When you are managing a team of remote workers, you have many considerations to consider. You want your remote workers to be as connected and unified as office-based workers. However, how do you even start with this? If you have workers that are located all over the country or even all over the world, what problem do you tackle first? Before entering a state of panic, it is important to have an action plan. Creating an action plan for remote workers and remote workers will help you establish where potential problems may occur.
Use The Best Platforms to Connect
Great connections are important for remote workers. Being able to see everything and connect with one another is crucial. For this to happen, you need to have the right platform. SAP Digital Boardroom allows you to view all areas and lines of a business and work on real-time collaborations. It will allow you to make crucial and informed decisions quickly and easily. If you are not investing in the best platforms, you are going to find that you and other workers feel disconnected, and you never feel as if you are on the same page. To choose the best platforms, you need to look at reviews and recommendations from other remote workers and employers.
Top Tip: Find a platform that is easy to use and access. You want employees to feel confident using a platform.
Get to Know All Employees
Building a team is easier when you know more about those that you are working with. Teambuilding is achievable even with remote workers; all you need is the right approach and time. Ask employees questions and get to know what their interests are outside of work. Understand what makes employees tick, and see what drives them. When you get to know all remote employees, you build a connection. To make this happen, you may want to encourage meetings or get-togethers remotely, or you may wish to set up a mobile messaging group to stay connected.
Top Tip: When connecting with employees, always remain professional. Only ask questions that you will feel comfortable answering.
You may find that remote workers are working in different time zones. It is, therefore, essential that you are as considerate as possible. To build cohesion you must schedule meetings and get-togethers at times that are workable for most (if not all) employees. If you are not considerate, perhaps by organizing unsociable times to meet, you will find that there will be negativity and hostility within the team you are trying to build.
Top Tip: Always put yourself in the position of a remote employee and think about what you would want and expect from an employer. When you think like an employee, you can see what needs to happen and what changes need to be made.
Encourage Regular Breaks
Remote workers are not machines, and they are not simply numbers; they are people. People who need time to rest and unwind from the stress of work. It is therefore crucial that you encourage remote workers to take regular breaks throughout their working day. It is easier to build a team if remote workers are both productive and rested. If a remote employee is not investing in their self-care, then act on their behalf. Insist that well-being breaks are taken during working hours.
Utilize the Skills and Knowledge of Team Members
All team members have their own unique skills. They also have their own knowledge base too. Utilizing and establishing where skills and knowledge lie is crucial to a cohesive team. You may find that some team members are better at communicating while others are experts at listening. Understanding what skills an employee has to contribute will help you build a strong and unified team.
Top Tip: Ask employees to give an elevator pitch of themselves. When they do this, get them to talk about what they feel their personal strengths are.
Encourage Open and Transparent Communication
Excellent and open communication is essential when working remotely. If communication is not transparent, it may not foster the right environment to work in. Setting guidelines surrounding communication is a good starting place. Also, thinking about how to communicate, when, and why will be a good point for all workers to build on. If transparency is not maintained in communication, you will have issues building up amongst individuals and small pockets, and these can quickly escalate.
Hold Team Building Activities and Events
Even though you may be working in different locations, there is nothing stopping you from meeting up. Team-building events and activities can still be held online. These events can help employees feel a little more connected. You could organize and hold quiz nights or head-to-head team competitions. Anything that gets employees talking and sharing with each other is going to be positive.
Top Tip: Always reach out to employees and get their feedback. Find out what they want from remote working and see how you can adapt your practices to suit them.
Every employee has something different to bring to the table. Embracing diversity is crucial amongst workers. Listening to what remote employees have to say will prove beneficial. Encouraging suggestions will also be helpful to your future efforts. When you embrace diversity, you embrace new ways of working and new ways of communicating. New approaches can help workers feel closer and more connected, especially if their input has been listened to and valued.
Create a Schedule – Stick to Set Working Hours
Remote workers need to know when they are working and for how long. Don’t just expect team members to turn up to events and meetings on a whims notice – especially if they are working in different time zones. Create a schedule that outlines what will happen, when and why. Have set working hours that work for most remote employees. When employees have a schedule to stick to, they feel equal to their counterparts. They do not feel that they are set apart from the group or isolated – and this is key.