4 Winning Strategies for Remote Teams
For many organizations, offering employees the option to work remote has already been part of the culture. However, if working remote is new for your team, this is an opportunity to enhance the way synergy happens. Here are a few tips that can make help make the transition to remote work a success.
Choose your Workspace Wisely
Although having a separate office in your home may be ideal, it’s not a necessity. Many people set up their workspaces in environments other than an office, such as in a corner of their bedroom or on a table in the living room. Wherever you decide to set up your workspace, the most important thing to consider is whether your space is separated and free from distractions. Using a separate space for the sole purpose of work will help you maintain a work-focused mindset whenever you are there. You also want to choose a space where you won’t be getting interrupted by other people or distracted by things like television or excessive noise.
Stick to a Schedule
It’s especially important to adhere to a schedule when working from home. Utilizing tools like Google Calendar or Teamup can help you keep track of your tasks and responsibilities for each hour of your workday. Maintaining a schedule will minimize distractions and increase productivity. In her article in Medium’s The Startup, Amy M Haddad suggests scheduling breaks throughout your day. “After writing an article for two hours, I’ll take a 15-minute break. Taking breaks is an important part of managing your energy throughout the day.”
Since you won’t be in direct contact with colleagues at the office, you will need to utilize technology to stay connected. Take full advantage of email, video calls, and communication platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Use these communication tools strategically. In their article in Forbes Magazine, Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson recommend phone or video chat over email for making team decisions, while using email is effective if you are sharing information.
There are several advantages to outsourcing certain job functions. This could mean hiring a freelancer or agency to take over your marketing demands or an external bookkeeper to keep track of finances. Outsourcing work can not only increase efficiency for time-consuming jobs, but it can also improve focus and free up internal recourses for other purposes.
Summary and Recap
If you follow Tuckman’s stages of team development, changing the way your team works may put you back into the ‘Norming’ phase – and that’s ok! Remember that this is an opportunity to learn and grow. Encourage candid conversations that help teams to express challenges or concerns, and be flexible to make adjustments. Change can be good, and in an agile environment, will result in better products and services for your customers.