If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s that most businesses can operate incredibly successfully with remote workers. No longer is it necessary for most teams to be based in offices, and many operations can be fulfilled without the need for on-site employees.
Remote teams can also be highly advantageous. It reduces various overhead costs, improves employee retention, and if carefully planned, can reduce staffing costs if they work on an hourly basis. The question that most business owners and managers have is: how do I effectively manage the teams? How can I keep productivity high and ensure the work is actually done?
We took a look at the various ways that businesses all over the world are making remote workers work for them. We thought we would highlight the tools and platforms that are being used, as well as the strategies being employed to make remote work as productive as possible.
Manage Your Teams on a Centralized Dashboard
One of the challenges we found when discussing the management of remote work with businesses was the lack of structure for remote teams. From contracts for the workers to payment methods all the way to establishing roles and allocating work. A centralized dashboard is needed to provide managers with a birds-eye view of remote teams and understand the various roles.
An effective and customizable management platform for freelancers is a necessity if you are managing remote teams. It is highly interactive, can be regularly updated and provides real-time information on the freelancers, no matter what part of the world they are in. It centralizes your information, allows you to immediately pay freelancers and also assists in actual sourcing and onboarding new remote staff.
Make Use of Collaborative Tools
While we are on the topic of great online platforms, the next resources to take a look at are collaborative tools. Platforms like monday.com and Trello are great for effectively managing workflows and managing projects with every staff member involved, no matter where they are.
You are able to create projects, allocate them to individuals and teams, set deadlines, track hours spent, and monitor progress. They also allow you to add files and documents, track the workflow and ensure that tasks are being completed.
What is even more useful with these tools is that they easily integrate with various other tools, like real-time, instant messaging, for example. Slack is a great tool that can easily be integrated with various collaborative tools. Staff members can send messages in real-time to each other. You are able to send individual messages or create channels for teams, departments, or even broadcasts for the whole company. Teams can also receive real-time alerts and notifications for the collaborative platforms.
Maintain a Company Culture
This could be one of the trickiest parts of managing a remote team. If you have always had an in-house team, and are finding that they are moving more and more to work-from-home, keeping the culture can be tough.
This is where employee engagement and communication need to be maintained. Weekly and bi-weekly meetings are vital for team members to communicate, share ideas and maintain the missions, values, and core of the company.
If you are hiring new, totally remote employees, the onboarding process needs to be carefully mapped out to ensure that the company culture is carefully communicated. Onboarding packages and documents can be sent ahead of time and the new employee should be introduced via a video conference to other employees.
Make sure you highlight what your values are. Customer-centricity, for example, should be established as a foundation, and you can equip the employee to achieve that with various tools.
Don’t Forget Non-Work Related Communication
One of the biggest challenges with remote workers is the lack of personal communication. It is easy for your remote staff to get lost and just be a number. The problem with that is that not only do they not have a personal connection with your brand, and may lack the loyalty that that brings, but you know nothing about them either. Thousands of employees help further companies with new ideas and innovation in businesses globally, and this is sometimes stunted with faceless, semi-engaged employees.
Introduce fun activities, remote team-buildings and “watercooler” channels to your engagement tools to encourage inter-team conversations. Conduct regular check-ins with team members and encourage ideas and contributions to the workflow. Remember, work-life balance is key, so make them feel like they are part of a team.
Remote work is the face of the future. It has been shown to be highly successful globally. If you have not put procedures in place to start managing a remote team, and making it successful, now is the time. The world is going remote.
Kiran Shahid is a Canada-based B2B copywriter. As a copywriter for 8 years, she is determined to make boring business copy shine. In her free time, you can find her trying out different foods. You can connect with Kiran on LinkedIn or check out her website.