Managing remote teams – 2022 was predicted as the “remote work’s year.” However, even the most optimistic advocates for telecommuting never anticipated the world’s biggest launch of work-from-home experiments before the first quarter’s end. 

While many individuals are used to expensive offices in our cities’ districts, and whether we’re ready, COVID-19 has transitioned many organizations to permit remote work at scale. 

So, how do any organizations grant the opportunity and consider the long-term? Among the measures taken by companies affecting almost every employee is realizing that ‘work’ is not a place.

So, during this crisis of the global pandemic, companies have risen to create some movements toward containing this disaster. Fortunately, most companies are equipped, and some have already equipped themselves to continue the “usual business” by just shifting gears & adopting practices of work-from-home. 

However, working from home considers unique challenges for both the employees and employers.

Managing Remote Teams: How to Support a Work-from-Home Team

So how do we ensure employees are engaged & motivated even in case they are away from their traditional work environment? In this article, we’re presenting some major tips that managers need to support & maximize the effectiveness of the Work-From-Home setting.

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Community Building

When employees suddenly begin working away from their frequent setting, they might feel a bit lost & demotivated. 9 to 5 workers’ typical working style is quite different from someone who’s always worked remotely. This sudden transition might massively hamper the organization’s internal communication. The scarier part is that no one knows how long this arrangement will last.

Try making a virtual office for your employees to keep moving this workflow. Select the ideal video conferencing as well as collaboration tools. Try making a forum for employees to share personal & professional updates. Assign collaborative tasks every week, encouraging team members to work together & staying connected.

Community employees

Besides that, creating virtual team activities would be great to keep their morale high and boost their moods, like online multiplayer games and quizzes. Or you can also encourage them to learn new things, and you can also share them with their colleagues.

Some companies have adopted even the virtual coffee break. These are video calls in which employees connect virtually to take breaks, socialize, and have their minds calm with cooler conversations. These conversations can be highly effective in preventing potential isolation & burnout.

Some organizations use tools such as Slack to hold informal contests, celebrate birthdays, and ask employees to post pictures of their pets, children, etc. The online exchanges are very famous with people talking regarding the books they are reading and debates over the fonts’ merits, etc.

Employees normally are trying to enjoy a virtual karaoke party. However, making sense of community assists attract a powerful talent and has a competitive benefit.

Some collaboration tools mentioned below have communication capabilities at their core. Here we show some examples of the most successful and convenient online communication tools that specialize in this:

  • Skype
  • Slack
  • Google Hangouts
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Yammer
  • Lifesize Video Conferencing
  • HipChat
  • Cisco Webex Teams
  • Fuze

Managing Remote Teams: Robust Communication is The Requirement of the Hour

Frequent corporate leadership communication (making an information HUB) – every day, every week, or as accessible– this HUB must have the most recent/current organization’s COVID-19 advice, policies, response, and protocols. FAQ guides & links to authorities and external companies such as the WHO, which stands for “World Health Organization,” & CDC, which is “Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.” 

With the help of this expert advice, these messages mostly incorporate a genuinely personal aspect, etc. Ensure that not any of their fellow employees have tested COVID positive (where applicable) & considering that employees for not getting panic or spread rumors. Most importantly, over-communicating & staying in touch is the hour’s requirement.

Meaningful Goal Setting

While the employees are surely relieved from the daily stress commute, it might be a nightmare for managers to handle this situation. However, they must not. Discipline is the prime factor in making work-from-home effective. There will be numerous distractions in their homes & work might suffer. The key to handling remote teams undoubtedly is meaningful goal-setting.

goal employees

Set deliverables that are clear and certain metrics that will permit you to monitor outcomes and measure outcomes effectively. Communication becomes essential when teams are fragmented. Conducting virtual meetings from time to time is a great way to make updates and ensure that things are not going off track.

Remember to use instant messaging such as Skype & Slack every time you stay in the loop. Besides that, schedule some constant time with employees for discussions that is “non-work.”

Keep Your Employees Engaged With Recognition

Recognition in the work area is quintessential for the complete success of the company. When you try acknowledging your employees for their outstanding without mistakes on time, they surely feel rejoiced for their contributions. In case fuels their zeal for doing better and gaining appreciation from their peers & managers.

 As the whole world lies crippled by a viral pandemic to force everyone to stay in self-isolation, delivering Recognition to employees has become a concern for HR executives worldwide.

encourage employees

This time is perfect for acknowledging and switching to the digital R&R platform. The cloud-based HR tools’ advancement is bridging the gap between employees & managers irrespective of any physical and geographical barriers. Managers are now able to recognize & praise their employees on the go.

 Not only managers, but these interactive tools can also assist you in boosting peer recognition by permitting horizontal Recognition among peers and team members. Dissimilar to earlier, when one had to arrange a ceremony to dispense employee awards, one can now reward identification effectively and instantly from any corner of the world.

Managing Remote Teams: Encourage Learning

It’s an ideal time for employees to earn what they have every time wanted to and a fantastic time for managers to facilitate that. Numerous organizations have invested in e-learning platforms & employees will be learning new skills & upskill their existing skills in the additional hours that they’re getting daily because of the current circumstances of working from home.

Among the top seeking criteria, especially for employees at work personally and professional advancement, prefer working in a job that assists them in learning new skills and developing as individuals. When a company promotes learning among employees, it’ll help them instinctively to keep them motivated & engaged.

learning employees

Currently, most employees seek to get trained in tomorrow’s skills, especially courses such as Machine Learning, AI, & Data Analytics, which are high-end across industries.

You can encourage your employees too to take up non-work-related courses. Platforms for online learning provide a wide range of courses, from songs to playing numerous instruments to creative arts for self-defense.

