Remote Team working has become a new norm. Thanks to the recent global COVID 19 lockdown that has brought the world to a standstill. It has forced many employees to work from home.
But it can’t be denied that remote working comes with several perks.
Employees can achieve freedom as well as a better work-life balance. They don’t have to go through the hassles of daily commuting. Businesses can save on office rent and expand their access to a wider pool of talent.
Remote working also comes with its own share of issues and cybersecurity issues. And the biggest one of them is the poor or inefficient collaboration among team members. Well, this can be justified as most of us are used to in-person meetings, simply reaching out to another desk to discuss an issue. But when it comes to going through the long chains of emails, messages, and phone calls while working remotely, things get complicated. The lack of collaboration can mar the success of your project.
Here we have shared some tips that will help you keep your teams connected and productive while they work from home or remotely.
Tips to keep your Remote teams Productive while working from Home!
Effective communication is an important ingredient of successful remote team collaboration. How efficiently your team communicates determines the fate of a project. However, in-person collaboration or communication is not feasible in a remote work atmosphere; therefore, it is important to communicate with team members actively.
When you work remotely and use chat tools and video conferencing to interact with team members, make sure they are well adapted. Besides, everyone should have a common communication channel. This is because not all employees might be comfortable dropping their feedback in an email or Slack message. Don’t impose the Zoom Call if the Google Doc works inefficiently. Or maybe a traditional old phone works better—video conferring is great, but it doesn’t work for everyone.
Generally, the remote team spends most of their working hours connecting with clients or co-workers, answering emails, or conducting meetings. Therefore, the norms given below can save a lot of time and improve efficiency. Here’s how—
- Be clear and extra cautious while providing information to your team. Try to explain in simple language and be clear and accurate.
- Avoid sending useless information as it can kill the time and energy of people on both sides.
- Use efficient communication tools that can go well with your requirements. You can choose project management tools for managing the workflow for your remote teams.
- Keep everyone on the same page and create guidelines that everyone can follow.
Build Space for Celebration:
Employee engagement is important even if you are working remotely.In fact, it is more essential than ever to work on improving morale during these difficult times caused by COVID 19, and enterprises with little or no experience in handling a remote team are feeling the heat. With the right methods, you can easily raise the engagement level of the team.
Building virtual spaces and rituals for socializing and celebrations can promote solidarity across the remote team and set up the foundation for future collaboration as well. There are many ways to minimize the affinity distance.
For example, you can create a personal emoji for each member. You can ask them for a virtual coffee break. Just ask your team members to brew their cups or any other beverage they want. Then, invite them all onboard for a video conferring tool and start chatting. Ask them how their day has been, how they have been feeling, if they are encountering any work-related issues, etc.
What about asking them for a quick tour of their beautiful home? Home tours are another great idea to emotionally connect with your remote employees.
This is also an important factor to consider when it comes to collaborating successfully with remote teams. Supporting team members is more of a company’s core value that should be promoted by the company leaders. Many employees are likely to get deflected from the team while working remotely due to several factors. For instance, a team might have low morale or someone might feel overlooked by the teammates. The lack of appreciation can also impact the morale of the team members. Therefore, it is downright essential to reach out and promote an open communication flow to understand the sentiments of your peers. You also need to understand that not everyone can move along with the remote culture.
Some might require more time. Therefore, supporting each other is important here to improve the productivity and collaboration of your team.
Maintaining transparency for virtual teams is important. With an increasing number of people and contractors working remotely, ensuring that they are doing the right things, as well as ensuring that they are connected to the team, can help improve work output.
A good company always promotes a strong culture of honesty and transparency, with the manager being very straightforward with their expectations, and how the process is going on. And it is equally true that maintaining transparency while working remotely could be a huge concern for managers or team members. If there is little to no transparency in the process, it can lead to low employee morale, lack of enthusiasm, and vague trust. No organization can meet its goals efficiently unless they share important information with its people.
However, it can be quite tricky to maintain transparency when you are working remotely. But it is not impossible. You can start small by sending emails to all the team members on important updates and development.
