It is clear now, that remote work has established itself as more than just a passing fad. Companies worldwide are stepping up their game and offering their employees options like unlimited WFH, WFA (work from anywhere), or a hybrid work model. While these options present a variety of perks for the workers, a successful shift to remote work, however, necessitates adjusting current technology to meet constantly changing needs.
In today’s digital workplace, traditional ways of communicating and maintaining workflows are not enough. Working from anywhere, from city cafes to hammocks in the woods, requires a consistent, high-quality Internet connection, as remote workers attend virtual meetings and access confidential files needed to complete tasks.
As the organization’s attack surface widens, companies must not only adopt appropriate communication platforms but at least basic security solutions as well. The best way to ensure a successful remote workflow is to grasp a few tips and tricks, regardless of whether your company has already adopted remote work policies, or simply wants to be prepared “just in case.”
So, continue reading to find out the tips for building a successful remote team!
1. Intuitive team
Leading a remote team is much harder when members just don’t get along.
Perhaps they lack the right work ethic, do not follow the company’s values, or lack the skills they portray – no matter what the cause may be, productivity and work quality can seriously suffer from a weak link.
A traditional CV and cover letter might not help you determine, what kind of a person one is or what are one’s strengths and weaknesses. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do that will help you choose the best employees, such as:
- Prepare a one-of-a-kind assignment.
- Determine characteristics that are most crucial for your team and create a method that would let your applicant demonstrate their personality.
- Or arrange a training day/week/etc., of working with the team.
Finding the best fit will undoubtedly be easier if you tailor your hiring approach, as candidates will be able to better demonstrate their strengths and personality traits.
2. Strong leader
While a great leader might have no issues switching from managing employees in the office to keeping track of progress online, some managers might need extra help or training when working with a remote team.
Without frequent and open communication, remote teams may start to feel disconnected from the big picture; therefore, it is crucial for a leader to ensure that everyone is checking in, communicating effectively, and paying attention to each other.
Contrary to popular belief, employees care a lot about company culture and empathy, so it doesn’t matter whether they are working remotely or in the same room as long as the leader manages a team with genuine compassion.
3. A must-have equipment
You need to ensure that everyone has access to the right tools before any work can be done. These usually include:
- A laptop or workstation computer.
- Mobile phone.
- Reliable WiFi access.
- A comfortable table and chair.
- A webcam, microphone, headphones, etc.
New computers, improved WiFi, and any other optional technologies are absolutely crucial for the majority of remote teams in order for them to do their tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. This may necessitate budget adjustments, but keep in mind that you are preparing the team for success.
4. Security must always go first
When transferring staff to full-time remote work, it’s essential to ensure that they have reliable and secure access to enterprise systems and resources.
As a first step, we recommend deploying commonsense remote access security measures such as:
- Verifying identities with multi-factor authentication to prevent unwanted access.
- Requiring installation of robust anti-virus and malware protection.
- Promoting the use of safe mobile applications.
- Setting up a secure corporate VPN.
- To ensure a private connection, provide portable WiFi devices.
Another important thing to note is that besides implementing the latest security measures, you should also invest in employee cybersecurity awareness training. There are plenty of companies offering learning material and training courses that can be fully completed online.
5. Automate tasks
With all the technology available today, almost all business processesw and workflows can be sped up or simplified by task automation, so that team members can focus on more important tasks.
Mundane tasks can take a toll on your employees and often result in burnout and low morale, so it is highly recommended that you automate as many aspects as possible to maintain a small, yet highly efficient team.
Another thing to note is that with automation, the results of hard work will be visible faster, giving your employees a sense of accomplishment and will encourage them to push forward.
6. Don’t forget to give feedback
We can all agree, that going by and giving a high-five from time to time is not an option when working remotely. However, if your employees do not receive constructive feedback on a regular basis, they may begin to doubt themselves. In most circumstances, being out of the loop may lead to a lot of stress, which is exacerbated by remote work.
So, make sure your employees’ progress is recognized! Feedback, recognizing successes, and addressing areas for growth should all be on your daily, weekly, or monthly to-do list. Encouragement and genuine attention will always help workers not only feel seen but also celebrated for going above and beyond.
7. Quality communication
Not knowing one’s location and availability when working remotely means team members won’t always be able to reach each other when in need. In this case, maintaining an open channel of contact should help your team eliminate any communication obstacles.
Implementing easy-to-use communication or scheduling tools is probably the best approach to ensure smooth communication. Here are some tools that can help your team members stay connected:
- Online calendar tools – for constant visibility.
- Web video conferencing platforms.
- Collaborative communication tools like Slack, Microsoft teams, etc. let you chat, create specialized channels, and integrate plenty of add-ons.
8. Centralized and backup data
All employees – remote or not – need quick and secure access to information in order to perform their tasks. By making sure that the data that staff members require on a daily basis is conveniently accessible in one location, you guarantee quality collaboration between teams and that all the tasks will be completed in a timely manner.
But that is not all. Besides making necessary files easily accessible, you should also perform regular backups and have a strategy for how to recover lost data in case of an emergency.
9. Focus on the big picture
When migrating from exclusively in-office to remote work, it’s crucial to manage expectations and keep the big picture in mind. Put less emphasis on what is being done on a micro-level and prioritize what is actually being accomplished.
A successful virtual team pays less attention to the number of hours worked and focuses more on the results. Your workers’ method of completing the job should not matter as much as long as the work they produce is high-quality and meets agreed-upon deadlines.
10. Remote team-building!
One thing that decision-makers often tend to forget is that team-building activities are just as necessary for the remote workforce as for teams working together in an office.
Getting to know your colleagues may be difficult when you do not physically reside on the same floor, so it is imperative to give everyone the opportunity to interact with each other in a casual setting, whether it’s by playing online games or organizing virtual coffee breaks.
People who work remotely may find it difficult to cope with difficult situations if they don’t feel connected to other people, as remote working can be lonely and isolating at times. Having an understanding of a team member’s talents and abilities will assist in cooperating and achieving remarkable results.
The bottom line
Although overseeing remote teams might present a variety of difficulties, the best practices mentioned in this article will help you maintain an ideal working atmosphere. By keeping a finger on the pulse of your team, you will undoubtedly have a stable workforce that stays satisfied, happy, and productive.
Now, the most crucial thing for you to do is to be aware but never afraid of the possible difficulties may that come with having a remote team, and be prepared to change your approach if necessary. Always remember – any team, regardless of location, can succeed with enough effort, the right tools, and effective communication!
Post by: Vitalija Rinkevičiūtė at CyberNews