4 Ways to Make Your Remote Team More Efficient
Remote work is here to stay, and that has some companies, understandably, nervous. For many firms, remote work is a new phenomenon, and managers are worried about maintaining high productivity levels while people work from home. With that in mind, below are 4 ways to make your remote team more efficient.
Unify Your Tools
The proliferation of digital tools over the last several years and their emergence into mainstream consciousness during the pandemic has prompted a massive surge of investment in digital transformation. Everything from collaboration to task management to rewards and productivity monitoring has received tremendous investment by companies across industries over the last year.
The problem is that simply paying for and insisting that workers use this new software can suffer from diminishing returns due to increased and even unnecessary complexity. All of those dashboards and applications demand space and, importantly, management. Consider investing in a program that will allow all of your remote team members to access their myriad programs from a single unified dashboard.
Communication and Task Management Integration
One of the perennial problems associated with remote teams is coordination. This is especially true if a remote team is spread out across time zones. Different employees often receive messages sent by team leaders at different times. There will be times when managers have to reach out to an employee for something, but a person has either stopped working or not yet started for the day.
Managers can avoid these communication delays by integrating their communication platforms like Slack with their task management tools like Trello and Airtable. The software company Zapier, through their ‘zaps’ tools, allows businesses to integrate these two fundamentally important platforms so that the task management tools are updating the communication channels in real-time. The amount of time that can be saved by automating these updates makes remote teams much more efficient.
Minimize the Meetings
It is well studied: too many meetings are bad for morale and waste time. Superfluous meetings that either do not have coherent themes or stated functions are productivity and efficiency killers for remote teams. There is no better way to disrupt the flow state and distract people from otherwise productive work than to interrupt the day with a meeting. There will always be the need to meet and discuss things as a team, but if you are meeting out of a sense of ritual or reflexively, it is time to analyze more closely why you are calling a particular meeting. Be honest about whether the conversation or discussion you hope to have during a scheduled meeting needs a formal sit down or is something that can be conveyed just as effectively with a memo or a prerecorded video.
Don’t Neglect Onboarding
One of the major pitfalls of remote teams is that new members often struggle to integrate and get their legs. Established team members, whether because of industry experience or time spent working in the office, are confident in their abilities and can pretty much do their jobs on autopilot, but new hires to remote teams require careful integration and regular contact with leadership and management while they get their bearings.
You also want to make sure they are equipped with all of the necessary hardware, software and permissions they need to do their jobs well, or they will constantly be bothering their team members for assistance.
Working remotely can be just as productive as working on-site, so long as you understand where the threats and opportunities are. Keep the above tips and considerations in mind and ensure your remote team has what it needs and avoids what it doesn’t to do their jobs efficiently.