As we continue to navigate through the rise of new COVID-19 variants and debates around lockdowns and vaccines in the workplace, it’s becoming increasingly evident that building a resilient company structure for the future should include some form of remote work options. This will help ensure that the company can adapt to changing circumstances and continue to operate effectively.
In our recent survey, 89% of tech professionals chose hybrid/remote work environments over 11% of individuals who chose to work from office. Thus, the development of strong and successful remote teams is becoming increasingly relevant as virtual work becomes more popular. Despite its many benefits, working remotely has some drawbacks, especially when it comes to assembling an effective remote team.
Developing trust is often one of the most challenging aspects of leading virtual teams, and it’s something that takes time. However, there are leadership techniques and various technological solutions that can assist with cultivating relationships with coworkers and direct reports, which can ultimately help establish easy, smooth working relationships, mutual respect and trust, and improve team efficiency.
Use collaboration tools with task management capabilities
With the help of virtual collaboration tools, remote working is becoming easier. Teams can work in real-time and managing and tracking the tasks have become easier. Team members can collaborate and keep organized even when they are not located in the same location by using collaboration tools with task management features. The best remote work collaboration tools are, for instance:
- Asana: Using Asana, you can create tasks, assign them to team members, track their progress, and collaborate in real-time.
- Trello: Visual project management tool that uses boards, and cards to help team members organize and prioritize work.
- Slack: With its features such as real-time communication, file sharing, and task assignment, it helps to keep teams connected and productive while working remotely.
- Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one collaboration solution that offers a range of features such as chat, video meetings, file sharing, and task management in one central location.
These online management softwares help remote teams to stay on top of their work, stay organized, and stay connected, even when they are not in the same location.
Organize virtual team-building activities
Virtual team-building activities are a great way to bring remote team members together and foster a sense of community within the team. These activities can help to improve communication, strengthen relationships, and boost morale, all of which are crucial for building a successful and productive team. Whether you’re looking to host a virtual happy hour, plan a virtual game night, or organize a team-building workshop, there are many different ways to organize virtual team-building activities that will help your team stay connected and engaged.
Organizing virtual team-building activities can be an effective way to improve communication and collaboration among remote teams. By creating opportunities for team members to come together and work in a virtual setting, organizations can break down barriers, and enhance communication between team members.
Schedule a time for team members to come together online and socialize over a virtual drink or snack. This can be a great way to build connections and foster a sense of community within the team.
Encourage team members to join in on virtual fitness classes or create their challenges, such as a step or meditation challenge.
Organize a virtual game night where team members can play online games together or participate in trivia or other group activities.
Host a virtual workshop or training session where team members can learn new skills or work on projects together.
Having a sense of self-responsibility is necessary, especially when working remotely because team leaders(TLs) and managers cannot check on the team members while taking a stroll through the office. And lack of monitoring could impact an employee’s productivity. This is why encouraging self-responsibility is an important aspect of building effective, productive, and successful remote teams. It helps employees follow best practices when working remotely. Here are a few ways to encourage self-responsibility among team members:
- Establish clear guidelines: Ensure that team members understand their roles and obligations, this will help them to comprehend what is expected of them, and take ownership of their work.
- Allow autonomy: Give team members the freedom to control their work and make decisions independently. This will foster greater engagement and ownership of their tasks.
- Promote open dialogue: Encourage team members to express themselves and share their ideas and perspectives. This will foster a culture of collaboration and inspire team members to take initiative and responsibility for their work.
- Hold team members accountable: Set up systems to track progress and hold team members accountable for meeting deadlines and completing tasks. This will help ensure that everyone is pulling their weight and taking responsibility for their work.
By encouraging self-responsibility, businesses can create a culture of ownership and accountability within their remote teams, leading to more effective, productive, and successful teams.
Provide regular feedback to make sure employees are meeting expectations
Providing regular feedback to employees is a good practice as it helps ensure that employees are completing their tasks and allows for any necessary adjustments to be made promptly.
It is recommended to have employee assessments every quarter, but it is also beneficial to have less formalized feedback sessions on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. These sessions can be group or individual and do not need to be in the form of a meeting. For example, a weekly report or bi-weekly private messages on Slack can be effective ways to provide feedback. It can also help employees understand how their work fits into the larger goals of the organization and can be a way to recognize and reward good performance.
