COVID-19 has brought a lot of negative impact and hardship to our world, but it has also brought some opportunities. One of these opportunities is that we’re all being launched into a fully virtual business model all at once, and those who find ways to quickly adapt and overcome will grow and prosper for many years to come.
Years ago, working remotely was not possible, but advancements in technology have changed that, and today, we are so fortunate to have the tools and technology that allow us to work from home. Thanks to mobile phones with FaceTime ability, laptops, and other mobile devices, we can do almost everything away from our office desk.
This change may have been a long time coming for some companies. Some companies may have been considering remote work but may have had some concerns up until now. If you are in that boat, you might realize that remote work isn’t as horrible as you thought, and your team does, in fact, get things done the same way as they would in the office.
Remote teams contribute to the profitability of the business because it reduces the cost of operation, increases productivity and lowers employee turnover. Past these tough times, we expect remote work to become much more popular.
Here’s how you can set up a successful remote teams for COVID-19 and beyond.
Find the purpose of the remote team
There are several reasons why one should consider a remote team, here are a few ideas:
· To promote work-life balance
· To reduce operational costs
· To promote productivity
· To boost company morale
· To allow for more flexibility
There are tons of reasons why one would want to build a remote team, and by finding a healthy mix of accountability and communication, you’ll likely discover that leading or being on a remote team is a really great lifestyle and brings more profitability than the standard cube farm.
Identify the manager
Having a solid manager is critical to the success of your remote team. Most commonly, project or operational managers are hired to manage the remote team’s deliverables. These leaders will act as the eyes and ears of your company, and their primary responsibility is to ensure the remote team completes tasks on time and according to the schedule.
Structure is very important with remote work. If you have people working from different time zones or people are working from different locations, it is important to schedule accordingly, and give them a structure that’s repeatable and enables them to be successful 99% of the time. Structure will help you to identify when everyone is working and prevent team members from overstepping their boundaries. Structure will also help to stabilize operations, so you and your team are working efficiently together.
A smoothly-operating workflow is also critical for the success of your remote team. That’s because nothing happens (or should happen) in a vacuum. Typically, most tasks are reliant on other tasks. This means that most teams work in a pseudo domino effect (sometimes called a critical path), and in this way if one task falls behind, so do the others. Establishing a workflow will ensure that work moves along an operational funnel without defect or delay. To help here, there are several tools available, such as Trello, Monday, Jira, DevOps, or ClickUp. It just depends on you and your team’s preference.
Set up operational guidelines
Some people might think it’s easier to work in an office setting because interacting with people face-to-face is easier. But the truth is, working remotely can be just as easy. All it takes is setting up operational guidelines and being clear about those guidelines. The guidelines you create should be a detailed explanation of how work gets done, how and when to communicate, and when to ask for help. Employees should have access to these guidelines at all times.
Set up all of the necessary tools
Working remotely is different from an office setting because you can’t simply walk a paper over to your peer or walk across the room to ask someone a question. With that being said, remote work doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right tools in place, working remotely can be even better! Here are some tools you will need;
· Tools for collaboration
· File sharing
· Data security
All team members should have access to the tools from their computer and the tools must run efficiently. If not, you should have a way to fix programs and tools when they malfunction, or have backup tools if the work they do is mission essential.
Implement an evaluation process
How do you know if your remote team is successful if you don’t have a way to assess their performance? It’s important to pay extra attention to the work your team delivers and to speak up when the work needs improvement.
Schedule weekly meetings
Communication is also another critical factor in your remote team’s success. It is important that your team still works as a team even if they are in different time zones. A way to do this is by sticking to scheduled routine meetings.
During these weekly meetings, you can address any issues or concerns or go over any upcoming work. You might find it helpful to have weekly one-on-one meetings, team meetings, or both.
Weekly meetings are also a time for your team to strengthen their relationship. When you can’t see your peers face-to-face it might seem impossible to maintain strong relationships. Having routine meetings in place is a way to maintain good communication although it might seem challenging initially.
Work2Live: Helping you build successful remote teams
Whether your remote team is temporary or here to stay, setting up a remote team has its obstacles. Following these steps and establishing some guidelines will help you build a strong, remote team.
At Work2Live, we understand remote work is a new concept to many companies, which is why we are here to help you through the transformation!
Want to learn more about how you can make the most out of working remotely? Check out our latest blogs!