There are many best practices for managing and working on remote teams. It can be a challenge to connect with team members that are not in front of you everyday. Understanding the basics of remote teams can help you move forward in this new environment!
Understand the benefits of remote teams.
Flexibility of team members
Some employees have family members or children at home. They might consider remote work even though children may be at school or daycare during the day. Some of these activities require family members to be available during work hours. More people are realizing these benefits and seeking out jobs that offer such
flexibility. This doesn’t mean they’re doing personal activities on company time, but they have the flexibility to work different hours in order to complete
Access to more candidates
Working in person most of the time, we tend to hire local employees and contractors, which limits our reachand selection options. We may have received some
great resumes and portfolios from out-of-state people. It’s the same with potential employees looking for positions. Generally, people would avoid looking for work
outside of the state. Now we have the opportunity to get team members from across the country or even in different countries. We may even find that these people in different locations provide as much value as local candidates. It used to be that the address you put on your resume mattered to employers.
Best practice list!
Don’t forget to build culture on your remote team
Making the company a place where people are excited to go is crucial to building community. The amount of money given to
team members can only go so far. Culture can easily be lost when we move to virtual or hybrid environments.
People are often strictly about business during virtual calls and online interactions—which means we lose
the small social interactions that help us connect with each other.
Make accountability a priority
Accountability is a major concern we will explore. Many face challenges when it comes to trusting team
members to get their work done. I have had my own challenges when it comes to the accountability of team members. If we can’t see them, are they really working?
We all must face it. It comes down to trusting and creating strategies and solutions that help everyone be more transparent. In my business, I set up easy ways for team
members to provide weekly updates. Transparency is
the key in a remote environment.
Adapt to these new environments to keep current team members and attract new ones. After getting a taste of working away from the office, some feel that they
were more productive and had a better time. Now some employees feel remote should be a norm. They end up searching for companies that offer remote or hybrid
options—which also matters because of all the trends that point to hybrid work. Being proactive in future challenges or changes can help your team thrive.
Understand why people resist change
Change is often difficult because we are used to what has been done in the past. It’s a huge change working
remote from working in person! In some cases, entire companies made the change on short notice. For example, the company Quora went remote during
the pandemic in 2020 due to “shelter orders.” They eventually realized that the company was more productive remotely. After considerations about
housing costs, commute time, and other factors, they announced the entire company would remain remote in the future.
In other cases, the change was only for specific divisions, and departments, or for a short period of time.
Chris N. Cheetham-West, MBA is an international speaker, marketing expert, and President of LR Training Solutions. In this former position at Google, he managed marketing programs and strategies for key products. Chris has a proven record of helping teams learn the importance of communication while working remotely. Voted top 50 Black Entrepreneurs in 2020, Chris is one of the best keynote speakers around and can help your organization achieve measurable results. A managing virtual teams training can be what is needed to help your leadership team succeed!!