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7 Things You Can Do to Set Your Remote Teams Up for Success



7 Things You Can Do to Set Your Remote Teams Up for Success

After more than two years, the early days of the pandemic may seem distant in your rearview mirror. The chaos you felt as a manager during those initial weeks of leading remote teams probably feels like a fuzzy memory. Handling offsite workers is likely old hat by now. You’re still responsible for helping your team succeed, though. 

Fortunately, there are many strategies available that can help you reach that goal. If you want your remote team to reach its full potential, consider the tools and tactics discussed below. You may be pleasantly surprised by how efficient and productive they can be. Keep reading to learn more about the role you can play.

1. Make Sure Payroll Is Rock Solid

No matter how engaging your company culture is, your employees work to get paid. And when your workforce is remote — perhaps even global — a reliable paycheck may be the tightest link they have to your organization. To earn the loyalty and productivity of your far-flung team members, you’ll need to ensure they get paid correctly and on time. And that means every time.

If your company’s shift to remote work includes international team members, you’ll want to partner with an expert in global payroll services. Working with a global payroll service provider can be particularly important if you’re new to international business. International employment regulations can be complex, and these experts will help you stay in compliance. They can also handle payroll processing and make sure you’re providing competitive compensation for all your employees.

2. Outline Clear Expectations

It’s no secret that employees work best when they fully understand their job responsibilities. This can be doubly important when you’re not seeing your team in the office every day. Making sure they have that clarity falls on your shoulders. It’s a good idea to address working procedures, communication rules, project guidelines, and work hour requirements.

Be aware that you may have employees working in different time zones. If that’s the case, set their workday expectations accordingly. It’s also important to pass along any office policy updates in a timely manner. Your employees can’t play successfully by the rules if they don’t know what they are.

3. Prioritize Tasks

Sometimes it can be difficult for your remote employees to know which tasks to tackle first. If they have a lot on their plates, they can feel overwhelmed. Clearly indicating which tasks are most important can help them maintain their productivity.

When you’re outlining your project workflow, take the time to rank tasks based on whether they’re low or high priority. Mark the urgent or important ones in an obvious way. Those labels tell your employees what they should concentrate on first. It’s a great way to boost their focus and timeliness on a project.

4. Check In Every Day

Daily touchpoints with your employees can go a long way to making sure they’re staying on task. This doesn’t mean you need to be a helicopter manager, though. Keep in mind that employees frequently resent being micromanaged. So be sure the daily check-ins are targeted and short.

The good news is these touchpoints don’t need to be face-to-face. Most project management software tools offer a chat feature. A quick message can be enough to keep you and your team members aware of progress and deadlines.

The more your remote employees know about what’s being accomplished every day, the better. It can help them keep track of their “to-do” lists and improve their time management. Fewer tasks are likely to fall by the wayside and be forgotten. Overall, teams that are held accountable are often more productive and efficient.

5. Provide Collaboration Tools

Unless you only have one remote employee, you’ll need the right tech to help your team work together for maximum success. That’s where collaboration tools come in — they facilitate communication, task management, and file sharing. When using these tools, give all the appropriate team members access to shared company documents.

There are plenty of team collaboration tools available. Explore your options to find the one that best suits your team’s needs. The key is to make sure everyone is using the same one. If team members must share files or work on tasks together, they need to work on the same platform.

6. Encourage Socialization

During the early days of the pandemic, did your office schedule video happy hours? They may have felt a bit silly at first. That online office socialization is important, though. As a manager, you can use it to foster better working relationships between your team members.

Sure, some events can be a little more work-related. Consider holding a lunch-and-learn where team members can find out about important industry trends. Don’t overlook the need for pure fun, though. Plan a virtual party or two and give your employees time to connect over non-work topics. As your team members become more familiar with each other, you’ll likely see productivity increase.

7. Plan Mental Health Days

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how highly skilled your team is. If they’re burned out or overly stressed, productivity will take a nosedive. In fact, the World Health Organization determined that depression and anxiety lead to $1trillion in annual lost productivity worldwide.

There’s a silver lining, though. Contributing to employee mental health pays big dividends. For every dollar invested in mental health, many companies see a fourfold improvement in productivity. So if you want to see your team’s success skyrocket, schedule some mental health days.

Don’t assume your remote workers have the best work-life balance. Many at-home employees work longer hours than office staff. You can free up some time by adjusting deadlines and shifting responsibilities when it makes sense to do so. Then encourage your teams to step away from their desk for the day and indulge in some self-care.

Over the past two years, companies have learned that remote work — at least in some form — is here to stay. That means it’s vital for you, as a manager, to take steps that support your team’s pursuit of success. If you keep these tips in mind, you’re more likely to see your group grow into a well-oiled WFH machine.