5 Ways to Improve Work Performance for Remote Teams
Even before the Coronavirus came along, it was pretty well understood that remote working would become the norm. It was a win-win for both employers and employees alike.
With remote working employers wouldn’t have to invest as much into infrastructure while employees could work on their own terms.
Even so, remote work as the dominant trend was still several years away. The technology, apps, and habits needed to evolve. We were still experimenting with tools and methods and weren’t quite there yet.
So, when the whole world found itself in a remote working lifestyle, it was only natural that many would find it troublesome.
Today, 88% of businesses worldwide are offering remote work to their employees. Only many are struggling to find their footing and often face issues keeping everyone on track.
Fortunately, effective countermeasures exist for all these problems. Here are five ways you can keep your remote team on track.
Equip Your Remote Team with the Right Tools
At the center of a remote operation are cloud-based productivity tools. These apps are built from the ground up to power remote working styles and can be accessed from anywhere.
Now, there are a LOT of remote working tools out there. While most offer great features and UI, you need to choose ones that are best for your working style.
There are a few that are popular across the board. For example, you can use Slack for team communications. You can work with people outside your organization just as easily as with those within it. Plus, it offers integrations with many related apps out there.
Similarly, Pipefy is ideal for project management as it comes with an intuitive Kanban UI, and plenty of customizations. Tasks in Pipefy move laterally across “pipes,” which makes it easy to understand the work status at a glance.
Google Drive offers all the “Officesque” productivity apps you may ever need. Docs, Spreadsheets, and Slides are the most used apps. Free accounts also come with 15 GB of storage which is plenty for most users.
Your team can also use a no-code app like Forms On Fire to come up with data collection forms on the spot.
Finally, you can also use a tool like Reply to automate your email outreach and follow up sequences. The app has built-in features for running A/B testing and email sorting.
Give Your Remote Workers Benefits
Benefits for remote workers is a tricky subject. Oftentimes, a remote team has freelancers who may be working with multiple clients. In such cases, giving benefits like in house employees may seem unfair.
But, even though many remote organizations overlook benefits, we contend they are a hidden competitive opportunity here. A remote specific benefits plan can help you attract the best talent out there and help you keep it, too.
Your benefits plan should follow your company structure. One of the advantages of keeping a remote team is that you can quickly test multiple candidates and find the best fits.
You can divide your remote operations into two segments. New recruits can be kept in an external team that takes care of less critical tasks. You can give permanent positions to the more experienced candidates.
Special fringe benefits are ideal for your external team. These can include —
Invitations to company retreats
Skill development opportunities
Consider giving more traditional benefits to your permanent remote staff. Think of adding —
Paid time off
Personalize Internal Communication
Marketing has always understood the importance of personalization. More personalized content means more engagement.
But, what about your internal communications? After all, sending the occasional newsletter or basic email to and fro isn’t all there is to how you communicate with your coworkers.
There’s plenty of room for improvement here.
For example, a simple training course won’t be enough because every person faces challenges particular to them. You can help your employees by providing customized feedback with video reviews or personalized walkthroughs.
Next, you can also create metrics to track how your internal communication content is performing. Use an internal email tracking tool like ContactMonkey to measure your newsletter performance.
Many times, communication breaks down not because of a poor strategy, but because it's hard to elicit an honest response. To ensure this doesn't happen, it’s a good idea to keep your messages on a one-to-one basis. Approaching as a mentor rather than a boss will help you get high quality feedback.
Have Multilingual Members in Your Remote Team
With a remote team, you are no longer limited to your locally available talent pool and can access global skill sets. Having people from diverse backgrounds offers many opportunities and benefits.
Our languages affect how we see the world. For example, people speaking certain Australian dialectics can navigate better because their language has absolute spatial dietetics. Yimas, spoken in New Guinea, has four types of pasts rather than just one.
Having multilingual people on your team can be a decisive competitive advantage. You can at once have multiple perspectives looking into your project.
You can also carry out a “follow-the-sun” business model and work 24/7 by having a more global team.
A multilingual team does come with its own challenges though. Having everyone on the same page can prove to be difficult. But, there are ways around it.
You can, for example, have language tutors on your team to help new members acclimate to their new workspace.
Tailored orientation programs can also help your new team members understand their responsibilities.
Make Sure Your Team Members get Plenty of Rest
Remote workers often experience recurring sleep problems as the difference between work and personal life blurs. Sleep deprivation can result in increased anxiety, depression, and other mental ailments.
Sleep problems with remote work seems counterintuitive. Don’t people work from home for want of better work-life balance?
Even though remote working presents the opportunity to save time, usually the opposite happens.
For one, companies try to get more work out of their remote employees thinking they have too much time.
Employees also try to fit in as much work in a day so they have more free time later on.
In doing so, remote workers always end up burnt-out and/or with increased stress.
You need to confront sleep-related issues head-on since they usually fester under the surface. Educate your team members on the dangers of losing out on sleep.
Encourage them to share such problems during virtual team meetings and help them overcome any issues they may be facing. Also, give your employees time off if they ask for it.
Remote teams offer more benefits than meets the eye. They can be more productive, cost less than their in-house counterparts, and come up with better ideas.
Managing them has been a challenge in the past, but not anymore. There are plenty of tools and methods available to have remote teams working efficiently.
Have you tried remote working strategies that have helped you score your business goals? If so, then share them with the world in the comments section below.