7 ways to boost productivity from your remote working team
30th June 2017
Having a remote team brings its own challenges. It’s important that your employees don’t feel that they are working on their own and that they don’t go for days without speaking to anyone.
Of course, email communication is important, it’s how the majority of work is done in organisations today. But that doesn’t mean it’s a substitute for face-to face meetings or general interaction.
It can be hard for employees to stay motivated if they are working on their own in a remote location, a company culture is extremely important to the success of a business, so how can companies create a culture and keep their employees motivated and productive?
Here are our top seven ways on doing just that, that we’ve found works well for our own team as well as those that we’ve picked up along the way from some of our clients.
- Get instant. We’re not talking about the coffee, but instant messaging systems. Rather than waiting for emails to go back and forth between the team, instant messaging can be a way to get quick answers from the team. Most systems also allow you to create groups, so that you can loop in as many people as you need to, and create specific conversations for different projects etc.
- Remember that office banter is still important. This is a great way of ensuring that the team is still involved with each other, and gel together. In the absence of physical conversation over a cup of tea in the morning, or working lunches, then why not create a platform where informal conversation is encouraged, whether that is through instant messaging, or a voice/video call
- Freedom. There may be certain hours where your employees need to be available, but outside of that, then it could be a good idea to give them the freedom to work when is best for them. For example, I’m better first thing in the morning, but my colleague may be more productive later on in the afternoon. If you allow them to work when suits them, then you may find that the work they do produce is better
- Project management system. This is key for smooth working between employees who are in various locations. Invest well in a project management system that can be accessed by all the team in real time, so that everyone knows what the others are working on, what the status is. Several people can work on a document at the same time, saving the need for several versions floating around
- Document processes. Spend some time creating a manual which details processes and procedures so that everyone working on a task knows exactly how to do it, and what is expected of them. This also saves people having to get in contact to ask for help on simple questions which are easily answered
- Keep staff accountable and in the loop. Just because your employees aren’t in the same office as you doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be keeping up to date with their tasks or at the same time, don’t need to know the bigger picture. Keeping in regular contact with your staff will ensure they are keeping on track, but also that they feel valued and play a part in how the company is developing. So keep them involved with what you’re up to as much as you need to know what they are doing and how they are spending their time
- Don’t forget face-to-face time. You don’t have to be virtual all the time. It’s still important to get everyone together regularly, both for professional meetings, but also informal gatherings. So ensure time together is put in the diary, it’s non-movable and non-negotiable
Running a remote team is no more difficult than managing a team who is physically in the office, there are just different challenges to overcome.
The most important thing is to ensure that there is regular communication, and that your staff have the means to be able to do that easily with you, whether it is by phone, over email, instant message, etc. It’s not expensive to run a virtual office, you just need to have the right systems in place.
Host My Office can do exactly that. We run a virtual team so we know what works and what doesn’t. We use our own systems, if it doesn’t work for us, then we wouldn’t be confident enough to let our clients have access. So get in touch to see how it can work for you, we can set you up and give you a free 30 day trial with no obligation, so you can see it working in practice.