Working remotely or in remote teams has become a common practice ever since the global pandemic of COVID-19. When everyone was forced to stay home, companies had to devise solutions on how to manage their teams while still keeping their clients happy properly.
Since then, working from home or working remotely has become somewhat of an employee benefit. Today, it’s rare to find companies that don’t allow remote working for their employees.
We all know the struggles of working in an office. Miscommunications and misunderstandings can occur in a standard workplace. Working remotely consists of workers collaborating using only digital tools. It’s common for remote teams to run into misunderstandings.
It can be hard to connect with people in person, let alone through a computer screen. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to decrease the chances of these mistakes from happening.
In this article, we’re going to list seven best practices every company should learn to lead their remote teams successfully.
Identify Goals and Expectations Early on
When your team has no idea what to do or achieve, they’ll waste time figuring out their responsibilities and the plan. To avoid aimless wandering, it’s essential to establish any goals and expectations early on.
The last thing you want is for your team to make assumptions. Let everyone know what goals and targets you want them to achieve. Have a team meeting to discuss your plans and everyone’s responsibilities. Include KPIs and deadlines.
When setting goals, remember to use SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Time-Bound.
Plan Collaborative Projects in Advance and Detail
Collaborative projects can be challenging to do. Since remote working means limited communication and contact, things can be lost in translation. When working on collaborative projects, ensure you and your team plan in advance and with as many details as possible.
You can do this through weekly meetings and by tracking progress. There are a lot of tools out there to help you track progress and projects within your team.
Emphasize Outcomes and not Process
It can be tempting to focus on the process, but when working remotely, we suggest you refrain from doing so and instead focus on the output. When working remotely, your teammates might work at different times, and everyone will have different working styles.
Most of the time, working hours become the ultimate metric to measure progress and productivity. In this day and age, you need to look at the bigger picture and see how much an individual delivers instead of how many hours they put into their work.
Communicate Regularly and Often
A remote team that communicates regularly signifies excellent communication skills and collaborative capacity. Setting aside some time to have one-on-one meetings with your colleagues is essential to keep internal communication going. Small talk is encouraged but to an extent. Being sociable is necessary, but you should also focus on work.
Of course, before you start calling up your teammates, give them a heads-up so they can be prepared for these meetings. In addition to regular one-on-one sessions, you could also do weekly announcements or newsletters to keep everyone informed.
Do not Micromanage
Working remotely can be stressful, especially if you’re unsure how everything is going. During these times, you might tend to micromanage or check what everyone is doing and whether or not they’re doing their work correctly.
Before becoming a micromanager, learn to trust your team and have faith in them before you make mistake of becoming a micromanager. Recognize that your group consists of different people and that flexibility is good. Instead of managing, start mentoring your team by giving them opportunities to showcase their skills and provide constructive feedback to help them improve.
Have Meetings every Week
Too many meetings can decrease productivity. Unless you need to have that meeting with your team, try to stick to a weekly schedule of meetings. Try to add some icebreakers and fun discussions to keep the meetings interesting.
Also, create an agenda to share with all the participants, so the meetings don’t go off track. It also keeps everyone informed of what will be discussed. Keep in mind to keep these meetings no more than 30 minutes since meetings that go on longer than that will be ineffective and inefficient.
Use a Project Management Tool.
Lastly, have a project management tool on hand. Today, there are a vast number of choices. These platforms help you and your team keep track of your projects.
Since everything will be in one place, you won’t have to jump from platform to platform to see how everything is going in your team.
Shifting to a remote working team can be difficult, but it’s not impossible to handle. Applying these best practices will make your remote team experience slightly more manageable. Remember to maintain communication with your team and encourage collaboration to ensure your projects go smoothly.