Due to the unprecedented situation of Coronavirus, normal life has been disrupted for about a year now. Work from home and remote working is the new normal, and leaders from organizations are still working on regulating the communication and other essential team-building strategies while teams work remotely.
There are several benefits as well as challenges when it comes to remote working. As per surveys, more and more employees show an interest in working from home even after the pandemic is over. However, for the management and leaders, it is still stressful to manage a remote team and maintain productivity.
If you are struggling to keep teams productive outside of the office, then take a look at these 8 tips to keep your teams productive:
1. Emotional support
In a normal workplace environment, emotional support is easier to display; however, when the teams are working remotely and are isolated, circumstances are different. It becomes a problem to express yourself as clearly as you would in face-to-face interaction.
Your team needs emotional support, even more, when they are working remotely; hence you as a manager need to ensure that support and continue to encourage them constantly. To ensure this support, increase the frequency of meetings and use tools that can ease your communication with the team.
Try avoiding text conversations as it lacks emotion and hold video or audio conversations. Increase the number of meetings; for example, instead of a monthly meeting, make it weekly or even bi-weekly.
2. Dialogue with your team
It is important to keep the conversation going, so make sure you are talking to the team, and they are communicating with you. The biggest issue with remote working is communication and dialogue; hence paying attention to the conversation is essential.
To enhance engagement, make sure the communication is two-sided, and the information flow is transparent. Having effective communication can help the team stay motivated and headed towards the right perspective.
3. Level of trust
There has been a stigma about working from home where the managers assume employees won’t be as serious about working from home as they would at an office space. This is the time where you need to have trust in the teams and believe that they are working even when they are at home.
Having strong trust and letting the team work on their own provides them confidence and hence more commitment to their work. Establish a strong channel of reporting and monitoring work to ensure the team is working on the dedicated tasks but try to avoid constant monitoring on the employees as it can frustrate them.
4. Business values
No one had anticipated the Coronavirus and the circumstances that it has to lead us to work in. However, you can still ensure protection and safety to your employees through constant support via email, conferences, and meetings.
Most policies in organizations are made for an in-house environment but now that the circumstances have changed, try to modify the policies and ensure support towards the employees.
Encourage the employees to reach out to the administration in case they are facing any issue or have to get something resolved. Remember that it is difficult for the employees to cope with the situation as well; the more you will make the experience easy for them, the better they would perform.
5. Team goals
Having clear goals can help the team stay focused on on-track. If the goals are clear, then it is easier to keep the employees focused no matter if they are working remotely or in-house. There are times when people feel a bit disoriented working from home, but with the right direction and clearly defined goals, it is easier to focus and monitor progress as well.
6. Encourage productivity using technology
Things are much easier to manage now with all the tools that are available online. You can view each other’s screen, have video conferences with as many people as you like, assign tasks, and measure performance through modern technology.
Using these tools can help you massively in managing teams and monitoring their productivity as well as dedicating tasks to the teams. You can even help people if they are stuck through screen sharing software and tools available.
7. Encourage one-on-ones at all costs
It is not easy to have conversations throughout the day but realize that it is currently your most effective way to communicate with the teams. Try to encourage having a verbal discussion and do not avoid one-on-one conversations.
One-on-one calls are important for the remote employees as you are their point of contact, and they will feel included and updated if you will respond to them in the best possible way you can.
8. Monitor the performance of your team
To monitor the performance of your team, you must use tools and track how well they are meeting the deadlines. In a normal environment, it wasn’t all dependent on tools as you could easily walk up to an employee or have a face-to-face meeting about the progress, but now most of the management has been shifted to tools.
Try to manage the team’s performance and keep them on track by monitoring their progress. Assign them tasks and check if they are meeting their deadlines or lagging behind.
To sum it up: manage your remote teams like a Pro
Coronavirus situation has resulted in millions of people losing their jobs and the rest to work from home. It is not an easy situation for most of us. However, we must learn to cope with the situation and adapt accordingly.
Businesses from IT to carpet cleaning services, clothing brands to small businesses, have all suffered equally, and people are still adjusting to the circumstances. Managing teams remotely can become quite a challenge for employers, but with the right practices and incorporating technology, half your job is made easy and simple.
You have to keep the teams motivated and give them some time to absorb the situation while keeping them on-track. Our pro-tip would be, try not to overburden the teams by considering them available for work 24 hours a day as it is a challenge for them to separate personal and professional timings in the new WFH situation.