In 2020, the world of work experienced a massive shift due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some organizations used to offer the ability to work from home as a perk, it has now become the norm for most. But just because remote work is now prevalent, it doesn’t mean that all workers have become accustomed to it. Some are still figuring out how to stay on task, focused, and connected while working remotely.
To help you manage and improve the productivity and communication of your remote teams, consider the following tips.
Invest in a collaboration platform
Collaboration is different in a physical office. When team members are in the same place, emails and quick chats are enough to keep everyone connected and on task. But when your team is working across multiple locations or even different time zones, communication and project management must be more intentional.
There are thousands of software that simplify remote collaboration, from instant messaging apps that facilitate discussions to web-based word processors that enable users to create and share content easily. But what's great is that there are platforms that feature all of these apps, allowing you to communicate with your teams, set goals and deadlines, and track progress all in one place instead of constantly switching between different programs.
An example of this is Microsoft Teams, which enables users to chat, call, meet, and collaborate in a single app. What's even better is that it can be integrated with hundreds of other apps.
Keep virtual meetings engaging
Virtual meetings can be a great way to increase employee engagement and interaction when your team can’t be physically together. To run an effective virtual meeting, you must:
- Prepare beforehand. Check all aspects of your virtual meeting setup before the call to avoid potential technical hiccups. Test the video conferencing app and make sure that your camera, microphone, and speakers are working fine. Likewise, ensure that your internet connection is stable by shutting down processes or turning off devices that may hog your bandwidth.
- Create an agenda. Following an agenda allows you to facilitate the flow of discussions and keep track of who needs to touch on a particular topic during the meeting. It’s a good idea to append the agenda to the meeting invite so participants can prepare too. Alternatively, you can present the agenda at the beginning of the call to remind everyone of the meeting’s purpose.
- Avoid multitasking. Just like physical meetings, virtual meetings still require the participants’ undivided attention, so avoid checking emails, watching TV, or doing anything else while on a call. Not only is multitasking during a meeting disrespectful, but it’s also easy for other participants to tell when you aren't fully focused.
Check in without being overbearing
One of the most difficult things about managing remote teams is tracking progress. As a business leader or manager, you may be tempted to check in with your employees more often or provide more detailed instructions. However, micromanaging or exerting an excessive amount of control over remote workers can be detrimental to their productivity. Instead, having short, regular check-ins with your team may be enough to monitor their progress, set goals, and offer feedback when necessary.
When working in an office, your commute can help you wake up and prepare mentally for the workday ahead. When working from home, however, jumping out of bed and immediately sitting in front of your computer can be much more jarring.
Getting up at an earlier time allows you to beat the morning sluggishness and sets you up for a productive start. To encourage your team to maximize their mornings as well, you can schedule a quick check-in first thing in the morning or ask them to submit their goals and plans for the day before 9 a.m. When you start your mornings productive, it sets the tone for everything that follows.
Be patient and flexible
Most of the time, major changes require an adjustment period. With remote work, employees may need time to get used to conducting virtual meetings, familiarize themselves with new tools and technologies, and learn how to balance their work and personal lives. This means you need to be patient and flexible to help keep company morale up and productivity level the same. It also helps to provide them with all the necessary training for any new remote working tools and processes your team may be using.
It may take time for your team to fall into a groove. However, showing empathy and compassion can go a long way to helping your team adjust to remote work quickly.
We at Kortek Solutions can help your Las Vegas business leverage existing and emerging technologies for optimum productivity. Call us today to learn more!