How to Run a Fully Remote (and Productive) Team
The world is experiencing a shift toward remote work because of the Coronavirus pandemic. As employers and employees adjust to life outside the traditional office space, organizations must also adjust their processes to fit this new way of life.
If you’re a CEO or team manager and you’re struggling to keep your team productive while at home, you may need to adopt new leadership strategies focused specifically on remote work environments. Remote teams are equally, if not more, productive than in-person teams, but you’ll need the right tools to motivate your employees and push them toward success.
Have a Consistent Meeting Schedule
When employees work from home, it’s easy for them to feel isolated. As they go about their day-to-day work activities, they can miss the social interaction they once received while in the office. Keeping your employees in good spirits is important if you want them to perform well. By having a consistent meeting schedule, you can virtually interact with your employees and give them the opportunity to interact with one another. These meetings will allow you to discuss work milestones as a remote team and keep your work relationships strong.
Put Processes in Place that Prevent Distractions
One of the main concerns that managers have with remote teams is distractions. When working from home, no one is around to monitor whether an employee has the television on while working, whether they’re using their cell phone, or whether their dog is in their lap. Remote work requires a lot of trust on behalf of management teams, but the proof of productivity comes in the deliverables.
If you’re worried about your team’s performance, you can put processes in place that prevent distractions. For example, use a time tracking system to ensure your team is working the hours they claim to work. You can also recommend that your employees install applications to help them focus during work hours.
Setting clear expectations when managing a remote team is the best way to ensure your team stays productive. Micro-managing your team from afar isn’t effective and will likely cause tension. If your employees know what you expect from them, then their productivity should show in their output. You can use daily check-ins and set specific deadlines so you have an idea of each team member’s progress.
Build in Time for Remote Team Building
Team building comes more naturally in an office setting than in a remote work environment because of the constant in-person interaction. With remote teams, you must schedule time for team building and get creative with your activities. Instead of physical games, you may need to experiment with strategy games through Zoom that force teammates to work together. Try to find collaborative activities that give your team a break from work.
Use Quarterly Reviews to Measure Performance
In addition to feeling socially isolated when working from home, employees may feel distant from you as their manager. Employees may not know how well they’re performing when they aren’t interacting with you day in and day out. It’s essential to communicate with your team regularly so you both get necessary feedback, and quarterly reviews are great milestones for your employees to look forward to. If you have quieter employees, this review time can also be a safe space for them to speak up.
Create a Home Base for Remote Team Members to Gather
With the right strategies in place, you can run an efficient team from afar. If most of your employees live in close proximity, it may be helpful to create a home base so your team has somewhere to gather on occasion. Instead of investing in long-term office space, consider a monthly coworking membership, which is more cost effective and provides the same benefits of an office. You can use this space for important monthly meetings or for opportunities to interact.
Occasional in-person interaction allows your team to get to know one another and may promote productivity. If you’re in the New York City area, reach out to Bevmax Office Centers to get more information on our coworking spaces.