As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of workplaces are looking at moving to a fully remote structure to increase productivity and promote a better work-life balance for their employees. Working remotely can be easier said than done, however; you need to ensure that you’re preparing your team to help them stay productive even when they’re away from the office.
In this article, we’re going to outline five tips for successfully managing remote teams. Let’s get started.
Start by building a foundation of trust
When your workplace is comprised of remote workers, it can be a lot more difficult to see who is working on what. This means that you need to trust your staff to complete their tasks independently. This is part of providing effective virtual leadership.
Be sure to offer clear guidelines on remote-work expectations, schedule regular check-ins with team members, and monitor productivity levels. Keeping the lines of communication open will help you maintain trust with employees.
Provide your staff with digital tools they can use from anywhere
When everyone’s remote, a lot more work will be done online. Before you completely shift to remote work, consider which of your team’s processes need to be given a digital upgrade so they can still be managed effectively. Video-chat software like Zoom, project-management software like Asana or Teamwork, and cloud-accounting software like FreshBooks can all help everyone stay on top of things in a remote work environment.
When introducing these tools to your staff, avoid overwhelming them. Be sure to only introduce one new process at a time, and during slower work periods if possible. Your team also needs to feel supported when learning to work with these tools. Consider hosting training sessions in order to help your employees master them.
Support your staff in creating productive environments at home
To be as productive as possible, people will need an effective workspace. If they’re not coming into the office, this means they need to create a strong work environment at home. There are several different ways that you can help your staff do this:
- Give them a budget for home office furniture
- Send them high-quality computer equipment for at-home work
- Let them take their office equipment home
- Offer a seminar on how to create a productive space for working from home
This will help your staff feel supported when creating their own home offices and help them maintain their productivity.
Outsource some tasks to specialists to lighten the workload
If there are some tasks that you anticipate being difficult to manage remotely, consider outsourcing them to other businesses or freelancers. Customer service, social-media management, and content creation are just a few examples of jobs that can easily be outsourced.
Outsourcing can be a great solution for remote businesses. For instance, outside call centers with a lot of staff are often better equipped to handle customer questions than a staff member working at home. Outsourcing certain work can help you ensure that your employees have more time to complete their most important tasks, too.
When making a decision on which tasks to outsource, think about which of your teams need extra support. Taking tasks off of their plates can make them more productive.
Ask your staff for feedback before and after going remote
One of the secrets to having an effective remote workforce involves high-quality communication. Part of this involves frequently checking in with your team members to help hold them accountable and give them the opportunity to share feedback.
Before you go remote, be sure to ask your staff about any concerns they have or problems they foresee. They’ll likely have a good understanding of what they’ll need to work outside of the office effectively. After going remote, be sure to check in with them regularly to see where improvements can be made.
The more your team works from home, the better they’ll understand their needs. Be sure that you continuously offer a forum for your employees to give you feedback.
Remote work is here to stay. If you want your employees to be productive, you need to ensure that they’re properly supported. In this article, we outlined how you can help your team transition to fully remote work, including through feedback, outsourcing certain projects, and other methods.
For other ideas, check out the CMOE blog to learn how you can improve your work performance, train your team, and more.
About the Author
Alex Ratynski is a Content Strategist at Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner that works with agencies and marketers. The company focuses on helping businesses to improve their online visibility, so they can grow and reach their goals. If you enjoyed this article, visit the Loganix blog for more expert advice.