With technology providing us with flexibility in our workplace, remote teams are becoming more common.
Remote teams can increase productivity by giving employees freedom and flexibility. However, they can also be challenging to manage.
It’s common for remote teams to sometimes feel disconnected. Communication can be difficult when your team is all across the globe. A fault in communication can cause work progress to hinder and team members to feel isolated from the company.
Here are five helpful tips to keep your remote team engaged and productive.
Encourage Work/Life Balance
Track the hours your team members work.
Check to see if they are working too much or too little, and investigate further on the outliers. An excessive workload can create work stress for some team members. Too little work may result in disengagement and a disincentive to do work efficiently.
Don’t forget to track the quality of work your team does. Provide opportunities for team members to do engaging and meaningful work. Those who are often doing repetitive and boring work will feel demoralized and undervalued overtime. This is especially if other team members are involved with something exciting.
Tracking the amount and type of work your team members are engaged with can help you manage a distributed team. Time management and tracking software, such as Timeneye, are effective ways to do this.
Centralise your Communication
Communication is key when working in a remote team. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, decrease efficiency and cause disengagement. Set guidelines to make sure your team members understand the most effective way to communicate in your team.
As technology advances, more communication tools become available to us.
While this benefits remote teams, it can also be overwhelming. The more communication platforms your team uses, the messier things become. Pick your methods of communication and stick to them. This way your team members can spend more time focusing on work rather than organising messages.
For back and forth conversation between team members, use a chat room. This allows team members to respond quickly to matters and is a way to communicate informally. Save emails for more formal and detailed announcements. Have the option to video call when something needs to be discussed face to face. These platforms can make communicating with your remote team more effective.
Establish a Great Culture
When your team is safe and inclusive, team members will naturally be more engaged in their work.
Establish an environment where everyone is valued for their contributions. Ask for upward feedback on how to improve on your management style and team culture. Create a safe platform for team members to voice their thoughts and feelings. Your team members are the foundation of your team, so it’s crucial to listen to what they have to say.
Ensure your team members understand how their contribution plays an important role in the bigger picture. This gives them a sense of purpose and will reconnect them to the team. Knowing what they contribute to the team and how valued they are will help them feel engaged. Remote or not, having a shared purpose is important to the success of a team.
Schedule regular virtual meetings to check up on how each team member is doing. Take the time to coach them through tasks and explain how everything links together.
The time and effort you put in your team members will reflect in their work.
Team Bonding Opportunities
Remote teams are physically removed from your company’s culture.
This means it will take twice the effort to prevent team members from feeling disconnected. Nothing helps co-ordinate teamwork and builds trust more than shared experiences.
Create opportunities for team members from all over the globe to stay connected. Plan trips for your team members to get together in person. Take the time to get to know your team on a personal level. Find out what activities your team members enjoy. Group activities such as bowling or pool are not only fun but also a form of team bonding.
Encouraging an Active Lifestyle
Leading an active lifestyle will not only help you to stay focused but will actually increase productivity.
By encouraging an active lifestyle for your team members, you can help your remote team overcome a sedentary lifestyle.
Sign your team up to step count challenges. Hold a competition each month for the person who walks the most steps or burns the most calories. Include a small prize for the winner to stem motivation. This not only encourages your team members to be active but also boosts friendly competition within the team. An active lifestyle will help your team members regain their focus and prevent them from feeling burnt out.
Lastly, the most important tip of all is to make your team feel valued.
Offer incentives, gifts or a well-deserved holiday for a job well done. Most remote workers don’t get health or medical insurance. Providing your team members with these benefits will help improve employee satisfaction.
After all, it’s true when they say, “a happy employee is a productive employee”.