Remote working has numerous benefits. Some businesses may consider continuing to operate with a remote team or provide a more flexible working arrangement into the future.
If you are considering this for your business, some key tools and practices can help manage this adjustment.
Keeping in constant communication with your remote team is crucial to ensuring everyone still feels connected.
Meetings and catch-ups will help update your team on current projects, company updates and allow them to catch-up on a personal level.
Communication tools will be essential when managing a remote team. These include instant messaging tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, and video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Hangouts.
You may have to work harder to cultivate the company culture with everyone working from home, but having communication tools enables you to interact and collaborate with your remote team.
Remote teams need to ensure there is clear understanding around project details. This includes:
– Who’s involved in the project,
– What their tasks involve,
– How to access necessary files,
– Understanding deadlines.
Project management tools allow everyone to keep track of progress and ensure everyone is on the same page. These tools allow you to share files and documents, organise and track projects, assign due dates, provide comments and feedback.
Project management tools enable you to organise projects in one place and allow everyone to access the necessary information and collaborate to complete tasks more efficiently.
Some companies may feel apprehensive about the productivity of remote teams, but using performance management tools can provide greater visibility over what your team is doing, even when working remotely. This also ensures that projects are getting completed in the appropriate amount of time.
Performance management tools may also provide you with an overview of workloads and working hours to ensure productivity goals are met.
As well as tools for managing projects, you may also want to set up a program where employees can see their set and upcoming tasks for the week.
It can be tempting to keep working longer hours than you generally would, with the lack of a commute and resulting easy access to your workspace. You want to make sure your team isn’t working more than they should be. If they are, you may wish to discuss managing their workload to ensure they are having a break and switching off at the end of the workday.
Without everyone working in the same office, it can be harder to know when people are available, whether for formal meetings or to discuss a current project’s status.
If you need to have a quick chat with someone, you can’t just pop around to their desk as you would when working in the same office.
Scheduling tools, such as shared calendars, allow everyone to overview the team’s availability. This might include annual leave, client meetings, and team meetings.
Coordinating with your team, for meetings and progress updates, is essential for ensuring productivity and completing projects.
When working from home, you need to ensure your team has easy access to any necessary documents and that the documents are also securely stored.
Cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox and Google Drive allow you to store documents that various team members can access and update.
It allows multiple people to work on the same document, with the latest update always being saved, so you don’t need to worry about anyone accessing an out of date document.
It’s important to provide your team with the right support level to ensure they can work productively from home.
For more information on the benefits of having a remote team, check out our blog on 7 energy saving tips when working from home.