There’s no denying that the pandemic has transformed how we interact with people in our daily lives. This includes how we work and live our lives. To keep with the times and stay productive, companies must learn to adapt and evolve quickly to keep operations going or risk going out of business. Although telecommuting and remote work has been around for quite some time now, many employers have been holding off working with remote teams as long as they could because of their biggest worry - accountability.
How do managers know whether their people are working? Are they taking 3 hour lunch breaks and afternoon naps? (not that afternoon naps are a bad thing, it’s actually beneficial for productivity) This could lead to employers micromanaging and employees overworking, neither being a desired outcome. The solution is actually simple and very straightforward - trust.
According to research done by Gallup with more than 10,000 people, trust was identified as one of the highest qualities of the best leaders. Remote working is inevitable and if you’re still having doubts, here are a couple of elements that can help you build trust to build a stronger remote team that’s more productive.
Let’s be clear here. We’re not talking about micromanaging or checking on your employee every 30 minutes. As the leader of the company, it’s your job to keep your team updated and always in the loop. Don’t keep them guessing on your plans for the company because that only creates uncertainty of the future. There’s no such thing as over-communication. It’s okay to repeat yourself especially when your team is looking for guidance and stability. Use communication tools like Slack to stay in touch. Create team channels so that there’s transparency and use it for announcements and water-cooler topics. Remind the team to keep communication on public channels so that they can share, discuss and collaborate on new ideas. Doing this will ensure everyone is included and there’s transparency across the board. This creates a culture of trust and transparency that your team will be thankful for. Giving helpful design feedback is a sure fire way to get things done efficiently.
Brief your employee upfront on your goals and what is expected. Make it clear that there’ll be consistent check-ins to ensure milestones are met. Be specific on performance levels, work prioritization and amount of work that needs to be completed within a day or specific time frame. Providing clarity on this can convince your team that you understand remote work and have a roadmap planned out for success. Worried that communication via email isn’t enough? Schedule a video call and articulate expectations and critical points with them. Be sure to take down notes and share a summary after the call to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
While typical work environments are measured by time spent in the office, remote working doesn’t follow that same linear pattern. Focus on what matters the most to you, the final output. Come up with a reasonable expectation using a day-to-day office environment and use that as a benchmark when delegating work to the team. If they end up getting more done in a shorter period of time, great! They deserve it. What makes you think your employees don’t spend time on social media in the office? Getting work done in short bursts instead of long hours can improve productivity and improve the quality of work delivered. If you’re planning to reduce burn out and keep your team motivated, empower them to manage their own schedules and trust them to deliver quality work. If they know upfront what matters to you, they’re held accountable.
Developing great remote teams takes time and some adjustment but what matters the most is those first steps. The relationship between remote worker and employer tends to be the most problematic area that requires work. This applies to maintaining a relationship with agencies and freelancers. If you’re looking to outsource presentation design work to a reliable remote team with remote work experience (meaning accountability is our default setting), give Mad Creative Beanstalk a shout and we’ll be happy to see what we can do for you. Got any suggestions or ideas about remote teams? Drop us a message.