Remote work is becoming more common, but it often isn’t any easier to onboard new teams to the work-from-home environment.
Leaders face new challenges in ensuring productivity and building camaraderie when their teams can’t share an office space. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make sure your remote work team is set up for success.
Below are five essentials that any remote work team needs to have:
1. Skill-Building Resources
One of the most important things you can do is ensure that your remote team has resources to help them build their skills. This isn’t quite as simple as it seems — you’re going to have to blend conventional training for their position with the skills they need to succeed as a remote worker.
Bear in mind that many of your in-person skill-building resources can work with remote teams, but you need to adapt them to the remote-working world. For example, if you have a sales team driving marketing efforts, you may want to share online resources around lead prospecting to help your team improve their KPIs.
You should also consider resources that can help your team work more effectively at a distance. This includes things that are often overlooked, like how to set up a home office. Team leaders can also use project management software to track progress and provide help where needed.
Building skills with remote workers is all about adapting to the nuances of a work-from-home world.
2. Strong Workplace Culture
Building a strong workplace culture is the most effective way to keep your team together, but it’s a challenge when you don’t meet in person.
Make sure each team member has the resources to get the job done. When your team members know they can rely on each other to get the job done, they’ll develop mutual respect, and that goes a long way in contributing to workplace culture.
You also need to do what you can to make sure no one feels isolated or detached. This includes promoting face-to-face contact through video chats and helping build friendships and professional connections between employees, even if you can’t meet up in person. Remote movie nights, online games, and a variety of other distance activities can be great ways to help bring people together and improve productivity overall.
3. The Right Work-From-Home Software
A remote setup requires the right distance collaboration tools. These consist of the following:
A common communications tool
Slack may be suitable for IM and real-time chat, but larger parties that constantly use video conferencing may opt for Zoom or Skype.
A collaboration tool
Most content or numbers-based projects can be worked collaboratively on cloud-based office suites like Google Workspace or Office 365.
A project management tool
Project management software lets you delegate and track everything you’re working on. This allows your team to divide their tasks and track their progress.
A knowledge base
A knowledge base tool helps team members access and share information. It prevents siloing and improves productivity by allowing access at any time.
4. Effective Remote Leadership
Effective leadership is vital in any workplace setting, but it’s even more critical when you are managing a remote team. Keeping your remote team motivated, connected, and productive requires some unique approaches to leadership that get taken for granted with in-person teams.
One thing you can do is show empathy and acknowledge that the remote working environment is different from a traditional office setting.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to supporting your remote working team; you should be ready to connect with and support new remote workers by email, a phone call, or video chatting. Letting team members enjoy some of the perks of working from home, like going on a walk or running a quick errand, helps keep them motivated and allows them to overcome some of the isolation that comes with remote work.
Team leaders should also make sure that the technology they depend on is reliable. Everyone is going to experience internet outages every now and then, but — for example — you should have a backup plan in case your video chatting application fails.
5. Use Remote Work Onboarding Resources
Whether your whole team is new to remote work or you’re introducing new team members to an established crew, you will need the right remote onboarding resources in place to get people started.
Onboarding is always one of the most challenging parts of bringing a team together — and things get even more complicated when onboarding a team that can’t meet in person. Fortunately, there are some strong resources out there to help you onboard your remote team. Even something as simple as giving them access to scheduling templates can help get them started.
Onboarding a remote team also means helping people get connected in a new work setting. This can be tricky when your workforce doesn’t interact in person throughout the day.
Team leaders can do their part by making sure there’s plenty of face-to-face contact with new team members. They should also be vigilant in helping team members overcome skill gaps and ensuring everyone is working together effectively.
Building Your Remote Team
You’ve now got five new tools that can help you bring your remote team together. Creating an effective remote team is challenging, but a worthwhile and ultimately rewarding process. Adding in some new skill-building resources as well as using the right work-from-home software or some of the best first steps to take to make sure that your team succeeds.
|This article is part of Buildremote’s contributor series. Occasionally, we’ll share other people’s ideas about running a remote company. If you have a topic you’d like to pitch for Buildremote, send us an idea here.|