The key insights taken from years of remote working that can boost productivity and satisfaction for both employees and customers.
Remote and hybrid workplaces offer more freedom and flexibility than traditional workplaces, and it’s for that reason that so many companies are looking to either adopt a hybrid or remote work scheme in 2022, even as the COVID-pandemic begins to ?end? Employees agree, with 58% of respondents in a recent survey said they would “‘absolutely’ look for a new job if they cannot continue remote work.” However, now that companies are adopting a hybrid or remote workforce for the post-pandemic long haul, it’s time to iron own any kinks by utilizing best practices learned through the last couple of years of remote and hybrid work.
Managing remote teams' best practices
At the beginning of 2020, many companies were forced into remote working overnight. This led to confusion and practices being implemented that did not bring out the best in a workforce. However, 77% of workers report that they are more productive when working remotely, citing a better work-life balance as the reason they would choose to work remotely, at least some of the time. A hybrid approach is also preferable for some, who would like to be in the office some of the time, while also having the option of working from home or remotely.
In our blog post Adapting To The Modern Workplace: Introducing A Hybrid Model, we covered the various types of remote working, as well as the benefits for companies and employees. Today we share what we have learned over the past two years for how to manage and lead a remote team in 2022 for optimal productivity and a happier team of employees.
Communication is key so engage as often as possible
In any job or workplace, communication is key. However, good communication is ever more important when working with a dispersed team of people. In some cases, teams are now working in different timezones and in some cases, different languages. This freedom to work from anywhere in the world is WORD but it also brings its own challenges. When creating and implementing communication channels, agree with your team on how they would prefer to be contacted and how often they would like to touch base or have 1:1 meetings.
Where possible, try to have at least one video call a week to touch base with your employees and check-in with them. Having this meeting allows for any concerns and questions to be raised, as well as any issues to be solved. Connect with your employees on a personal level so you can understand outside pressures that may affect their work, or recognize the signs of occupational burnout. And when possible, encourage employees to use do not disturb options on applications such as Slack and Teams during out-of-office hours for work-life balance.
Set clear expectations for your team and managers
With employee and manager dialogue, there should always be a clear understanding of what is expected from both sides. Take the time to set out your own, your company, and your colleague's expectations. This applies to many factors within the workplace, such as workload, availability, how they communicate, and much more. These expectations should be reiterated where possible and adaptable to changes within the workplace and the lives of your employees.
Never assume that your employees understand what you want from them; check-in and realine their and your own expectations throughout projects and tasks with monthly meetings.
Give your employees purpose: define the purpose of outcomes
For many employees feeling like just another cog in the wheel can lower their productivity, increase the chances of burnout and create a level of bitterness within the company. Defining the WHY is always crucial for emotionally connecting employees to the mission, whether that’s to the greater companies goals or to the smaller tasks ahead. Giving your employees a sense of purpose and recognition through the process can boost productivity. This means not only is more getting done within your team but they are happier to do it and the tasks feel less aimless and unappreciated. Although this is critical for any workplace, when working remotely employees can often feel disconnected mentally because of the physical disconnect, so defining the purpose of outcomes can help them feel part of the whole, rather than flying solo.
Show flexibility and exhibit empathy where you can
As mentioned above, the key draw for many is the freedom and flexibility of remote work. In 2022 we can recognize that there is a better way to work; one that exhibits empathy and understanding wherever possible. Every single team member has a different home environment. Some members of your team will have noisy children, some will be working in the same space as their partners. Some won’t. Other team members may have private home offices, while some will be taking meetings from the closet, bedroom, or even the bathroom. All of these things must be taken into account while managing your remote team, and some flexibility is needed. Whenever you can see a drop in productivity from a team member, do not assume the worst; reach and out ask if they need any help from you to manage the workload.
This can also come from good communication with your team members and building a rapport with them. Transparency is key and letting your employees know that they can come to you with issues within their remote environment or within their workloads leads to happier teams.
Take advantage of technology - use tracking software
By now, many of us are used to digital meetings and online calendars. Love it or hate it, the digitization of so many companies has allowed for opportunities that we never thought were possible. However, technology is not just for communication and collaboration. Technology can now be used to ensure productive, efficient, and happy teams, no matter if they are remote, hybrid, or dispersed. Fin’s Work Insights Platform is a turnkey solution that enables you to optimize remote team performance and monitor things like security, compliance, system speeds, and network bandwidths. Fin has various Remote Work Performance Optimization Tools that are created to get the best out of your team while recognizing that tech bottlenecks and workforce capacity planning should be high priorities for any growing organization.