Making the Remote Team Work

December 20, 20169:42 am1853 views

Globalisation has changed the way businesses work with contingent workforce coming to play and gig economy is cashing on the momentum of rapid technological change.

With businesses going global, ongoing talent crunch and economic uncertainty plaguing markets, companies are now looking at cost-effective ways to outsource job functions to talent across markets, wherein team members are dispersed across geographies working in different time zones, handling different departments.

Herein, the job of a HR becomes even more critical to manage the contingent labour and remote workers based at different locations. How can HR professionals ensure that remote teams work in tandem, without disruptions and are on the same page?

Remote working is no longer a remote concept. Employees love working remote since it allows them the freedom to do more things as per their convenience. Employers love it too, since it frees them of desk space, need for infrastructure and offices in different markets, offers them access to choose best talent for their business, boost productivity and save on the technical costs.

This win-win solution for all is soon becoming a global phenomenon with 79 percent knowledge workers working outside offices, according to findings by PGI survey in 2015. And the statistics do not end here.

Based on a study, 77 percent companies with more than 2,500 employees globally favour remote working. It was also found that 65 percent employees reported to be more productive when they work from home.

In light of these interesting findings, this piece aims to provide more insights on how to make remote teams work.

See: Work-flexibility Giving a Boost to Employees’ Productivity

 

Communication

Since your team cannot meet face to face directly everyday, communication with the team needs to be done via the Internet. Today, there are many helpful applications and softwares available to conduct virtual meetings absolutely free of cost. These include Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack, and Rocket.Chat to name a few among the free open source platforms, that can be used for distant communication.

Good communication can be maintained, if team members are willing to understand each other’s situation, constraints and time zone challenges. Considering the team is working across geographies, a best time to conduct virtual meetings should benefit everyone.

Work management

To avoid any confusion in terms of work distribution, you need to state clearly each person’s job role and KRAs. Task management apps such as Trello and Producteev prove to be of great help in managing everyone’s responsibilities at one go.  

If you need to share files and documents, Google Docs can be a very effective option for everyone to access files easily. Even if nobody would know each other’s detailed jobs, ensure that everyone has equal work in order to avoid biases and favouritism in the workplace.

Trust

Remote working can sometimes make it difficult for you to control and keep a check on everything. Discord between colleagues is bound to happen when working remote, either due to miscommunication, misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or simply missing the latest update, even the smallest mistake can cause turbulence in team functioning.

Therefore, trust and transparency is a must-have to build successful remote teams. If something does not work out as expected, invite team members to find out causes for the problem and think of solutions together.

Be cautious, but not judging. Before taking up new tasks, it is vital to understand everyone’s situations, their strengths and weakness, and allocate job duties accordingly.

Retreat

Nothing can replace the real experience of a face-to-face meeting. Although your team might live thousand miles away from each other, meeting physically in person is necessary to build strong relationship among colleagues.

Conduct occasional retreat to somewhere nice, at least once a year for instance. Not only does this help build employee engagement levels, it will be a good opportunity to talk about the future of your company, as well as help relax employees’ minds for break from hectic work lives.

 

Also read: 4 Key Trends on Employee Insights Expected to Dominate in 2017

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