The unprecedented improvements in global connectivity as a result of the Internet and social media has allowed businesses worldwide to tap a wealth of talent from every corner of the globe.
In fact, even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, partial remote working has been reported in 43 percent of the U.S. workforce.
Not surprisingly, businesses that do not have or have just a minimal remote work structure struggled during the pandemic and rushed to ensure that their employees can work from home.
- Remote employees no longer see wasted time resulting from lengthy commutes to and from a physical workplace.
- Unlike in-office employees that work only for an average of 17 additional workdays per year, remote employees work for an additional 1.4 days per month.
- While remote employees take longer breaks of 22 minutes compared to the 17 minutes of their in-office counterparts, they do however work an additional 10 minutes or more daily.
- In-office employees have been found to be unproductive for an average of 37 minutes per day (lunch and coffee breaks not included) compared to remote employees who are unproductive for just 27 minutes.
- Around 15 percent of remote workers stated that their employers distracted them from work. This is much less than the 22 percent of in-office employees who claimed boss distractions.
If your business or organization still does not have the capabilities for work-from-home or remote working, now is the time to do so.
Here are the 6 secrets on how you can have productive remote teams in your business:
1) Choose the best people in your remote team.
Although you now have access to a global pool of talent, you also have to be more selective in choosing the best people in your remote team.
Of course, they need to have the required skills for the job. However, they also need to have good organizational habits, such as time management, timely deadline fulfillment, updated calendars, keeping daily and weekly task lists.
They should also possess both excellent verbal and written skills.
Great English comprehension is a must so that you are assured that each remote team member understands any instructions you give them.
While it is ideal to get remote workers who work well under minimal supervision, it is better to hire people who have reliable judgment, who can make on-the-spot informed decisions without having to inquire first with their bosses.
2) Provide the Necessary Training
No matter how talented or skilled a remote team is, many business owners often make the mistake in assuming that each team member will automatically fit into the mold of their company.
Remote team members nowadays request employers for work-related training to ensure that their output will be up to par with company requirements.
By providing training in the form of online courses and webinars, employers will see greater remote employee engagement and retention.
3) Strengthen Communication Channels
Vital to remote team success is ensuring that communication lines are always open and strong.
This does not only mean keeping the flow of instructions active or ensuring accountability among your remote team members.
On their part, your remote team wants to remain in contact with their employers in the event that they have inquiries or if they are meeting certain challenges in the work that they are doing.
Great platforms to use for maintaining communication with remote teams, include Slack for immediate contact, Monday.com for project management, and Zoom for video conferences.
4) Make Yourself Clear and Simple in Explaining Remote Team Roles and Accountabilities
If you want each member in your remote team to perform his/her tasks correctly, then you should explain to them in clear and simple terms what your expectations are.
Doing so will prevent confusion and poor work output.
Encourage them to speak out if there are certain aspects of the work or your instructions that they do not understand.
It is better to get clarifications at every step of the remote work process so that they can deliver projects as scheduled and are at par with your expectations.
5) Provide Project Management Tools
Project management tools are important for both the employers and their remote teams to keep track of current tasks and projects in an organized manner.
This will enable them to prioritize tasks, remember project aspects that are already accomplished, and what more needs to be done.
The key project management tools that you should have in place in your business are file sharing, time tracking, email integration, Gantt Charts, budget management/invoicing, cloud storage integration, just to name a few.
6) Encourage remote team connections
Your connection with your remote team should not only be focused on work.
Nothing can make a remote team member feel valued than if you check in from time to time on their personal well-being or whether they are feeling burnt-out from working from home.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will contact them out of the blue on Slack or Skype.
Aside from work meetings, you can schedule weekly wrap ups. You can make these wrap ups casual and free flowing.
Offer praises for jobs well done and kind advice and expectations for work improvement.
You can also specifically inquire about any challenges that they have faced in the course of their work so that you can make the necessary changes to prevent these problems from happening in future projects.
Of course, use these team connections to allow each member of the remote team to interact with each other.
The problem with remote team working is that every member often considers himself/herself an autonomous unit.
By enabling them to form relationships with other members of the team, you ensure better cooperation and collaboration between them, leading to improved work output.
Working with remote teams is now considered a part of the “new normal”.
As such, you need not confine work within the four walls of your office.
By applying the six secrets of successful remote teams we have shared above, you are sure to have valuable assets that will be your partners in your business.
If you’re looking for other resources on working from home, be sure to check out our Complete Guide To Working From Home to get you started!