Managers who previously only led the team within the office space face difficulties in organizing work from home. The main question is how to work from different parts of the world without compromising the quality of work, productivity, and team spirit? How to overcome challenges and survive this difficult period of time with maximum benefits and minimum losses for the team, ensuring the continuity and efficiency of the workflow? We have prepared recommendations and tips for you, which we hope will be useful during the establishment of your team's remote workflow.
Proper communication is more important than ever
Choose the main channels of communication for work questions and communication, as well as the task manager, which will be used to plan work and set specific tasks for the team. It's easy to start using, for example, the Trello or Asana app (read more about them in the next section). Take time for video conferencing with the team to track the progress of tasks and quickly identify problems.
Rules should be developed as to what should be reported by e-mail and what is best suited for messaging platforms. Sometimes one quick phone or video call won't let you drown in messages and comments to an online document. Video calls may be more helpful when making eye contact. Of course, video calls will not convey all the emotions. But you can use a lot of emojis (characters to indicate emotions) and GIFs (animated images) when communicating. They at least partially replace body language. Timely set 💖 or 🤗 or wisely used 💪 or 🙌 can greatly enhance online communication. At the same time, it is worth setting a time frame for online communication (at least if the work issue is not a matter of life and death), and do not expect
Agree on digital etiquette rules, including how to share information on messaging platforms that are best suited for a call, email, or video call.
Challenges of remote work: know to act
There are 3 main problems faced by managers during the organization of remote work of their teams during quarantine.
First, managers often do not have similar experience in remote team management.
Secondly, office workers are not used to working from home, let alone studying online.
Third: employees lack a sense of belonging to the team.
Leaders of organizations need to work on team building in the network and the formation of team spirit in the team. There are now many programs that can provide quality communication to groups of people on the Internet: the well-known Skype, Zoom for meetings, Messenger for instant communication, and Telegram with its secure chats. You should not be limited to messengers: hold meetings and training in the format of video conferences, organize group entertainment online, and communicate about non-work related topics from time to time.
Informal communication online: humanity at a distance
When switching to remote work format, communicate with employees. If you do not have joint work and entertainment chats – it's time to create them. Don't forget to communicate with the team about informal topics. Maintain a friendly and calm atmosphere within the team, conduct training and other online activities for the team.
When you communicate with your colleagues only through the devices, it is important to spend time building and maintaining relationships. This can be done by creating a place to share information, such as important personal events, new recipes, and music recordings. Celebrating victories, even small ones, and admiring great efforts in work and personal life can help establish humanity and authenticity.
If you use messaging platforms (chats, groups, etc.), consider creating a channel specifically for personal topics or for sharing photos from your offline life. You can also introduce special rituals, such as weekly or monthly exchanges of important information about life outside the office.
Make your work visible. Just because your office is remote doesn't mean it has to be quiet. Making work visible is a way to build trust. Our online platforms and tools for remote interaction are our office. When we demonstrate our work, we interact.
What tools can help online interaction
Make sure each employee has the necessary software on their PC and add it to group chats. If necessary, conduct rapid training in the use of a program. We offer you a selection of software that can be useful for remote work.
You can share your calendar with colleagues and partners. Give access to the main calendar to show someone your schedule. Create a calendar that can be edited by multiple people, such as an organization's event calendar. Authorize a colleague to plan and edit events on your calendar.
Yaware TimeTracker is a program for accounting for working time and assessing the effectiveness of workers at the computer. This is a way not only of self-control , but also of motivating each team member to work better and more productively.
Slack is a fast and convenient communication channel focused on communication within the organization, which is easily integrated with other online applications. Correspondence can be conducted in separate chats, where you can set reminders, use other services to access documents, and receive instant notifications. Slack reduces the time required to organize meetings and allows you to form small group conferences that can be freely joined by other employees. You can create an unlimited number of channels for conversations.
Evernote is a pocket to-do list notebook. There you can write text information, add pictures, audio, and video files. All information is divided into “notebooks” – so it's easy to find the data you need. Notes are automatically synced across all devices. Evernote – a program for remote work of individuals as well as teams.
This is software for remote teams. Allows you to organize virtual meetings for employees and online meetings with clients. There is built-in Zoom integration, automatic reminders, synchronization of different calendars.
We hope that your team will be able to effectively interact with each other and achieve good work results. Use all the tools available to you to manage and motivate the team, talk to employees. And remember that programs help you get things done, but decisions are made by people.