About 22 percent of the American workforce will be working remotely by 2025.
By saving money and resources, remote workforce models are a viable option for many businesses. Not surprisingly, companies have started to adopt this model to cut costs and operate more efficiently.
However, without the right tools and protocols in place, virtual teams often struggle with lack of direction, miscommunication, and information overload. Here are five remote work tips that will help facilitate better workflow within your virtual team:
1. Ensure Your Virtual Team is Collaborating (Not Just Communicating)
Remote organizations can come across as either extremely collaborative or extremely uncooperative. It all depends on how you approach it.
There’s no question that communication is fundamental. However, collaboration requires more than just sharing ideas and discussing projects. It requires clear and concise objectives and an efficient system to align priorities and keep everyone working on the same page.
2. Set Expectations, But Don’t Be Overbearing
Clear expectations are important for any organization. But this is particularly true within a remote team where people might be scattered across several time zones.
Don’t assume that your virtual staff knows what you want simply because you’ve communicated it before. Make sure to set clear expectations upfront and be sensitive to the different time zones your virtual team members are working in when scheduling meetings or project deadlines.
3. Plan for Failure
From dropped phone calls to voice mail mishaps, there are countless ways technology can cause problems for remote teams.
Planning for those inevitable mishaps is one of the vital remote work management tips. For example, if you know your virtual team members travel frequently, consider investing in a good quality noise-canceling headset. This will ensure that they’re always available and able to respond quickly and efficiently to any questions or concerns that may arise.
4. Tips for Remote Working: Communicate Clearly and Consistently
As mentioned before, communication is key. But what works for face-to-face teams will not work as well in a virtual environment.
Remote teams need to embrace more than just casual chats and one-on-one meetings. They need to communicate effectively with the rest of the team.
So, it’s vital to keep everyone informed about current projects and any proposed changes.
While at it, learn more about the benefits of VoIP in remote communication.
5. Trust Your Team and Empower Them to be Self-Directed
Remote employees might lack an office setting, but they shouldn’t lack authority or responsibility for their work. Giving your team freedom and trust goes a long way toward building loyalty and improving work efficiency.
Take the time to understand your team’s specific needs and how they can best be met. Then make sure you provide them with what they need to do their jobs well without compromising quality or structure.
Remote Work Tips You Need
These five tips for working remotely should help facilitate a smoother workflow within your virtual team. But keep in mind that every business is different, which means no single approach will suit all teams equally.
By focusing on these critical remote work tips as a starting point, you’ll hopefully be on the path to better communication and collaboration between members of your remote workforce.
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