The industrial revolution brought people together: working on projects, as a team, collaborating working physically together. This became a default way of getting work done
In parallel, tech advanced: Video technology, communication tools, internet speed, etc accreted to a degree that many companies barely experienced a blip when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and when and suddenly everyone had to work from home. While we got through the sudden shock, yet we are only scratching the surface of what’s possible with remote work- in terms of the scale effects it can create and the efficiencies it can offer in the organization
As they ponder whether to permit remote work, team members find numerous benefits:
Cutting out a commute can be a huge time saver. Team Members will also spend less or no money on transportation.
One Stanford University survey found that employees who work from home will experience a 13 percent rise in productivity.
Working from home creates the possibility of a better work-life balance. This might seem a challenge in the current environment because of school and daycare shutdowns but think long term when schools will re-open but the remote work will stay.
Remote work reduces costs of facilities management, provides better coverage of time zones, and can provide more attractive employee perks.
So there are numerous benefits of work from home, what should managers do to make sure that they enjoy these benefits, and manage a remote team effectively.
Managing Remote Teams :
Recruit for success– You want excellent communicators, employees you would see as desirable under any circumstances. But remote interviews make it challenging to assess applicants. So how can you make remote hiring successful?
Use of tools and services – There are various tools and services in the market that help you assess the candidate’s viability using various AI tools available in the market.
Ask for referrals – You can reach out to your employees for referrals when hiring remotely. Just describe the skills you are looking for in the candidate.
Now the world is your talent pool. You can hire the best candidates from across the globe & pay them well to retain talent. You can pay remote workers from developing countries cheaper wages than most Western workers expect, but remote work gives employers a chance to build a global team without worrying about the location.
Use chat for instantaneous communications that require a response within an hour.
Email works well for issues that require more detailed explanations within a couple of days.
Use phone calls or video chats for immediate person-to-person communications.
Set up video meetings to address important mistakes or emergencies, and to conduct “in-depth brainstorming.”
Establish opportunities for face-to-face meetings – You and your remote workers will frequently communicate via videoconferencing software. Plan on meeting with each remote worker quarterly, if possible. If not, hold an annual meeting. When feasible, bring everyone together to build team spirit and morale.
How do you measure the productivity of remote workers who aren’t salespeople? Don’t base your assessment on the number of emails they generate, the number of phone calls they make, or their screen time. Tell remote workers you will support their performance and help them develop. Set their work specifications and goals based on deliverables and outcomes, and review them regularly.
Managing across different time zones – Individual workers can operate separately and combine their efforts through techniques that don’t rely on working at the same time on the same thing. The absence of a set schedule means people simply add their ideas to the ongoing job during the work hours of their choice.
Here is an example of a team-building exercise that can help ensure a productive, collaborative, and healthy work environment.
Work from home is becoming a norm nowadays, however making it a success requires establishing a “communication structure”, which is vital for remote-work success. For everyone to work well together, each person must also accept a common communication standard. There are multiple communication tools available depending upon the needs. A remote work rule of thumb is that the “quality of communication” always matters more than the “quantity of communication.
Every company needs its plan for managing a remote team – Don’t expect to find a “standard” remote management plan. What works for a 10-employee company will not work for a Fortune 500 organization. Most “small to medium businesses” should establish a robust onboarding scheme, including meeting virtually with a new employee each day for his or her first two to four weeks with your company.
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