Managing a business is challenging yet rewarding. As a business leader, you probably went through rough times just to keep your company afloat during the pandemic. But technology and the internet have made it possible to run a business with a distributed team – no matter which continent the members might be living on.
Since last year, millions of companies have adopted a WFH set-up to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Although many were skeptical and even hesitant at first, the remote work set-up has found mainstream acceptance in just a short amount of time.
Now, economies are slowly reopening and employees are slowly returning to the office. Or are they? Ask almost anyone and every other person these days will probably choose to retain their current remote working set-up. Hence, many businesses are considering adopting a permanently remote workforce going forward.
Thinking of doing the same? Here are some tips for ensuring that your company’s transition will be as smooth as possible:
1. Build Trust and Accountability.
Trust and accountability are the backbone of many well-managed distributed teams. Since your employees won’t have face-to-face contact, you’ll need to cultivate an inclusive virtual environment. Weekly huddles or team meetings might help, even if they’re little more than occasional quick catch-up sessions.
What you want is an environment where your remote workers can share ideas, comments, and suggestions without fear. High levels of trust and open lines of communication will make collaborating so much easier – and perhaps even enjoyable for everyone involved.
2. Consider Virtual Team-Building Activities And Events.
Work can be stressful, whether you’re working at home or in the office. Virtual team-building activities such as game nights or coffee chats can help alleviate work-related stress. They can also help build camaraderie among your distributed team.
Remember, employees that get along well tend to work better together.
3. Hire A Remote Work Coordinator.
Being hands-on is great, but micromanaging can distract you from other important tasks that would be a better use of your time and attention. So, why not hire an experienced coordinator or better yet, an experienced industry partner? *wink* *wink*
A good remote work coordinator can implement your ideas and guide your remote workers through the basic requirements. All so you can focus on growing your business by landing new clients and/or developing new products and services.
4. Measure The Metrics That Matter.
Basing productivity on employee attendance and time sheets is so passé. A better metric would be your employees’ results and deliverables, or even their commitment levels.
Doing so will help you understand where your employees excel and which areas they need help with. Using the right metric for reviewing and rewarding remote work productivity is key if you want to adopt a fully remote team.
5. Define Your Goals.
Before going fully remote, ask yourself the most important questions. Why do you want a fully remote workforce? Is it for safety purposes, work flexibility (for attracting top talent), or reduced operating costs? Or all of the above?
Clarifying your expectations before you post remote employees online will increase your chances of attracting the right talent. They will also help you figure out what strategy to pursue as you build and train your remote team for your chosen purpose.
6. Keep In Touch.
Effective remote leaders always communicate with their people. You don’t even need to talk to them all the time. A quick morning huddle or a short meeting at the end of the week can be enough.
The goal is to keep everyone on the same page, especially with regards to progress and targets. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check on your staff’s wellbeing and mental health.
7. Invest In The Right Communication Platforms
While you won’t actually see your employees everyday, they should be able to contact you easily if the need arises. Emails or phone calls aren’t the only options either. Invest in tools and software that enable instant messaging, project management, and digital collaboration for maximum benefits.
However, be sure to set a specific purpose for each communication platform to avoid confusion. For example, your remote employees email regular updates and use instant messaging for urgent concerns that require an immediate response.
The amount of work that goes into fully and smoothly transitioning to a fully remote workforce might seem daunting. But don’t get discouraged.
Remote Staff has been helping AU SMEs and entrepreneurs form teams with skilled remote workers from the Philippines for 14 years. Whether you’re starting yours from scratch or need just one more remote employee to complete your team, we’ve got your back.