Working remotely, for all its promising benefits, also has its own share of problems. From connectivity issues that hamper smooth communication to managing different time zones, it is not difficult to find yourself in awkward situations and have trouble keeping everyone focused on the project. Although far preferable as a matter of convenience, measures must be taken to ensure that a remote working environment is efficient and productive. Following are five tips on how to engage a team of remote workers, minimize errors, and keep everyone feeling intact on the job.
- Rely On Online Video – Communication is more than just the words that are exchanged between two people. A large part of it is the information expressed through body language and facial expression, referred to as “non-verbal cues” of communication. This is the reason why the chances of misunderstanding or relaying information increase when workers discuss important matters without face-to-face interaction. The best way to avoid crucial errors when relaying information back and forth is to make use of online video calling technology as often as needed – and with all the free programs out in the market that do just that, there is simply no excuse.
- Prioritize One-On-One Interactions – When someone on your team attempts to schedule a one-on-one meeting with you, this usually means that there is a topic of significant importance to be discussed. Apart from that, prioritizing one-on-one interactions gives you quality time with your personnel where you can fill them in with all the little details intended for them without having to broadcast it to the rest of your team. Try dedicating a portion of your work week specifically for these individualized meetings and say yes as much as possible whenever one of your colleagues needs your time. Not only will communication be better, but it will help let your co-workers know that they are important to you.
- Make Sure People Have What They Need From You – Part of the difficulty of remote working is not being there in person for your co-workers. It can be hard to know what others need from you, especially since you do not see each other every day like you would in the old office-style employment. Make it a habit to reach out to each one of your team members to find out what you can do to help them, and always be available to assist others if possible. Doing so will improve the team’s performance and promote healthy communication between management and team.
- Give Wellness Breaks When Needed – The day when wellness breaks are no longer needed is the day that machines take over the world. Working with humans means that there are “human” considerations to management. It is not correct to assume that the work-from-home environment is immune to stressful situations. It is far more effective to grant your workers “wellness breaks” when needed to help them cope with pressure at work and at home. There should be limits though – and if any employee seems to need more time off to solve bigger problems than anticipated, management must be able to act decisively on the matter.
- Be Inspiring – Working from home can turn into an endless lull. It is easy to get distracted as home demands just about as much attention as work. Managers that seek ways to inspire their people to work are oftentimes met with success. Sometimes, this is as simple as the tone in which one speaks to their co-workers. Other times, people find inspiration in receiving clear, concise instructions and directives that represent a higher calling. But nothing inspires people more than recognizing the importance of their roles within the company, especially if their path to growth is laid out before them. Once your team members understand how success can impact their careers for the better, it is more likely they will be moved to action.
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