To maintain business continuity, almost all enterprises had to adapt to remote work settings in the past year. While the shift posed great challenges, it also brought to light the many advantages of remote work for business organizations and their workforce. So we now see many businesses offering flexible working conditions to their employees.
Most organizations are already transitioning to partially remote teams. Some of their employees have returned to the office while others continue to work remotely. This seems to be the most ideal arrangement that can cushion businesses during unexpected crises in the future.
Whatever the size and nature of your business, you ought to consider managing partially remote teams in the long term. Here, you can discover some tips on working with remote team members.
Tips to Successfully Work with Partially Remote Team Members
1. Build rapport with every member of the team
Even when in the same physical workplace, building rapport with every team member is already challenging. It involves getting to know each one as a complete person and understanding their motivations. With remote team members, this becomes even more challenging.
You need to build empathy and foster good relationships within the team. Strive to connect with them on a personal level by having casual conversations. Set virtual coffee breaks where you can talk about things other than work. Be more aware of verbal cues that may hint at struggles they may be going through. Having a good rapport with them will enable you to work through problems easier.
2. Be more inclusive
Remote workers can feel like outsiders, especially when those in the office build much closer relationships with each other. Have a remote work setup where everyone feels part of the team regardless of where they are. Something as simple as a team group chat can keep everyone in the loop and enable them to participate even in casual conversations. You can also host remote cocktails or dinners, game nights, or movie marathons, so remote workers don’t miss out on after-office hangouts.
3. Keep them engaged
With remote workers being away from the office, their input can be taken for granted. Team leaders tend to merely assign tasks to them. This may eventually lead to demotivated team members.
Motivate your remote team by keeping them engaged. During meetings, ask for their input and make them feel involved in the process. Show them that their opinion and time are valuable to your team. Constantly get feedback from them to improve the way you lead your remote team.
4. Set clear expectations
Guidelines and processes may differ for remote teams and in-office teams. Prevent misunderstandings by setting clear expectations. Provide guidelines and set boundaries on how you’ll work as a team, including schedules, priorities, and performance goals.
Tips to Manage Partially Remote Teams
1. Equip remote workers with the right tools
Ensure productivity by equipping your remote team with the right remote working tools they need for work, communication, and collaboration. Provide them with the hardware and software they need to complete their tasks efficiently. Consider covering the cost of better internet service to avoid connectivity issues. You may also want to ensure they have a good set-up for video conferencing by supplying quality mics, headphones, and cameras.
2. Ensure good communication and information dissemination
Partially remote teams are prone to information inequality. Those in the office are privy to more information from conversations with colleagues, regular meetings, and quick check-ups. On the other hand, remote teams tend to miss out on some information.
Balance the information inequality by ensuring proper remote team communication through email or messaging apps. Send important announcements to everyone at the same time. Allow informal chats in your inter-office communication system. Do whatever you can to ensure that your remote teams are not left out.
Manage schedules and maximize meetings
Having partially remote teams may also mean having team members in different time zones. This makes scheduling a daunting task. Balance schedule inconvenience by considering all the time zones your members are in and adjusting the length of your meetings.
Strive to conduct effective remote team meetings. Since you communicate only through virtual means, be more intentional during calls and meetings. Eliminate distractions during calls, and be fully present as you converse with remote workers. Set a consistent time, so all remote team members know when to expect meetings and adjust their schedules accordingly.
Unify your workplace
Keep projects running smoothly with a streamlined and unified digital workplace. Instead of using disparate tools, leverage Kissflow Digital Workplace, which brings together all the tools you need to manage your remote teams. It includes process management tools, customizable workflow processes, collaboration tools, automation solutions, and everything else you can possibly need. This unified digital workplace can help you track progress, monitor schedules, and collaborate smoothly with your partially remote work teams.
Fully Unified Platforms for Partially Remote Teams
Learning how to work with a remote team is challenging. But with an uncertain future, it is something that all business organizations must do. However, a fully remote team is not feasible for everyone. Still, it is worth exploring how partially remote teams can benefit your organization and cushion it from situations similar to the global pandemic.
Managing partially remote teams may be more complex than fully remote ones, but it is not impossible to do. With advances in technology, there are ways to effectively manage partially remote teams. One of the best ways is using a unified platform, such as the Kissflow Digital Workplace. This can narrow the social disconnect, enhance lines of communication, automate processes, and streamline workflows. Ultimately, it paves the way for faster business growth.