When you have to call someone to talk about a project, talk about your day first, and ask each other how things are going. Even just a little bit of mental communication can make the isolation of remote work less daunting.
Your employees or colleagues may not have a relaxing a quiet home environment to work from. They may have children and a spouse or they may live with many people and are around distractions all day. If you have those kinds of problems, you must find a way to create an office space of your own.
Just be considerate with your remote team and display empathy if they are having a rough time at home. It isn’t easy to balance work and home life when they exist in the same building. If you need to be flexible for your remote team to work more effectively, then work on that.
There has been a clear shift in working from home and it will become more common as the years and digital technology evolve. Any team can still be highly effective in working remotely by following these six simple tips.