The shift towards remote working has been increasing for quite some time. But the greatest shift towards this working model came with the COVID-19 pandemic, causing even organizations with zero remote working experience to jump on the bandwagon.
The initial stages of remote working can be hectic, but as you continue to get a handle on it, it becomes so much easier. But irrespective of how well you think your remote team is performing, they could use a little oiling to ensure continued optimum productivity.
1. Create a Reliable It Service Desk
Your remote team will always encounter problems as they interact with new systems or have problems with their application. If they were in an office setting, all they would need to do to solve their problem is walk to the IT department. However, that is not the case for the remote team, as they need a centralized remote IT service desk to access timely assistance.
A smooth-running service desk takes hard work and can be pretty resource-intensive. But the best way of ensuring you have a smooth-running service desk without breaking the bank would be investing in an IT service desk software from a reliable provider, such as Solarwinds.
2. Train Your Team to Assume Good Intentions in Communication
The best form of communication is usually person to person because you get the words used to communicate accompanied by the body language, tone, and inflections, all of which are important components of communication. But it is not always possible to do all your communication in person or even via video.
Most remote teams communicate via email, Slack, text, or other messaging tools they may adapt. The problem with text-based communication is there is no way of understanding the feeling behind the communication.
For example, if you use an exclamation mark in your communication, an employee could interpret that you are shouting at them while it was never the intention.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that you clear out the possibility of miscommunication by teaching your team not to read too much in your communication.
3. Hold Spontaneous Video Calls From Time to Time
While text-based communication could be the main form of communication for remote teams, it may not be ideal in some situations.
For example, say you communicate via Slack or email and realize that the communication results in a series of back and forth exchanges that don’t seem to head in the intended direction. In such a situation, the best course of action should be to make an impromptu video call on your preferred video conferencing option.
That way, it is possible to pass on the message to team members and answer all the questions in one sitting rather than having to answer the same questions for every team member. You may also consider having regular video conference meetings to create an impression of being in an office while working from home.
Using time tracking apps on your remote workers is tempting since you may not have any way of proving that they will be on the job when they should be. However, tracking your remote team can be interpreted as mistrust which can be a real demoralizer.
Your team wants to feel that you can trust them to do what they are supposed to. Also, they could find ways of underperforming even with a time tracker. Instead of tracking them, it would be best to give them daily or weekly achievable goals and trust that they will do the job well.
You may also consider celebrating achievers or rewarding them during your joint meetings, which can motivate better performance.