Remote working has become the new norm for many businesses since the spread of COVID-19. While this arrangement has many advantages, it can be difficult for managers to maintain team cohesion and morale. Discover the top suggestions for keeping your remote team engaged and productive.
Managing remote employees is a difficult task because it necessitates managing each team member while ensuring his participation in the workflow process. Team building activities are reported to improve team morale and communication among colleagues working from home. Furthermore, such activities help to alleviate loneliness and aid in the resolution of work-related issues.
The Concept of Remote Working and the Difficulties Companies Can Face
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to switch from traditional office settings to remote working arrangements, where employees do not have to commute to a central place of work and can instead complete their work from home or another location outside of the office. This type of arrangement becomes popular, as it offers many benefits for both employees and employers.
Benefits of Team-Building Activities
Here is why you should introduce team building into your remote team management strategy:
№1 Improved Communication
One of the primary benefits of team-building activities is that they can help improve communication among team members. Poor communication can lead to many problems, including:
- Miscommunication of instructions;
By participating in team-building activities, employees will have the opportunity to practice communicating with one another, which can help to improve overall communication within the workplace.
№2 Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills
Another benefit of team-building activities is that they can help enhance problem-solving skills. In any workplace, there will always be problems that need to be solved.
By working together as a team to solve problems, employees will learn how to identify and solve problems more effectively. It can lead to improved efficiency and productivity in the workplace.
№3 Increased Motivation
Team-building activities can also help increase motivation among employees. When employees feel like they are part of a team and are working together towards a common goal, they are more likely to be motivated to do their best work. By participating in fun and challenging activities together, employees can form bonds that will make them more likely to want to work together and help each other out.
№4 Improved Morale
Improved morale is another benefit of team-building activities. When employees are happy and have a positive outlook, they are more likely to be productive and efficient in their work. Additionally, a positive work environment can lead to increased retention rates, as employees will be less likely to leave a job where they feel happy and supported.
№5 Greater Trust
Greater trust is another benefit of team-building activities. When employees trust one another, they are more likely to feel comfortable communicating openly and honestly.
This open communication can lead to greater understanding and cooperation among team members. Additionally, trust can also make employees more likely to support one another and work together effectively when faced with challenges.
What Are the Challenges of Remote Working?
Remote work offers many benefits, but it also brings its share of challenges:
Lack of Human Interaction
One of the challenges of remote work is the lack of human interaction. Working from home can be isolating, and many people miss the social aspect of going to an office every day. It can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can impact both mental and physical health.
Distractions at Home
Another challenge of remote working is that there are more distractions at home than in an office. It can be difficult to stay focused when there are children or pets in the house, and it can be tempting to take breaks more often when working from home. It can lead to a decrease in productivity and make it more difficult to meet deadlines.
Another challenge that remote workers may face is technical issues. When working from home, you should ensure your remote team has a reliable computer and Internet connection. If there are any technical problems, it can be difficult to get work done, and it may lead to frustration.
Time Management Issues
Another challenge of remote work is time management. It can be easy to lose track of time when working from home, as there are no set office hours.
It can lead to working longer hours and feeling burned out. It is important to set boundaries and stick to a schedule to avoid this issue.
Feeling Disconnected from the Company
Finally, another challenge that remote workers may face is feeling disconnected from the company. When working from home, it is easy to feel like you are not part of the team and that you are not contributing as much as you would if you were in the office. It can impact morale and motivation and may make it more difficult to stay with a company long-term.
What Are the Best Ways to Manage Remote Workers?
Here are some useful management tips for keeping your remote workers engaged and productive:
№1 Define and Document Expectations
The first step to managing remote workers effectively is to define and document expectations:
- What are the goals and objectives of the position?
- What are the deliverables that are expected to be produced?
- What are the deadlines that need to be met?
Once you define these expectations, you can communicate them to your remote workers.
№2 Set up Regular Check-Ins
Another important step is to set up regular check-ins with the remote worker. These check-ins can be done via phone, video conferencing, or even email. The purpose of these check-ins is to ensure remote workers are on track and meeting the expectations that have been set.
№3 Use Project Management Tools
There are a variety of project management tools available that can be used to manage remote workers. They can help you track deadlines, assigned tasks, and progress reports. Additionally, they can provide a way for managers and workers to communicate with each other about the project.
№4 Provide Support
The manager should also provide support to the remote worker as needed. It may include:
- Offering resources;
- Answering questions;
- Providing the needed guidance on how to complete tasks.
The goal is to help remote workers be successful in their roles.
№5 Be Flexible
One of the benefits of remote work is that it allows for a certain degree of flexibility. As such, managers of remote workers should also be flexible in their approach. It may include being willing to adjust deadlines or accommodate different time zones.
№6 Utilize Online Communication Platforms
Managers of remote workers should use online communication platforms such as Skype, Zoom, or Slack to stay connected. Even if team members are not in the same physical space, it can help foster a sense of community and collaboration among them.
№7 Schedule Regular Team Meetings
Regular team meetings are another way to keep remote workers on track and connected to the team. These meetings can be used to discuss progress, provide feedback, brainstorm ideas and solutions, and simply check in with one another. Remote teams must stay connected to collaborate effectively.
№8 Encourage Socializing Among Remote Workers
Managers of remote workers should encourage socialization and getting to know one another in addition to using online communication platforms. You can accomplish it through virtual team-building activities or social media groups.
Socializing will aid in the development of relationships among remote workers, which can lead to improved collaboration, productivity, and motivation. Furthermore, it can foster a sense of community and belonging, which can be beneficial for remote workers who may otherwise feel isolated or disconnected.
№9 Foster a Healthy Work Environment
Managing remote workers entails fostering a healthy work environment. It includes:
- Clear communication;
- Setting realistic expectations;
- Recognizing accomplishments.
Encourage your team to share their successes and celebrate small victories as they occur. You should recognize that everyone has different working styles and accommodate them accordingly. It will help you maintain morale and foster a productive work environment.
№10 Provide Encouragement and Recognition
When objectives are met, recognition can take the form of verbal praise or rewards such as gift cards or time off. It not only motivates remote workers but also makes them feel connected and valued. Furthermore, managers should listen to any feedback or suggestions from remote workers and make efforts to improve the work environment. It will help foster a positive environment in which remote workers can thrive.
№11 Encourage Professional Development
In addition to providing encouragement and recognition, managers should also encourage their remote workers to pursue professional development opportunities. It can include taking courses or attending virtual seminars that can help develop the skills needed for the job. Doing so will allow you to make them more productive and better equipped to produce quality work.
№12 Establish a Team Culture
Managers should strive to establish a team culture among their remote workers. It means creating an environment of collaboration, open communication, and mutual understanding between all members of the team.
You should promote a sense of unity within the organization by celebrating successes and working together as one unit even when apart. It will strengthen relationships between managers and remote workers.
№13 Be Open to New Ideas
Managers should also be open to the new ideas that remote workers may present. Remote work may provide unique perspectives and insights that can benefit the organization.
As a result, you should listen to these voices and consider their ideas when making decisions. It will help you foster a culture of creativity, innovation, and growth.
Although challenges will always arise when building and managing a remote team, by following the right steps and being aware of potential issues, you can set your business up for success. By taking the time to build trust, respect, and communication within your team, you will lay the groundwork for a productive, motivated group of workers who are ready to tackle any challenge that comes their way. With these ten tips in mind, you will be well on your way to forming a high-functioning remote team capable of great things.
Kristen Bray is a professional writer and а blogger. She has been working as an editor at а Best Essays Education. Kristen mainly covers topics such as blogging, digital marketing, and self-education. In her free time, she practices yoga and also travels.