Managing a team that includes employees who prefer remote working comes with a range of powerful benefits.
You can source talent from virtually anywhere. You can offer your team more flexibility. Additionally, you’ll save on overhead costs since you no longer need to maintain a lot of office space.
Remote working can help propel your company’s growth and become the single best way to run a team. However, there are challenges that could cause severe issues if they’re not addressed effectively.
In fact, these challenges are why many companies are still hesitant about relying on a remote working environment. Many are encouraging employees to return to the office as soon as the pandemic restrictions permit it.
So, how can you make remote teams work for your company? Let’s look at some of the biggest challenges you should be aware of and how to best overcome them.
As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that your team moves through tasks swiftly. They must utilize their time as best as possible.
But with remote working teams, the common challenge is figuring out what the employees are doing and how long it’s taking them.
Many managers are secretly afraid of tracking their teams. They want to maintain a sense of independence and don’t want to micromanage what the people are doing.
However, there’s a reason why employee productivity tracker solutions are becoming more prevalent — they deliver measurable outcomes and allow to increase productivity consistently.
Keeping track of how your remote teams spend their time is probably the best way to measure success and help them improve. Remote working already limits the interaction possibilities. As a result, it’s a good idea to at least have a process for tracking your team. You want to help them improve how they approach various tasks.
In that sense, it’s not as much about micromanaging your team but instead identifying the top performers and using their processes as a benchmark for others.
Then, when you recognize who produces the best results and is the most efficient, you can ask them to share their approaches so that others can implement them as well. That dynamic will lead to measurable progress and better productivity.
Getting New Team Members up to Speed
The good thing about working with remote teams is that you can utilize a broad talent pool and find the right fit for your company. But when it comes time to bring them on, the onboarding process can be more complicated when the person isn’t available in the office.
The good news is that effectively onboarding remote employees isn’t impossible. It just takes a bit of extra planning and effort, as well as the commitment of your current team members to get the new member up to speed.
Start with introducing them to company policies, typical schedules, and their responsibilities. Then, make sure they get an introduction to the key members of the team, including superiors and colleagues they will be working with closely.
In the beginning, they are likely to have many questions. Make sure that someone is available to guide them through any obstacles. You want them to work effectively from the start.
It might be a good idea to assign a dedicated person who can act as a guide. They can lead them through the processes and responsibilities they are likely to face.
Make Meetings Actually Matter
One of the biggest potential time-wasters for a remote working environment is meetings.
Just because technology has made video conferencing more accessible doesn’t mean that businesses have become better at understanding what makes a good meeting and whether it’s necessary at all.
When you have unnecessary meetings, you’re only wasting the time of your remote employees but are also discouraging them from participating in meetings that can actually have a positive impact on your business.
But how can you maximize the effectiveness and usefulness of your meetings?
Well, a good starting point is to always clearly define what the meeting’s purpose is. Then, you will be much better equipped to decide if it’s necessary. At the same time, you should then identify who is strictly necessary for participation.
Finally, try to map out the entire meeting to ensure no time is wasted. Consider who needs to speak or present something and whether other people need to weigh in. Additionally, make sure to ask for feedback about whether the meeting was useful and try to improve in the future.
A remote working environment can offer many advantages, but there are challenges as well.
The good news is that most of the challenges can be overcome with some planning and the right tools.
If you take steps to improve employee productivity, streamline the onboarding process, and waste as little time as possible, you can make remote working a core part of your business.