6 Hacks to Engage Your Remote Teams and Keep Them Productive
With the freedom to work in your pajamas comes the difficulty of engaging your remote teams and maintaining the camaraderie between them. It might be a bit difficult to stay as productive as before, because of the digital divide. Remote teams may even find it harder to stay focused on outcomes since they may not yet have a work culture designed without an in-office factor.
If you’re wondering how you can keep your team’s spirits high when working remotely, here are six quick productivity hacks to engage your team and keep them at peak productivity.
1. Refine your meeting culture
Meetings get a bad rap. And they deserve it. Considering that employees waste up to 35 percent of total working time talking and not doing, modern meeting culture is failing us. Instead of a meeting culture designed to analyze problems without solving them, you can actually make meetings work for you and your team.
Pivot to a meeting culture designed around these key points.
- Start every meeting with a specific agenda outlining what you intend to achieve
- Assign a team member to lead the meeting and make sure there are no deviations
- Plan meetings well in advance—to make sure everyone has enough time to brainstorm ahead of time
- Deliberately keep meetings short
- Make your standups practical. Actually stand up while meeting. It makes it harder to talk on and on when you’re on your feet.
2. Measure productivity with results
Although this might seem like a no-brainer, the sad truth remains that in a remote team, it can be tempting to focus on staying busy instead of ticking off action items and actually producing results. Doing routine work like checking and replying to emails, filling out forms, and meetings, it’s easy to spend entire hours doing nothing of tangible value.
In order to keep your remote team engaged, you must move away from an anything-goes atmosphere to actually holding your team responsible for results generated. With an eye out for getting work done, your team will be able to unite around prioritizing tasks, get them done, and move forward faster.
3. Build a human-centric work culture
Empathy makes remote work since people perform best around those they love, trust, and respect.
Here are some tips to build a genuinely empathetic, human-human work culture:
- Peer-to-peer onboarding. Assign new employees to experienced team members to show the ropes and bring them up to speed
- Encourage (but don’t force) team members to share any part of their personal life they feel they could use help, advice, encouragement with
- Make out time to get to know each other personally and as a team, such as get-togethers, casual Zoom meetings, virtual coffee hour, etc.
4. Appreciate publicly and consistently
Everyone wants to feel valued. There’s a part in each of us that wants to be recognized for taking out time to do what matters. If you want your remote team members to consistently be ready to go above and beyond, you must:
- Hand out congratulations for your team’s work. Celebrate little victories to boost everyone’s morale.
- Build a culture of gratitude. Encourage team members to point out and applaud each other whenever they go the extra mile.
5. Minimize tech overload
Your team probably has plenty of distraction when working from home. You don’t want to add on to those by adding a variety of tools to your software stack. The more unnecessary tools you use, the more distracted your team will get. Use a project management tool like Kissflow Project, which combines project management, task management, and collaboration, so you can let go of all other unnecessary apps.
6. Foster a culture of feedback
Feedback is the breakfast of champions. After all, how can anyone get better over time if they don’t even know how well they’re doing? If you’re looking to get your remote team engaged and functioning at peak capacity, you must make it a priority letting everyone know how well they’re doing.
- Point out wins and performance highlights and ensure you praise publicly
- Reward wins with perks, if possible
- Point out fails as kindly and as firmly as possible; let your team know where they could have done better, and how
- Discuss consequences—show everyone where their wins or loses fit into the team’s big picture
Remote teams are the epitome of productivity — especially when everyone’s engaged and motivated to do their best work. And to achieve that, you need a mix of corporate and personal steps that must be implemented to strip your work down to its essence and only do what matters.
But if only you can embrace a minimalist, lite work culture, you’ll be able to align your team around key results and get more done faster.