Working remotely comes with significant advantages and disadvantages but when managed effectively, it can be a formula for success. Many companies are already shifting to such a team structure. All you need is the right process, a positive attitude, and most importantly, mutual trust between team members to get work done.
Hire Right People
It’s always best to hire remote employees with good people skills, who can work on their own, are responsible, and take initiative. These qualities, paired with the proper expertise, will make for an awesome team that’s ready to tackle the most difficult projects.
Open lines of communication and channels employees can use to collaboratively communicate and stay informed. Use the widely accepted communication tools for collaboration to avoid any compatibility issues among the remote team members. If possible, use the same hardware and software with same versions for worry free communication.
Plan your Workflow
Planning and communicating in advance about a project can make your workflow smoother. Make sure every remote employee in a project is notified about the updates regarding daily tasks. Eventually, as an added advantage it also makes it easy for team leaders and project managers to assign work. Get everyone on the same page to ensure there’s absolutely no mixed messages.
Set Specific Online Times
Although there are companies that let employees work whenever you want, it’s a good idea to have times set aside when your entire team is online. This reduces the occurrences of having to wait several hours for much-needed replies – constant communication ensures that the company keeps moving forward. Set the standard. Take the time to orient your remote team members. Create protocols and standards that help them understand what is expected.
Learn More : 5 Challenges in Managing a Remote Team
Simulate Social Interactions
Create outlets for employees to chat formally and informally. Since your employees work from behind a computer most of the day, it’s likely that their social lives have taken a hit. Compensate for this with informal and fun conversations to keep everyone happy. Humanize the remote environment and don’t be afraid to just say hi.
Develop the Right culture
Furthermore, if you’re islands, states, or continents apart; remote teams need to develop a culture that focuses on and encourages team collaboration, goal setting, and quality work.
Read More : 4 Golden Strategies to Motivate your Workforce
Enable Remote Tools for Communication.
Remote teams rely heavily on communication and collaborative software. You need to pick the best software and tools for your team and instill the discipline to actually use it. For the reason that you can’t call a team member from across the country over to your desk to ask them what they think about your code, screen sharing software is a must.
Having documented processes with clear hand-offs and roles / responsibilities outlined keeps things from becoming chaotic in your remote world. Everything should be documented, and if it’s not, then assign that to someone to be included on the task list. Here remote workers can swap tips and develop best practices; and issues that arise go directly to those with the power to address them.
Learn More on : 7 Benefits of Record Keeping for Business
Document Best Practices and FAQ’s
Maintain a document that describes best practices and FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) for successful remote working. Have guidelines for hosting a call or meeting, expectations for company wide all hands, and how to pair program remotely. Checks in regularly with all remote employees to ensure they are engaged and gather any feedback for improvements.
Track Your Team’s Hours
This can be done through reports. You’ll want to track the number of hours’ employees work to ensure that they’re investing enough time in each project. Moreover, this becomes even more important if you’re paying your employees at an hourly rate. We recommend creating a spreadsheet for your employees to fill out with the details of their workday. This increases accountability and makes employees feel involved.
Eventually, Running a company primarily with a remote workforce can be tricky, but if you do it right, it can be successful.
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