Best Practice for Managing Remote Teams
According to a OnePoll Survey conducted in April of 2020, almost 88% of Australian businesses have implemented a remote working policy.
The current global challenges businesses are facing means these figures are certain to stay high, even once we are permitted to return to our workplace physically.
In order to stay in business and stay productive, many office-based employees will find themselves working from home full-time and may choose to remain doing so if possible once restrictions are eased. So, as business leaders what are the best ways to manage remote workers to ensure they remain motivated and engaged.
As a global company with over 100 offices in every corner of the world, we have been busy adapting to new living and working challenges and restrictions ourselves. We employ office and home-based workers and have worked with many organisations in helping them lead their virtual teams successfully for over a decade.
So, here are our top 10 tips on how to get the best out of your remote team.
1. Be prepared – If you are asking your employees to work from home, make sure they have all of the equipment they need to keep performing from an offsite location. Consider if you will help pay towards your remote employees’ wi-fi costs and supplying them with IT support.
2. Consider the security of your data and information – This message from the Australian Government’s cyber division provides some clear guidance on staying virtually protected whilst at home https://www.cyber.gov.au/advice/covid-19-cyber-security-tips-when-working-home
3. Set clear guidelines – working from home means it can be very easy to slip into to the habit of working untraditional; hours and expecting the same from others. Be clear around the hours which you expect people to be working and contactable, set the same for yourself. For example, emails to customers or clients should be answered within a certain period of the day along with internal emails to colleagues. Urgent matters will be raised by text or phone.
4. Focus on task completion, rather than hours worked – Without the distractions of an in person office space it’s highly likely your work and personal tasks will be completed faster, so rather than expecting people to be glued to their working spaces 9-5, ensure everyone understands what deliverables they need to work on. Then everyone can relax a little knowing they are doing worthwhile work
5. Keep in touch – For some people working from home can be especially isolating and lonely, especially if they live by themselves. Make sure you regularly keep in touch and not just via email. Remote should not mean alone.
6. Make time to chat – Office life centres around a well-functioning team who enjoy spending time with each other. Camaraderie and culture are the foundation of successful teams, not solely the work they do. For those working from home, the absence of the friends you have in the office that make working from home even more difficult. Take time to have non-work related calls with your team or in an office group chat.
7. Make your schedule accessible – be sure to let your team know when you are ready and available to talk or give support by letting them access your calendar/schedule. Consider editing your email signature or update the accessibility to your Outlook calendar.
8. Utilise technology – schedule regular daily or weekly meeting using video, whether that be on Zoom, Skype, Webex or whatever platform works best. Stronger relationships and communication are built through face to face interaction, so utilise the available technology to properly check in on your colleagues
9. Treat everyone– working from home shouldn’t mean everyone misses out on the rewards of office life. If you can, send out a sweet treat to your employees!
10. Band together – if one person or a few people are working from home, and others are still in the office, keep them up to date with all the company/office news, so they don’t miss anything or feel left out.
- 86% of employees say they’re most productive when they work alone
- 68% of millennial job seekers said a work from home option would greatly influence their interest in working for a company.
- Two-thirds of managers who offer telecommuting flexibility report that employees who work from home are overall more productive.
- 65% of people think they work best at home
If you want to learn more about Managing Remote Workers, click here to read about our Leading Virtual Teams Resources.