According to statistics compiled by Tecla, at least 70% of people all around the world are obliged to work remotely at least once during any given work week. That makes it very important for employees to forge bonds with those who are in your immediate sphere of influence, and to develop skills that include organizational effectiveness.
When you become separated from your main office and all the colleagues that you normally work with, it’s that much more important to forge strong working relationships with all those people you come into contact within the remote workplace. Here are some tips on how you can manage to work remotely with the greatest level of effectiveness.
Start off with some in-house time
When you’re forced to work remotely, you will inevitably face the challenge of being disconnected from your marketing team. A recent Google survey declared that those members on any given team who have a thorough understanding of their colleagues’ feelings, will always make the most productive team members. Since you will be obliged to carry out the bulk of your communications via voice chat or video chat, a real premium is placed on face-to-face communications, and when these are lacking, it’s very common for employees to feel at least somewhat lonesome on the job.
The remedy for this is to get new employees introduced to all other team members in the marketing group by allowing them to work in house for two or three months before they embark on a remote project. The reason for this is to allow them to develop sensitivity toward their colleagues, and to be in touch with the normal vibe of the team.
Ask for feedback
If the people on your team are easy to communicate with, it becomes much easier to stay connected and to overcome any challenges which might be presented by the geographic separation. Whatever kinds of setbacks you might experience while you’re working to achieve your goals, it’s very important to ask for feedback from employees on any kind of problems they’re facing.
In a recent survey, 28% of workers questioned responded that the main reason they missed a deadline was because of poor communications. Use whatever communication methods are at your disposal in order to stay connected with your team, and it’s even a good idea to organize a mandatory video conference every week, and listen to feedback presented by team members.
Use technology to the utmost
It’s fairly obvious that there are some features which are lacking in a remote situation, compared to an actual office environment. To overcome these gaps, try to provide an experience very much like a normal office environment for your employees. Creating a virtual office can help restore the trust that might be lost by team members being separated for a long period of time. There is a wide variety of applications available today which can help fill this gap, including apps for time tracking, team feedback, file management, and communication, so put these to good use.
Make good use of available time
In addition to having employees situated in remote environments, you may also have to overcome a disparity in the time zones which all your employees are working in. It may be necessary to adjust working hours for employees in order to achieve a more synchronized work effort from members, and to allow for greater interaction. You should also encourage working in advance of project requirements, since it will be easier to track accomplishments that way, and it will build in some buffer time if there should be any setbacks.
Hire candidates who fit your company culture
As a manager, you can’t be held accountable for everything that goes wrong on your staff and between your individual employees. In order to have maximum trust in all your employees, you need to hire the right people to start with, so you can be sure that these are team players and that they will work well together. Not only will you need to have a marketing team which is highly collaborative, but you’ll also need to decide on which principles to emphasize as criteria for hiring new people into the company.
Obviously, it’s hard to keep track of what employees are doing when there’s a geographic separation, so you will be obliged to rely on their work attitude and on their personality, in order to ensure that they’re a good fit for your company culture. People who generally fit that mold tend to be independent, organized, and driven to succeed, so if you can find these types of individuals when you’re hiring, you’ll have a much better chance of achieving the kind of team collaboration that will help your business to succeed.
Teamwork provides a framework for productivity, and the more positive your work atmosphere is, the more productive will be your employees. Those strategies which tend to be the most successful are the ones which start out with lukewarm support, but which then receive resounding support after team members improvise on the original idea to make it more appealing. Marketing personnel should always participate in brainstorming sessions like this, because their input can be just what’s needed to have an idea really take off.
Strive for transparency
There’s no question that the lack of face-to-face communication has a powerful tendency to cause misunderstandings and to create significant obstacles for your team. If taken to an extreme, this can mean the death knell of your remote workforce and force you to abandon the initiative altogether.
The best way to avoid a disaster like this is to provide regular updates to team members and ensure that all decisions and activities which affect the team are made transparent. It’s essential for your team members to have a clear understanding of all the reasoning behind any activities they are tasked with. Make sure all team members have a good grasp of their roles and their responsibilities and try to organize regular video conferences which keep team members in touch as much as possible.