Keeping a remote team connected
Restrictions implemented as a result of the coronavirus pandemic left many businesses having to adapt the way they operate. As a result of this, the last year has seen exceptional growth in remote working (or working from home).
Rather than a planned and orderly departure from the office, the pandemic took businesses by surprise, resulting in a scramble to set team members up as quickly as possible to keep business running as usual. This made, and continues to make, managing your team remotely challenging.
Not to fear, the team at Trilan-IT have a few tips to help you work smarter remotely.
Use multiple communication options
It can be difficult to resist the temptation to use email for everything, after all; it’s better the devil you know. However, email communication offers no clues about how your team are feeling or reacting to the isolation and uncertainty that the pandemic has brought to many people.
Utilising communication tools such as video conferencing and calls can add visual cues which allow for increased understanding and knowledge of co-workers, as wells as helping to reduce the sense of isolation among teams that are used to sitting in an office together. Video is also the best option for complex or sensitive conversations, as it feels more personal than written or audio-only communication.
Set some guidelines
Remote working can disrupt workflow, as team members are removed from the office environment and might not have access to their usual resources. This can lead to reduced work efficiency, and in some cases occupational burnout.
One consideration could be to implement a daily or weekly check in with the team, where you can share your wins and reflect on points of concern. This can also be a place of mutual support for team members who are struggling personally or in their work.
You should also evaluate the following when working remotely; How and when can your team best contact you? What is the best method for communicating urgently? Giving some thought to these points can give your team clarity and reassurance.
You might also consider setting some time aside for some non-work-related interaction, you can learn a lot about each other and provide a probably much needed boost in morale.
As previously mentioned, your team may struggle to work proficiently if they are struggling to access resources they would usually use in an office environment.
Ask yourself, does your team have the technology they need to be working successfully at home? This means more than just a mobile phone and laptop. Do they have the cables to connect to a suitable place to work in, or are they balanced on the ironing board for lack of an extension lead?
Providing your team with the relevant resources can mean the difference between remote working success and disaster.
Now that your team have the technology they need in place, can they use it effectively? Can they run a Teams meeting? What functionality do your VOIP phones have for communicating internally? There may be new software to learn. Facilitating your team’s understanding of the tools you need them to use and the changed world your business is operating in will give your team the tools and confidence to work effectively.
There are many areas of concern for those now managing remote teams. Some of them can be addressed using the technology and tools supported by Trilan-IT. With hardware and software evolving rapidly, keeping up-to-date with the best communication solutions for your business can be time consuming. Trilan’s friendly IT support team have the resources, experience, and knowledge to instruct you on the options available to you and your team, helping to stabilise and grow your business during this uncertain time. Get in touch to discuss your requirements today.