Regular feedback can also facilitate open communication and foster a positive work culture.
It creates a space for employees to receive information about their performance and have their questions and concerns heard. However, feedback needs to be constructive, clear, objective, and delivered respectfully. This, in turn, can lead to a positive work culture when employees feel valued and motivated to improve. Giving clear and objective feedback can help employees understand their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can improve. Furthermore, a positive work culture can lead to increased employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention, which ultimately can result in better business performance. Adhering to these best practices while working remotely will create a communicative and open workspace.
Hire Employees with the Right Mindset and Skills
Selecting employees with the right mindset and abilities is essential for any organization to drive innovation and growth. A positive, growth-oriented mindset can help employees adapt to new challenges and continuously learn and improve, which in turn leads to a more innovative and successful organization. Skills, on the other hand, are the specific abilities and knowledge that enable an individual to perform a particular job. Both mindset and skills are important for employees to be able to contribute effectively to an organization and work towards its goals.
When hiring, it can be helpful to consider not only the technical skills required for the job but also the personal qualities and attitudes that will enable the employee to thrive in the company’s culture and work well with others.
Promote a Team-Centered Culture
A robust team culture can greatly benefit a company, while a weak one can hinder its progress. It’s like a vital ingredient that brings everything together for success.
Imagine a team where everyone feels like they’re a part of something bigger, where they’re engaged with the company’s mission and feel like their contributions matter. Now, compare that to a team where employees feel disconnected and disengaged, and where the culture is weak and uninspiring. The difference is like night and day. But the question is, how do you create and maintain a strong team culture?
A team-centered culture, which prioritizes collaboration, communication, and a sense of community among employees, can lead to increased productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction. Furthermore, it can help to foster trust and facilitate problem-solving and decision-making processes. However, for a team-centered culture to be effective, it must be inclusive, and respectful, and have clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations for team members. It’s also essential for leaders and managers to model and encourage teamwork and to provide support and resources for teams to be successful.
Ensuring information accessibility
Ensuring information accessibility is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to promote fairness and equity within an organization. When information is easily accessible, all employees have the opportunity to access and use it to do their jobs effectively.
Accessibility plays a crucial role in improving team efficiency by providing equal opportunities for all team members to participate and contribute. Accessibility features such as captioning, transcription, and sign language interpretation can make it easier for team members with hearing or speech impairments to communicate, leading to better teamwork and collaboration.
Additionally, accessibility features such as screen readers, keyboard shortcuts, and high-contrast modes can make it easier for team members with visual impairments to use software and complete tasks, resulting in increased productivity.
Furthermore, by providing accessibility, organizations can create a more inclusive and diverse team, which can lead to better decision-making and problem-solving.
Clear and comprehensive team charter
A clear and comprehensive team charter is a valuable document for establishing a shared purpose and direction for a team. It helps clarify the team’s goals, roles, and responsibilities, as well as the processes and practices that will be followed.
A team charter can also help to ensure that team members are aligned and working towards the same objectives. It can be especially useful for new teams or teams that are changing, as it provides a clear foundation and structure for the team to operate within. The team charter needs to be well-defined and communicated to all team members, and it needs to be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.
Build an employee handbook
An employee handbook can be a useful resource for new and existing employees, as it provides information about the policies and procedures of an organization. An employee handbook can cover a wide range of topics, such as code of conduct, work hours, benefits, and harassment prevention, among others.
Having an employee handbook can help to ensure that all employees are aware of and understand the expectations and rules of the organization. It can also provide a reference point for employees to turn to when they have questions or need to clarify certain policies. An employee handbook needs to be clear, concise, and up-to-date, and it should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect any changes in the organization.
Setting clear expectations on roles & responsibilities
Setting clear expectations on roles and responsibilities is important for the smooth functioning of any organization. It helps ensure that employees understand their tasks and how they fit into the larger goals of the company. Clear expectations can also facilitate better communication and collaboration within teams and prevent confusion or misunderstandings.
Expectations have to be specific and measurable, and there need to be clear guidelines for how work will be evaluated. It’s also helpful to have regular check-ins to ensure that expectations are being met and to address any issues that may arise. Implementing these best practices for remote teams sets the tone for the employees. Overall, setting clear expectations on roles and responsibilities can contribute to a more productive and efficient work environment.
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