2021 made its adjustments to the work of all world enterprises, while creating difficulties, but also identifying new opportunities for all market participants: company owners, top managers and ordinary employees - the pandemic certainly affected everyone. In the conditions when governments began to close borders, announce total lockdowns and stop working leisure places, an unexpected new task appeared for everyone, which experts had been talking about for a long time, but, in fact, in a whisper: a remote format of work.
Circumstances did not actually allow time to waste. I had to improvise. We at ICODA were ready for everything - since 2017, that’s mean, since the founding of the agency, we have been working decentrally. And now, as experts, we can safely give some advice on how to build an effective remote team.
How to work with remote employees and what tools will allow you to establish the process.
Before hiring remote employees, you must clearly understand the structure of your team. This is an extremely important item. If you do not decide on the structure, you will be able to create an effective system in which each staff unit is engaged in its own business. Do not go into stereotypes that a remote employee is not reliable and that a specialist working from home will do anything there, but not work. It's a mistake. Try to choose staff who love their work and have experience in it. Believe me, such people can work from anywhere and be effective regardless of whether you watch them in the office or from afar.
- Provide employees with the tools they need.
It goes without saying that all employees who are new to the company or those who suddenly find themselves in a remote work format need time to adapt. It is necessary to create certain conditions at home, provide a working environment and comfort. But there is also a task for you - to give the necessary tools for work. Discuss with the employee what programs they may need to perform certain tasks, purchase programs and set up the software. It is important for the employee here to see and understand that you are ready to do everything to make him comfortable to work and that the tasks are carried out in full. As soon as the new employee gets access to all the necessary tools, he immediately becomes motivated to get involved in the work faster.
- Set clear tasks.
For many leaders, it is this point that is a stumbling block. Yes, I understand, setting tasks is a separate type of art in management. But if you figure it out, then, in fact, nothing is easier. Clearly indicate to the employee what result you want to get, indicate, either together with the employee, or on your own - here it is more likely that the deadline depends on the position of the performer and just let him do his job. Micromanagement is harmful not only at workplaces in the office but also at remote site.
Provide monitoring systems. For example, we use special time trackers to track employees' working hours, as well as a task manager to maintain daily reports. Thanks to the time tracker, which, in addition to cutting off working hours, allows you to track exactly what tasks the employee is currently performing, the tracker also takes screenshots of screens so that you can clearly see what exactly your staff is doing during the working day.
- Motivation and communication.
Do not forget that employees in the remote area need to be motivated as well as employees in the office. It does not have to be just monetary motivations. Figure out how to fascinate your workers and how to make their working life more pleasant. Here, advice is unnecessary - each business finds ways to motivate individuals. And do not forget that employees have a need for communication. Perhaps even more than when they all come together under the roof of their home office. There, at least, there is an opportunity to spread a couple of words in a smokehouse or near a cooler. Since there is no such possibility with a remote format of work, for example, we regularly hold general meetups in Zoom, where we tell each other about what certain departments in the company are doing. Well, after the lockdown was removed, we began to gather at corporate sites with local offices - employees really appreciate these meetings.
- The human factor.
Well, perhaps the most important advice. Do not forget that your managers are people. If in the office you can track that someone is in a bad mood or well-being, then with a remote format it is simply impossible to see this. Build trusting relationships with your employees and listen to them. As you know, it is in this case that your team will follow you to any peaks.