If you didn’t have a remote team, you do now, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak. Before, working away from the office was somewhat optional, depending on the type of business you run. Today that has become the new normal of doing business, and it is here to stay.
But running a business from a distance is not easy. There are way too many challenges for business managers, owners, and even employees to deal with to succeed. These include
- Poor communication
- Poor working environments, among other things
These affect the productivity of the employees and the whole business.
The big question is, how can you overcome these challenges? Or rather, how can you improve the productivity of your remote team? Of course, you can try micromanaging tactics as some business managers do, but those will not work for long. Eventually, you will fail and have to look for something more sustainable.
In this article, you will discover several different ways which you can use to improve your teams’ productivity.
Let’s dive in!
1. Think about Their Mental Health and Overall Well-Being
If you ask business owners and managers, they will tell you that mental health and well-being are among the top things affecting the productivity of a business. So, these have to be the first things that should come into your mind.
Ask yourself; are your employees happy? How are they doing together with their families? What are their living conditions? What about their responsibilities? How is their working environment in general? And how does it affect them psychologically?
These and many more are some of the things you need to find out about your remote team. Your goal is to ensure that all your remote employees are healthy, happy, and comfortable while working.
2. Leverage Technology
We live in a world where technology is the answer to almost all our questions. And when it comes to a business, there are plenty of ideas you can use to improve remote team productivity.
For instance, you can incorporate a software app that every employee can access into your system to improve communication. With such a tool, your employees can send urgent messages to each other and respond to them instantly.
Another good example is using HR software to automate all your HR tasks, which can be time-consuming.
3. Streamline Processes
One thing that makes it hard to manage a remote team is the factor of members having to operate from different locations. The situation is even worse if they have to do it under a disorganized system. As a manager, you need to put in place standardized processes to ensure productivity. Keep everything short and simple.
You might wonder how you can achieve that. Here are some tips
- Remove Unnecessary Processes and Stages
To simplify a complicated workflow;
First, make a list of all the processes your team has to follow to complete their tasks or projects.
Analyze them one by one to see which ones are essential and which ones are unnecessary.
Keep the essential ones and get rid of the rest.
But make no mistake, it is not all the time that you have to get rid of the whole process. In some instances, only a part of the process is faulty. In that case, all you have to do is to rectify that stage or step in the process.
- Minimize the Meetings
Meetings are an integral part of any business; there is no doubt about that. But when there are too many of them, they might have the opposite effect of what you want to achieve. In this case, that means reducing the productivity of your team because they take too much time.
To prevent that from happening, keep the meetings at a minimum.
Create a list of all the things you wish to discuss with your team.
Decide which ones are worth the while and schedule the meetings. As for the rest, you can communicate through other means you deem fit. That may include and is not, specifically, limited to,
- Instant messaging
- Phone calls
- Minimize the Tools Used
As stated above, using technological tools is one way to improve the productivity of your remote team. But that is if only you use them prudently.
By all means, use as many tools as you need and do not let them overlap. By that, we mean, if you choose WhatsApp, let your whole team use WhatsApp. The same case applies if you use Telegram or any other chat app you may know. However, if half your team uses WhatsApp and the other half Telegram, you can be sure to encounter discord.
Can Scrum Masters work remotely? Yes, Remote Scrum Masters have the advantage of being able to work from anywhere. This can be a huge perk for those who travel a lot or for those who enjoy having a flexible schedule.
4. Team Building
Good working relationships are essential whether the team members work together in the same environment or remotely in different locations.
Remote employees have little or no time to interact with each other. That makes it difficult for them to form bonds or build relationships. In the end, this leaves them feeling isolated hence decreased productivity. And at this point, virtual team-building activities come into play.
For instance, you can send gift hampers to your team members on their birthdays or any other special occasion like their wedding anniversaries. Schedule a virtual meeting to share them.
Online games are another form of virtual team-building activity. You can also have some fun having team members share photos of themselves when they were toddlers and let everyone try to guess who the child in the picture is.
Such activities will help the team members know each other better, lift their spirits and motivate them to work.
5. Discourage Overworking among Your Employees
Having hard-working employees is good, but do not let them work too hard. Always remember, your employees are people, not machines. That means, at some point, they get tired and will need to rest to remain productive.
Never let your employee’s overwork
Learn how to identify signs of extreme fatigue or burnout
Set reasonable deadlines
Listen to your employees’ concerns
Your employees must be productive for your business to be productive. There is no shortcut to that. Remote teams are complicated but not impossible to manage. These tips will guide you throughout the whole process and boost the productivity of your team.