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Secrets for Successful Communication with Remote Teams

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For many workers, increased connectivity in their personal and work lives has made the transition to remote working a relatively easy one. Faster and more reliable Wi-Fi, access to cloud systems and team collaboration tools mean “the office” can be just about anywhere. By streamlining your work processes in this way, your team can be more professional, productive, and efficient in the long run.

Along with the benefits, there are some challenges to managing remote teams:

  • Communication: Getting teams in different locations to work together for a common goal can be tricky. That said, the Internet has provided many powerful tools to drive communication and collaboration in the modern workplace.
  • Hiring the right people: Recruiting the right people is crucial. Not everyone can work effectively in a remote location. Therefore, you must find people who can demonstrate their ability to manage time, handle their workload, and deliver results.
  • Keeping track of activities, goals and productivity: In remote settings, employees must know how to manage themselves and often wear different hats. It is therefore essential to ensure team members are aware of the company’s short- and long-term goals.

Growing company culture 

Generally, co-located teams have an easier time building a company culture than remote teams. That said, here are some things business owners can do to create a positive company culture with a remote team:

  • Choose tools that match your culture: Because all communication and collaboration will be done using online tools, it is essential to choose apps and software that match the culture you are trying to create. If you want to create a fun, laid-back environment, choose tools that match this atmosphere. You also want to make it as easy as possible for your remote team to stay up-to-date. Be it via video conferencing tools, chat apps, or the comments section of your project management tool, you need to offer various ways to keep in touch.
  • Team building: Team building does wonders to foster communication, especially among remote workers who do not see each other daily. Where possible, create an “office social life” by planning regular meet-ups, lunches, and team-building activities to boost team morale.
  • Recognition: Public recognition for a job well done is one of the most effective and most natural ways to motivate a remote team. Shout outs in a team chat, during meetings or any other way, will not only boost morale and motivation but set a standard for other team members to strive for.

5 tips to work from home easily

  1. Stick to a schedule: Routines do eventually change when working from home, but sticking to the same schedule as a regular office day is a good way to ease into it.
  2. Keep in touch with the team: Whether through a morning catch-up or a group chat, keep communication flowing to avoid feelings of isolation.
  3. Set regular breaks: take lunch, move about and have frequent breaks.
  4. Start and end the workday: It’s easy to keep working overtime when at home, but to maintain work-life balance, it’s crucial to be able to switch off.
  5. Choose the best work area: Set up in an area of the home that’s comfortable, quiet, and set up for productivity.

Tools to help remote teams thrive

  • Slack: A popular web and desktop chat tool
  • Skype: Global audio and video platform
  • Google Hangouts: Google’s chat platform
  • HomeSlice: A time zone viewer
  • Wrike: One of the leading cloud-based solutions for collaborative work management
  • Trello: An online visual planning and collaboration tool for virtual workgroups
  • Asana: An online management tool to quickly capture tasks, to-dos, reminders, and ideas
  • Zoom: Audio, video and online meetings made easy

Benefits of more flexibility

There are numerous benefits to remote working for both the employee and the employer. Forbes recently published some compelling statistics from the world’s top researchers, which highlight the following advantage:

  • Productivity: Remote workers are around 35–40% more productive, with increased output of at least 4.4%.
  • Performance: Location-independent workers produce work with 40% fewer quality issues.
  • Engagement: Remote workers have a 41% lower absenteeism rate.
  • Retention: 54% of workers say they would leave their jobs in favour of a position with more flexible hours.
  • Profitability: Employers can save an average of $11,000 annually for every part-time remote worker.

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