When COVID-19 worked its way all over the globe, it brought lots of uncertainty in the business world.
Right now, the safest solution is to practice remote working. For managers who used to work together within an office environment, this can be a challenge – especially if you’re unsure where to start.
Fortunately, there are ways to address these concerns. Even though this change came as a surprise, managers can still apply strategies to work together with their teams effectively.
Common challenges for remote teams
It’s essential to identify the possible challenges that might arise while working remotely. Here are some factors that managers should consider:
Distractions around the house
Tracking employee productivity and performance
Making everyone feel heard
Availability to communicate and respond right away
Holding meetings and presentations
Tracking project progress
File exchange and real-time discussions
As a manager, here’s what you can do.
Evaluate your current team
The most valuable resource of any company is the people. Having a group of people that work well together will help make the challenges much more manageable. First, make sure that the individuals in your team are responsible enough to handle the pressure of working from home. Check on their situation, weigh how much work they can handle, and how that can affect the overall performance of the team.
If you notice a need for additional workforce, you can hire people from online resources that have a database of work-from-home workers.
Effectively implement new rules and guidelines
Before you begin and resume your projects, it’s crucial that you set boundaries and communicate them well. Finalize work schedules of the team and make sure they still have time for their private lives. Set your performance expectations, hear what they have to say, and find common ground.
Use effective tools and software
The best way to make remote work more accessible is to invest in the right technology. Using project management and communication software will improve work processes and shorten the duration of your projects.
You can start with:
For better communication, managers should make use of video conferencing apps. Among many others operating today, Zoom has proven to be the most reliable. It has a free version that allows 40-minute meeting intervals, perfect for small teams. Should you have higher requirements, Zoom can provide that as well with a premium plan. Zoom also allows sharing screens for photos, documents, videos, and presentations.
For project management, Trello is a perfect option if you’re into visual organization tools. What’s great about Trello is that it can be used by an entire team – making it ideal for collaboration. Just imagine a colorful bulletin board with sticky notes showing your project timeline and to-do lists – that’s Trello! The only difference is that everything’s online and all members of the team can add things, comment, and edit in real-time.
Do you regularly work on documents, presentations, and other forms of visual output? Xtensio is definitely one tool to try. It’s a collaborative platform that allows teams to create visual content for a sales pitch, company profile, presentation, report, and similar outputs. It also offers support in branding through Xtensio’s style guides.
As video conferencing and email isn’t appropriate all the time, an instant messaging tool is necessary for remote teams. Brosix offers a private network that provides a secure way to discuss business within the organization. Whether you’re a team of 5 employees or 10,000, you can maximize Brosix and its different control options.
Emphasize the value of communication
For better team coordination, make sure that you master the art of communication. You should check in on each employee daily on a one-to-one basis. Quick calls allow you to remind them of their work and also assure them that you can offer support should they need it.
Remember, working from home can be lonely – especially now that there’s a pandemic. Isolation can be stressful and damaging, which is why simple ways of communication can mean a lot.
Consider other ways to foster interaction and engagement
You can work best with a team that you know very well. Engagement is achievable through creating opportunities where everyone in the group can interact with one another outside of work setups.
For instance, managers can hold a virtual game or quiz via video call. Though these projects are basic, employees appreciate little things that show them that they belong with the group.
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