For the remote workforce, job hours hardly ever start at 9 a.m. or end at 6 p.m. When your house is the same as your office, boundaries might lose importance, but it is important to set them. For example, one of your employees gets a text from you and might wonder if they need to respond to the office messages after a certain hour. Such interaction might upset the remote employee. Therefore, it is important to set boundaries for remote teams. They minimize the risk of miscommunications and assumptions that can impact the team relationship.
Here’s how to set the boundaries…
If your workplace’s hours are 9 to 6, make sure your remote team knows that any interaction through email or call might not be answered after 6 pm or until 9 am the next day.
If a colleague sends an email, you are less likely to respond immediately. If they communicate via Slack, on the other hand, you are likely to answer quicker.
It means that email has the lowest level of urgency while instant messaging has a little higher and a phone call has the highest. Whether we recognize it or not, communication types have a level of urgency attached to them. Each should be utilized accordingly. It means that text and phone calls should be used for urgent issues. Try to keep all business communication within office hours, unless it is about something important enough to warrant a call or text. When office and living spaces are often the same places, remote employees need time and space to unwind, whether it is on their couch or at a café with beloved ones.
Without clear boundaries, your remote teams have no idea when work is over, and managers are less likely to know what is acceptable.
Accessibility of Data:
It’s not easy to get information from teammates when they are at separate locations. If the project manager is unresponsive on Slack or email, for instance, and you need an important file that’s on their laptop, you cannot visit their place, meaning that you have to wait.
When a copywriter needs the image to create the headline, the developer requires the wireframe to make the page appealing, and the client is looking for the final product, it is easy to imagine how one hassle can hinder an entire project.
To ensure this doesn’t take place, the data should flow across the organization.
Therefore, it is important to store data online in a centralized location such as cloud storage that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime.
Project Management Tools:
Managing remote work is not as easy as managing in-person work. While you might not need project management tools with your in-house team, the tools become as important as the project when your work remotely. Tools like Asana and Trello help teams meet deadlines by holding members responsible and allowing members to organize a project into smaller tasks. These tasks can be arranged into details and assigned to a particular team member. For example, if a team is using Trello, the manager could tell them to upload the files to the software, or a file-sharing tool like Dropbox, by a particular date.
This way, once a particular task was completed, a concerned person would know that his task wasn’t complete unless he uploaded the file to a shared folder. The task can be marked completed, and the tool will inform the other team members to carry out the next process.
With collaboration software, you can schedule all the planning stages involved in the project and share ideas among all team members as well. Besides, it can help you make informed decisions by providing all details in one place.
The existing remote working atmosphere is the outcome of a specific scenario that no one was ready for. Most team members were not trained for remote work, systems were not installed in place. And for this reason, it is not a realistic approach to expect the productivity level as it was before the transition.
However, that doesn’t mean to ask your team to do overwork as it will lead to a huge burnout and low morale as well. Existing levels of productivity aren’t always easy to enhance. Therefore, it would be better to re-assess the current measure of productivity, and working to support remote teams with what they are required to do the job.
As a manager, you must have different expectations from your remote team than your in-house team. A manager might find it challenging to transit to an isolated environment where communication is often difficult and not in-person.
If you are handling a new remote team and you don’t have an idea how to support them, it can be a challenging venture as you are not aware of the employees’ requirements. Not all businesses are the same.
Therefore, it is important to know exactly what your remote teams require. Asking them is a more optimal solution than wasting time on something that might not help.
Make sure to set clear goals and objectives. Your remote team should know what goals are expected from them and how to work along to improve team productivity. The collaboration tools are useless if team members have not idea about their goals.
Therefore, make sure to conduct regular virtual team meetings and update each other on the progress and tasks for a smooth process. In team meetings, make sure to provide important updates to each team member and keep everyone on the same page.
THE LAST NOTE FOR YOUR REMOTE TEAM COLLABORATION:
Hope this piece of blog would help you create successful collaboration with your team. Working remotely is a big responsibility that needs utter professionalism, utmost discipline, and a sense of ownership as well. For more information and it services tips you can contact us
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