These courses might be fantastic mood boosters & stress-reliever for your employees. Companies could promote peer-to-peer learning too among employees; this might become a medium for peer engagement.

Offer Employee Perks & Discounts

Giving away some fantastic employee perks is another unique approach to keep employees motivated to contribute to their company while working remotely or in the office.

A few of these employee perks involve exclusive corporate deals from numerous brands, subsidized insurance plans, cashback offers, gift cards, subscription plans, tie-ups with hospitals, etc.

A cloud-based employee advantage/discount platform or an organization. Which offer this service can now become the approach to go. Such a platform will assist the company keeps employees happy with fantastic offers & discounts on a constant brand that employees normally purchase from it.

Offer Support for Equipment and Other Functionalities

The mantra of any outstanding work lies in just two things: any individual’s skill and the available tools at their disposal. Modern offices are normally equipped with some great tools & technologies. These have a typical correlation with the work’s quality. However, when employees put the effort from home, this comes up as a massive hurdle generally to the productivity of your employees.

When employees are handling from home, it doesn’t imply that they won’t need the ideal pieces of equipment or other functionalities. Mostly, it’s the employees who bear the expense of getting the tools & other resources they require. If purchasing laptops in bulk in this scenario isn’t that feasible, you can try offering compensation or discount plans for them.

Focus on Outcomes, Not Activity

It’s impossible to handle every work aspect done by the remote team. However, you must not try handling every aspect of any team’s work, especially when your team is distributed around different locations. Rather than concentrating on activity or hours worked, concentrate on the results and track your team accordingly.

Be Flexible While Managing Remote teams

It’s a matter of believing in how to support a work-from-home team, especially in this kind of circumstance; your team surely might have much going on. Of course, that’s not an issue in working from home for not getting tasks done, but it’s an advantage to reconsider what productivity means.

work from home

Working for eight hours straight is not going to help. Regular 8 hours of work is also probably out for numerous individuals. Rather than that, have faith in your team and provide them the flexibility & freedom to get work completed on the schedule that assists them to be the most generative. That’s ideal for your team for the long race anyway.

Promote Health and Wellness

Making sure that your employees are staying motivated at work and replies highly on their physical & mental well-being is required. With the present outbreak of the COVID 19, keeping up perfect health has become highly essential. As the pandemic highly forces employees to isolate themselves, staying at home for long periods will undoubtedly affect their mental & physical health.

promote employees

They must be missing their regular gym routines and physical activity, which generally must have drastically lessened. Incorporating a wellness application can be ideal for promoting their physical well-being t, and sharing it with your employees. It’s time to utilize the available technology.

A smart mobile wellness application will permit employees to participate in numerous health tasks that can be easily completed while staying indoors. A program that can look after the employees’ well-being and, at the same time, keep them active is quite a considerable step that employers & managers can take.

Set up a Meeting with Rhythm

Yes, setting a meeting rhythm is crucial while Managing remote teams, and regular meetings within each team besides an “all hands” meeting for the whole company. Of course, the frequency depends on the sort of job and person, but we’d recommend the fore-coming minimum meetings:

  1. A daily meeting with every team in less than 10 minutes only to say hi, feel the connection, and ensure no misunderstanding among team members. Nothing is blocking any person from achieving their goals.
  2. A weekly meeting is conducted within a team or a similar period of one-on-one meetings between each team leader for Managing remote teams. This weekly meeting can avoid storing up issues, minimize the back and forth email during the week, and handle everything in one meeting only.
  3. A weekly all-hands meeting for the whole company shouldn’t belong; generally, it should take 10 minutes to feel like everyone is a part of that team.

Pay Virtual Team Members Good Enough

Several guys want to work virtually, and several professionals are willing to permit the pay cut for the probability of working from home.

You may find lower-cost team members virtually; if you pay them well, you’ll ensure that your team works their soul out and sticks with you for a longer-term. The relations and understanding among the team member will also get stronger if everybody hangs on for the long term.

Inspire Through Video

.Inspire through video

Remote workers may miss the feeling of company culture feeling. It’s challenging to create and maintain culture via just written words. Creating videos and video conferencing services like Google Hangouts prove much more powerful. You can record those hangouts to help future employees as well.

You can use videos as a medium to inspire your team. Reinforcing core concepts can be easier in your company culture. It includes your company’s mission or vision.

Stay Alert: Mixed Office & Remote Culture

While your whole team is remote, you’ll adjust more easily as you have to. Certainly, you’ll have to implement special strategies that work for your remote team. However, having half of the team remote and the other half working from the office can cause issues.

For instance, your office team might resolve to hold a closed meeting, leaving the remote team members out. Hence, their voice doesn’t exist. So you’ll have to ensure that ALL of your office meetings are remote-friendly. Ensure you all log into Zoom or any other technology you use and chat with your computer. Avoid gathering just some people in the room while having some remote.

Managing Remote Teams: Conclusion

The pandemic has hit the whole world, but it has no cure yet. The only proven prevention is handling social distance. Adopting work-from-home practices is the most viable & responsible approach to dealing with these circumstances. Moreover, it’s the only approach to sustaining your business in a time of global crisis such as this one. 

Thanks to the current technology, working from home will now be remarkably productive & smooth. It’s not just the Top management’s, HR, the leader’s or managers’ role; however, the employees make these tracks successful and emerge via this as stronger than before. So don’t forget to keep smiling!

It is my organization at our Monday weekly meeting. And yes, organizations nowadays create the most of working from home with everyone around the globe. This article was an attempt to assist you in formulating strategies for engaging and motivating—your employees in these unusual circumstances.

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