Perhaps the greatest challenge that remote workers and their managers face is staying connected despite geographical barriers. A lack of face-to-face communication makes effective connections among coworkers a challenge, which can have a lasting impact on overall team productivity. To ensure that your remote teams are as unified in their daily goals and tasks as possible, consider following these tips:
1) Include Remote Workers in Team Building
While it may seem nearly impossible to get remote workers to engage in extracurricular activities with local in-office coworkers, there are ways to mesh the two groups without requiring travel on either end. Assign local and remote workers on projects together, where they can collaborate via video chats or other forms of internet communications. This way, employees are engaging in dialogue, working for the better of the company, and are building a sense of teamwork to accomplish company projects.
2) Get Everyone On the Same Page
Since ongoing dialogue is critical for business success, maintaining organized digital dialogue is key. Keep dialogue streamlined across a multitude of business applications with a unified communications system, more clinically known as Unified Communications as a Service or UCaaS. UCaaS helps maintain communication from one application to another by allowing users to make phone calls, chat coworkers, and sync up with video conferencing entirely online. Utilizing a platform where interactions are easily transferred from one application to another makes it easy to manage productivity and organization. This solution is especially useful when meeting with remote employees or clients.
2) Communicate Regularly
Communication is key to making sure that everyone understands what is expected of them with regards to their team and the company as a whole. With remote employees, making time to have one on one conversations about performance, and answering any questions they may have will help improve a remote work arrangement. Meeting often will help keep company and team goals top of mind for remote employees, which is why it can be a good idea to set expectations for the frequency at which you would like updates each day from your remote team members.
4) Give Remote Employees Recognition
It’s just as important to recognize the successes and contributions of your remote employees as it is to recognize your in-office employees. Not only will local employees have a better understanding of the work their remote coworkers are doing, but the same remote employees will feel validated in the work they perform on a daily basis. It can be difficult for remote employees to feel like they are making a contribution to their company when they aren’t included in the in-office culture of motivation and success, which is why shoutouts through communication platforms like social intranet software are an effective method for making remoters feel valued every day.
5) Monitor Employee Progress
Utilizing project management software is a great way for local project managers to keep track of remote employees. Remote employees may seem as though they have greater opportunity to slack off and produce fewer results for a company, but actually, virtual workers tend to be more productive when they work in an environment of their own choosing. With online software to measure employee productivity, managers will be able to observe the great progress remote employees are making from any location, which may open the door for other remote work opportunities in the future.