Did you know that working from home can improve teamwork performance by as much as 13% while saving employers up to $11,000 per teleworker? The fact that 70% of the global workforce conducts business from home at least once a week helps to explain this phenomenon. To avoid some of the most common pitfalls, managers must learn how to manage remote teams, motivate them and help them reach their full potential as this trend continues to gain momentum. There are various tools and agile games for remote teams; however, in this article, we will focus on tips to promote enthusiasm, productivity, and a good mood in your employees.
Trust your team
According to Mark C. Perna, trust is “the secret ingredient” that makes it all work. Instead of constantly monitoring employees, he recommends that managers set clear goals for their teams and provide them with the resources they need to achieve them, and then “step back, trusting that they will perform admirably.” The CEO and co-founder of work performance platform Pathlight, Alex Kvamme, believes that while micromanagement can be annoying in the office environment, it can be destructive in the remote environment. It has a negative impact on morale and leads to a decrease in productivity.
Give your team the necessary resources
To ensure efficient remote work, the first step is to ensure that your team has access to the appropriate infrastructure and logistics-desktop computer, webcam, Internet, and so on—before beginning. Some companies, such as Google, have taken action, offering $1,000 to each team member to upgrade the furniture and technology in their remote workspace. Others have sent their employees the chairs that they used to use in their offices to make them more comfortable while also demonstrating that they are concerned about their well-being.
Use communication channels
The nature of humans is that we’re social creatures, which conflicts with the culture of remote work. However, technology such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, can be used to keep in touch with team members, know how they’re feeling, and find out if they require assistance to resolve a situation that is preventing them from moving forward with their tasks.
But, avoid over-communicating
Overloading your employees with video calls or chats constantly will backfire. Some leaders are advising teams suffering from ‘Zoom fatigue’ to keep meetings as short as possible. You should communicate to your team that it is acceptable to turn off instant messaging apps in order to reserve ‘focus time’ throughout the day, if necessary. Another point to consider: if you are sending emails or messages after business hours, think twice.
Empower your team
The most effective way to keep your team engaged is to provide them with the opportunity to work on and solve problems that are truly important to them. When every group member has the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of something, no matter how small or large, group productivity remains high and, in some cases, even increases.
Help them organize
Agreement on the goals for each team member and the best way to manage time during the workday is essential. If necessary, identifying barriers together that could prevent each employee from performing their job to its full potential, and assisting them in identifying possible solutions is also essential to the organization’s success. In addition, keep in mind that your employees’ sleep schedules may differ depending on whether they are more productive in the morning or at night. When organizing meetings and assigning tasks, it’s important to consider the team members’ lifestyles and work styles and their preferred methods of communication.
Create entertainment spaces
Create a virtual space where employees can engage in light conversation about trivial topics and amuse themselves: work becomes more enjoyable and meaningful as a result of these interpersonal interactions. Moreover, they encourage a productive and healthy work environment.
Everything from maintaining a pleasant exchange with your team through chats, emails, or any other platform, to occasionally injecting some lightheartedness through emoticons and animated gifs could be sufficient to achieve success. Other options include inviting employees to participate in virtual games in which they compete against one another, forming a book club, and establishing “weekly challenges” between groups, including trivia about pop culture and each team member’s hobbies.
For example, using the Know Your Team platform, employees are sent a “social question” such as “what was your favorite band ten years ago?” via email or Slack. They can also see each other’s responses, comment on them, and even react with emoticons if everyone answers at the same time.
Emphasize the positive
Unlike positive events in our daily lives, the negative events in our lives and the events that have marked us throughout our lives have a much greater impact than positive ones. Therefore, identifying and addressing project setbacks as soon as possible and reminding employees of their most significant contributions are all important. Keep this in mind as you work, and you’ll find that workers will keep moving forward rather than looking back at previous mistakes, which will motivate the team to continue working toward the goal.
Promote their well-being
Virtual yoga, pilates, and mindfulness classes for employees are becoming increasingly popular as a means of improving concentration and allowing them to work more efficiently. In addition, your team members should be made aware of the importance of respecting meal times and scheduling breaks, whether it’s a 10-minute walk or a cup of coffee, during their workday hours.
Create satisfaction surveys
To get a better understanding of how your employees feel about their work environment, you can use satisfaction surveys to find out exactly what they like and don’t like about their roles in the company. The information gathered could lead to new ideas for improving processes or resolving labor disputes.
Remind them of the company’s purpose
A purpose-driven business is essential to effectively manage and motivate a workforce, whether in person or via remote communication. When people have faith in what they are striving for, motivation is a natural byproduct.
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