The Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for many changes in the world and the workplace. The lockdown forced many people to find a balance between work and home life inside their own houses, setting impromptu office spaces in their living rooms, and reinventing their work routine altogether. Two years down the line, remote working remains an option for many who have found many advantages in working from home, including a greater work-life balance, no rush-hour commutes, and the ability to concentrate and work better, without the distractions of a busy open space environment. This “new normal” has been made possible thanks to the development of new technologies and digital management tools, as well as the evolution of the “work culture” definition. For managers, running a team remotely took some adjustment but eventually proved to function just as well as working in a physical office environment.
The first rule of running a successful remote team is to establish clear expectations and goals. Build a strong foundation to encourage trust and mutual respect by communicating what you expect from each and every one of your remote team members in a clear way, including objectives, goals, and processes adopted for a seamless workflow. Discuss the company policies and values as soon as possible to avoid misunderstandings. For example, if the company has a flexible work schedule policy, make sure your team understands that they must communicate when they are on/off so that you can all work freely but still be able to rely on each other. If your company operates by objectives, make sure your team is fully aware of their daily targets, goals, and deadlines.
The secret to a successful remote team starts with choosing and hiring staff members who can work autonomously without constantly relying on a manager. Trust goes a long way to establishing a win-win situation with your remote team. Not only is it important to hire the right people for their skills and competencies, but it is also important to create a harmonious, well-adjusted group, where everyone is on the same wavelength and has the same team spirit. A positive attitude and self-motivation can go a long way when working remotely. Let each member feel responsible for their own field of expertise and champion autonomy to make the remote work experience as smooth as possible. That way, it will be possible for you - the manager - to focus on your own goals and projects, without needing to micro-manage and check up on your team all the time.
Communicating is always important in a work environment, but it’s even more crucial in a remote setting, where connections might not happen as organically as they would in a physical setting. How can communication remain clear and seamless when managing a remote team? Get the support of a great instant messaging system, conference calls, and regular check-ins to facilitate work-related communication and bonding. As it often happens when establishing a long-distance connection, texting can substitute live conversations, including in a working environment where bonding is crucial to a healthy environment. Be sure to leave room for virtual “coffee breaks” or informal chats to let your team get to know one another in a non-professional way too. After all, coffee breaks and water-cooler moments were what made office workers grow closer, wasn’t it?
To make remote teamwork successful, there are a number of digital tools and programs designed to make distant collaboration possible. If your entire team participates in a project, create a Google document to let everyone add their input and work collectively. To collaborate on visual assets, the workrooms on BOOM Worksite are a great substitute for the meeting room experience. After inserting visual assets in a workroom specifically created for a project, users can interact in a variety of ways. Workrooms allow users to assign tasks, leave comments and feedback for specific team members (by mentioning them), approve or ask for revisions on specific assets, and give general instructions
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