8 Rules To Live By When Working With A Remote Team
Virtual teams are no longer a futuristic concept. Many organizations, big and small, employ this style of working. Today, it has become a common practice to offer employees an option to operate from their homes or to establish teams that consist of members who are scattered across multiple offices. Likewise, for those in sales, a mobile work pattern is not an alien idea. While there are many technological tools that have made it easier for companies to function in this manner, remote communication comes with its own set of challenges that have to be overcome in order to ensure successful collaboration. Some of these shortcomings include the additional burden of having to factor in different time zones, not being able to call for impromptu meetings, and missing that personal touch that comes from being able to walk up to someone’s desk and brainstorm an idea face-to-face. Although these issues may seem to point to the fact that remote collaboration has the least probability of being a success, if you follow a few gospels to the T, you can manage such a team efficiently and also ensure that they yield terrific results. Here are the 8 most crucial commandments that one needs to live by when working in a remote team:
- Be Clear When Setting Expectations – It is all the more vital to set crystal clear goals and convey the expectations without any ambiguity when people on your team are not going to be physically present in the same office as you. By doing so right at the start, you will avoid misunderstandings and, therefore, ascertain high productivity.
- Plan To Engage Remote Employees Daily – Communicating daily with those who work remotely helps keep them in the loop and makes them feel involved. In addition to this, you can also schedule regular face-to-face interactions with them so that you are able to gauge their overall wellbeing and address any queries that they may have regarding the work they do.
- Make Sure You Empathize – Speaking to your remote employees often is not enough. It is crucial to be empathetic and to truly pay attention to their work-related problems. Try to help them out as much as possible so that they do not feel like they have been left in the lurch just because they aren’t in the same office as you.
- Befriend Technology – Systems like Office Curry’s suite of tools for internal communications can help you and your subordinates connect with each other better. Such app-based technological advancements are easy to use, secure, and reduce your dependency on email – a much needed aspect when every one seems to be buried under an avalanche of emails.
- Schedule Remote Trainings – You can coach and mentor your remote employees without asking them to be physically present in the office. Through webinars, online training modules, and video presentations you can ensure that everyone is included in the team’s training plan.
- Foster A Culture Of Trust – When you are working with remote teams it is critical to build a trusting culture. Instead of turning into a helicopter manager who wishes to keep an eye on each employee’s every move, try giving your people some space to operate according to their own schedules. Gauge employees’ performances based on the output and not the ways they employed to achieve it.
- Pay Attention To Technological Hiccups – Technical snags and user-issues/queries can often render remote employees helpless, therefore, negatively affecting productivity. Make sure that you have the right technical problem-solving strategy in place. This could include a technical service center to quickly resolve any issues faced by all employees.
- Create A System To Methodically Track Open Items – With remote teams there is always a high chance of open items slipping through the cracks and being forgotten. To avoid a scenario like this maintain a shared open points list or OPL that can be viewed and edited by all team members. Review this OPL in your daily team meeting to make sure that none of the tasks is missed out.
Office Curry brings to you a sophisticated yet simple to use communication application that can be used on smartphones as well as on laptops. By using this new-age tool you can ensure that your remote employees are just as engaged as the ones sharing office space with you, making your team much more productive than it ever was.