A few years ago, It would have been hard to imagine half of our workforce would be made up of remote teams. However, the work landscape has changed dramatically and permanently, which has brought benefits for both employers and their teams.
According to a survey by FlexJobs from earlier this year, 97% of workers desire some form of remote work. One of the main reasons people want to work from home is to obtain a greater work-life balance. But, it’s not just employees who benefit from this work arrangement.
Thousands of businesses were forced into remote work to keep their operations running during the pandemic. But many companies have now realized that physically being in the office full-time isn’t necessary to produce great results. Microsoft Work Trend Index found that more than half (66%) of employers around the world have now permanently implemented remote work into their operations.
The Biggest Challenges That Come With Remote Work
Greatly successful remote teams don’t just happen. They have to be carefully guided and set up in a way that allows for collaboration and creativity to happen. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Take a look at these statics that show some of the common challenges and pitfalls of remote work:
remote work stats
The biggest challenges for a distributed team is poor communication, excessive meetings, and difficulty collaborating. These factors all have a negative impact on efficiency. Remote teams must work together seamlessly to be successful. And, they do this by staying connected and on the same page while collaborating on projects and tasks.
4 Ways to Increase Productivity and Help Your Remote Team Thrive
1.Create New Communication Norms for Your Remote Team
In the digital era, the workplace is evolving. With more and more people working remotely, creating new communication norms is critical to success.
The biggest issue with remote teams is that they lack the level of interaction that occurs in an office setting. This can lead to slow progress, conflicts, and misunderstandings between team members. Establishing more flexible communication norms for your teams can change this. Thanks to technology, there are better ways to communicate than back-and-forth emails and long video conference meetings.
Some new communication technologies to try for your team are:
Voice Channels are modern day walkie-talkies. You press a button to open your mic and you can communicate in real-time with anyone, anywhere in the world. Skip the awkward video calls, and comfortably communicate through an audio stream. You can also share your screen and talk your way through a project. It’s like working side-by-side but from anywhere. Voice channels are the most productive meetings you’ll ever experience!
Team chat has come a long way. With some more progressive chat systems, you can tag your team members and specific projects so people always see the messages they need to. You can also drop photos, videos, and important files right into a chat for quick delivery.
Buzz Walls are becoming increasingly popular. It’s a great way to build community within your team and give everyone a chance to share their wins and losses, both personal and work-related. You can easily give people a shout-out, and instantly alert everyone with important news. Buzz Walls are an easy way to incorporate connections between those in the office and your distributed team.
Keep Your Tools Organized and Easy to Access
An online office setup is a must for your remote team. It needs to be organized and easy to access, while also being secure. All the tools you need should have a home in one place. This will keep your remote team organized and save time looking for tools that you need for a project.
Digital office tools are the backbone of any remote business because they allow people from different locations to collaborate remotely on projects with little friction. Digital office tools provide seamless integration with other digital applications. These systems help teams work together more efficiently by removing the need for constant phone calls or email exchanges among distant colleagues—and also offer a host of other benefits that make them well worth investing in.
Have Clear Communication Protocols in Place for Remote Employees
Whether you have a remote team or your team is working in an office, it’s important to have clear communication protocols in place so everyone can be on the same page.
You should have a guideline in place to help your team understand the company’s communication protocol. The guideline should have clear answers for the following questions:
-Whether to use chat to just quickly tag someone or move to video conference for more in-depth communication
-How often to check-in with each other. Set up a meeting schedule so everyone has an opportunity to meet face-to-face at least once every week.
-The appropriate length for meetings and how to respect your team’s time
Bonus Tip: Chatting at the beginning of the day is a great way to start off a productive day and also provides an opportunity to catch up on the previous day’s events.
Set Up Activities That Promote Team Building and Collaboration
Your team may be distributed, but you don’t have to let that stop you from having a productive and enjoyable team-building experience. There are a number of activities that can help you create meaningful connections with your colleagues who are in different time zones.
Some fun ideas for social events for your remote team are:
- Lighthearted competitions (ugly holiday sweater contest, cutest pet, etc.)
- Playing a game with each other
- Virtual team lunches
- Coffee talk with co-workers
- Virtual happy hours, and more.
- Team building activities can help remote employees build relationships and work better together. It’s also a great way to help those people who miss the more social environment of an office space.
Empower Your Remote Team With The Tools They Need to Thrive
Remote teams can be lean, productive, and profitable when given the right tools that provide flexible communication, a clear breakdown of responsibility, weekly, concise meetings, and team building activities that foster team spirit. Remote teams need an online office layout that promotes these necessities and puts the most important things within arm’s reach.
At Clear Software, we believe in a flexible, decentralized and mobile workplace. Our platform was created by a remote team, for remote teams. Our team of experts have brought together a symphony of communication and productivity tools to help distributed teams work and connect in new exciting ways. If you want to learn more about how our platform is helping remote teams thrive, schedule a free, no obligation demo today!