As businesses continue to move towards having remote workers, the way a team leader operates naturally has to change. If you look at some statistics, 91% of remote workers believe they get more work done at home than at the office. People who work remotely have a 10% higher rate of feeling valued at their job. Even businesses can save over a thousand dollars by having remote workers instead of forcing everyone into the office.
That’s huge. Now, as much as we want all our employees to be self-starters, there still has to be management. So what can you do the better engage and connect with your remote workers? Here are some ideas.
Hire the Right People
Okay, so that goes without saying for everyone, but this is big because of the flexibility of remote working. Not everybody is cut out for that, and that’s okay, but for your remote team to succeed there needs to be specific characteristics of a successful remote worker. Look for self-starters, collaborators, communicators, and, duh, hard workers.
Don’t Overwork Your Remote Team
Just because of the flexibility and looser sense of time, your remote team is still human. Don’t load up their plate with too much and expect sterling results.
Have Regular Check-ins
Remote workers can often feel lonely or siloed away at home. It’s best to check in a couple times throughout the week, both informally and with regular more formal meetings. Remember, you hired adults, so nobody wants to be mothered or fathered at their job, but it is smart to make sure they’re on task and see if they need anything.
Keep Your Team on the Same Page
This comes in various forms. By using the flexibility and feature-packed VoIP phone system, you have an arsenal of tools available to connect with your team. Video conferencing is huge when an actual face to face can’t occur. Audio conferencing and group messaging are other ways VoIP can help your team. But outside of that, project management tools like Asana and Proofhub and all-in-one collaborative communication tool like Slack can make your life so much easier and keep everyone accountable with their work.
Remote Collaboration is Key
This has to be the cornerstone of any successful team. It can’t just come from the leadership. It has to be espoused by all your team members to ensure success. Everyone has specific jobs and different skill sets, so it should be encouraged for members to not forget to help one another out. Say what you want about their fashion choices but the Three Musketeers sure were onto something with that catchphrase.
Ask for Feedback
You. Yes, you, oh Fearless Leader. You may think you’re doing a great job managing this team spread throughout the world but there could be important factors you’re missing out on or remote workers you could be better supporting. Anonymous surveys are a great way to measure the temperature of your team. Ask for feedback, ask for help to improve yourself.
Set Goals, But Make Them Achievable
Right at jump street, your remote workers need to be aware of the bigger picture goals. If you’re setting achievable milestones, then everyone in the company has a chance to invest in its success, instead of one remote worker with a huge task list working too many hours. It’s okay to push your team a bit, but always stay realistic.
Check In Just Because
Like Nike’s slogan, you should just do it. If a certain employee is buried in a project, it could be nice to see how they’re doing and if they need help. Outside of the work at hand, it’s reassuring to just know how your team is doing personally. Maybe they’re in need of a cat video or want to vent about the weekend ahead, or maybe just a simple “you’re doing great!” is all they needed.