One of the challenges of allowing employees to work on their own devices from any location is keeping the team connected and engaged. The more your remote team members understand what your firm is about, the more the team will be unified in achieving the company’s goals. With over 44% of US employees now working remotely, learning how to manage a remote team has now become a vital skill for managers.
Here are 5 practical ideas for keeping your remote team connected to your goals.
Messaging apps make a good replacement for the phone, email, and social media when workers need to focus on work and manage work-related communication. While video meetings and calls are still an effective form of communication, messaging apps are less interruptive and intrusive. Both are good tools for alerting remote workers in real-time and sharing files without disrupting workflows.
You can choose from various online apps available such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts that make exchanging information seamless. Our team uses Trillian to communicate with our transcriptionists and full-time team members.
Another way to achieve a connected remote team is with virtual meetings. These have a more personalized feel than most other forms of electronic communication.
Some ideas to bring workers closer as a team in an online environment include conducting virtual games, entertainment, and parties. You can also consider having virtual team check-ins that serve as meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page.
It is a good idea to develop personal relationships with remote workers and show you acknowledge their contributions. Treating them as individuals, who help drive overall team success, often leads to better productivity than allowing paranoia and apathy to build up. A team is effective when it is well-motivated and optimistic.
In contrast, a team can be less productive when it is high on stress. Studies show that positive reinforcement leads to increased loyalty while negative reinforcement leads to distrust. Find ways to issue both easy and competitive rewards to your remote staff so that they know they are on a team that cares about them. Send surprise flowers or a gift card. However, remember, even a simple “keep up the excellent work” can show appreciation for their performance.
Your team members need to have an upbeat outlook as work-life balance champions with a sense of well-being. The old authoritative approach to running a staff team does not go well in today's digital environment. One of the key changes in workplace philosophy, even before the pandemic, has been to treat physical and mental health as crucial to business success.
When several workers are ill or suffer emotional burnout, it can limit your team's vitality. So, to promote physical and mental well-being, communicate with them often, let your staff understand that they should get plenty of rest, pursue a healthy diet and get good exercise. Provide resources such as gym membership stipends or access to meditation apps. Allow your team members to create a WFH schedule that is tailored to their specific needs.
Part of nurturing a team of productive players who want to make your company great involves allowing a degree of freedom to explore creativity. You can set parameters for them to spend some of their time offering ideas to improve the business. Conducting brainstorming sessions regularly is an effective way to build relationships and value everyone’s ideas.
Keeping your remote workers connected is critical to your company’s success. A cohesive team in which all members understand company values, vision, mission, and goals can be much more productive than a group of workers with no sense of common direction.