With the COVID-19 outbreak now a pandemic, it is time to invest in bringing your teams online. However, many may find working from home a challenge. Your team may be wondering: How will I stay productive if I’m not in the office? When I can’t have a face-to-face conversation with my team about projects?
It may be a time of panic; however, you need not worry about how to empower your team during this time. There are a number of actions that you can take to build a thriving team that works from home. Here are 10 tips for keeping your team productive while working remotely.
1. Meet Virtually
Working from home is no reason to miss your meetings. There are countless virtual team management tools on the market, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, that allow for video conferencing and online meetings, making it just as easy to meet with your team from home than if you were still in the office. When working remotely, make sure to conduct regular meetings to continue fostering good communication practices that empower your team.
2. Set clear actions for your team
Communication is key, especially when you aren’t seeing your team face-to-face. Ensure that you set clear actions for your team when working remotely: give them specific instructions and a time frame to complete tasks within. When your team is well aware of what you want them to do and how you expect them to do it, they will find it easier to meet your standards and produce the same high-quality work as usual.
3. Make promises and follow-through
Working from home should not be an excuse to slack off. If a colleague is dependent on your input to progress on a project, you should endeavour to deliver that to them just as quickly as you would if you were still sitting at the desk next to them. Working remotely does not mean that you are no longer a team and reminding yourself of this will help your team thrive even whilst apart.
4. Follow up
The thing about working remotely is that you are unable to look over people’s shoulders to ensure that they are actually doing their work. Given this, the best way to build a thriving team when working from is to follow up and make sure that the work is being done. So, don’t wait a week to follow up on your meetings, actions and promises. Follow up at the end of the day, like you would do if you were still in the office.
5. Avoid long emails, opt for video calls instead
The hardest thing about working remotely is communicating tasks to your team. Emails can be wordy, plus it is often difficult to explain complex tasks in writing. Thus, in order to keep your team thriving, try to avoid long emails and opt for video calls instead. Setting up a quick video call to answer complex questions will allow your team to progress with tasks much faster. As mentioned, there are a number of virtual team management tools that will allow you to do this.
6. Recognise achievements
Recognising achievements is one of the easiest ways to empower your team and is probably something that you already do within the office. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that this has to stop. In fact, continuing to recognise your team’s achievements is likely to keep your team motivated and inspired during these confusing times. When someone in your team has done something great, acknowledge it.
7. Update your team frequently
We are all currently working in scary, uncertain and confusing times. Things can change in an instant, so it is critical that you update your team frequently. Build a thriving team by keeping them updated of any workplace changes that may impact them and their ability to perform tasks. This will help build trust amongst your team and help keep them empowered.
8. Stay connected
Working remotely can be isolating. When working from home, your team are likely going to miss the casual conversations had with colleagues at the desk or over lunch and this disconnect may limit motivation and productivity. Given this, be deliberate about reaching out and connecting with your team. Startup a group chat and be sure to check in with people regularly. While it may not be the same as a group lunch, keeping your team connected is sure to empower your team and keep them productive whilst working from home.
Learn about the actions you need to take to build and work in thriving virtual teams
Teams are global, travel is costly, and with the measures to cope with COVID-19, almost impossible. Now is the time to invest in bringing your teams online. Empowering your teams to thrive is not only a way to ensure the right people are in the room having the right conversations, but a necessary step to stay ahead of the digital transformation curve.
Here at V-Teamwork, we are offering three webinars to help you create thriving virtual teams: Make your virtual presence count, Build engagement in your team and Strengthen trust and accountability. These webinars will teach you to cultivate real effectiveness as a virtual team and help to ensure that your team remains productive whilst working remotely.