Thanks to the internet, it’s become so much easier for employers to expand their talent pool. Whereas decades ago, entrepreneurs and business leaders could only ever hire applicants within the same area, today, we hear of global workplaces thriving, despite employees never even having met each other.
Still, it bears mentioning that remote setups require a lot of work, and may pose challenges traditional in-person office arrangements don’t. Despite that, the thousands of globally successful startups online are proof that, with the right culture and strategies, remote teams can thrive.
Let’s dive into the top 5 factors that contribute to a healthy remote work environment!
Scheduling regular check-ins
This may sound like ordinary advice, but regular check-ins help build trust, accountability, and empathy among remote workers. Although this strategy also works for stereotypical office arrangements, remote workers benefit from them more as the absence of physically seeing each other and getting in touch in person can manifest in isolation and miscommunication. As such, it’s best for leaders to keep meeting with their remote workers over one-on-one video call sessions to catch up on workload deliverables and other potential concerns.
Yes, optimizing reliable project management programs help, but speaking directly to key remote employees fosters a much deeper connection that’ll prove helpful for business in the long run.
Communication is the number one key
It’s safe to say that communication is a common challenge in any organization, so you can imagine how much more amplified this can be in remote setups. As a result, it’s best to over-communicate objectives. While there’s a clear difference between being annoying and getting your point across, curating a healthy work environment for remote workers involves properly spelling out daily tasks and monitoring project completions.
This can be achieved through daily progress reports, optimizing custom-made project collaboration tools, and setting reasonable deadlines. Of course, directly messaging parties involved in certain assignments are also always preferred versus sending lengthy emails.
The challenge here isn’t always getting your thoughts across and monitoring progress—many times, it can also be about keeping it civil, safe, and professional without sounding aggressive. Remember: much of remote work communication involves messages and emails, so communicate your concerns as efficiently as possible.
The no-code space has made it ten times easier to bridge technical gaps without having to rely on an IT team. Because no-code tools empower professionals to build apps on their own from scratch through visual programming, encouraging remote workers to digitally solve what they can with tools they’re handed with can be a powerful and inspiriting experience.
Don’t just put to the front tools like Zoom, Skype, and Trello. Expose remote team members to no-code platforms like Bubble and Integromat too. The more technologically-savvy remote workers are, the easier it becomes to tick off to-do lists and finish projects seamlessly.
The goal is to expect outcomes—not monitor hourly activity
Unless we’re talking about customer service where every minute is dedicated to answering calls and emails, employers should allow their remote workers to function at their own pace, given that they do not miss deadlines or delay anyone in the team.
Output-driven expectations should far outweigh having to know what each member is doing by the second. For instance, if you handle a team of writers, instead of asking each person which paragraph or word count they’re on per hour, track how well-narrated their features are. Did they meet the quota for the day? Were all the writing guidelines observed in each blog? Taking the time and effort to police what workers are doing by the minute can be suffocating.
Keep lines open, but don’t exert too much energy on finding out if they truly are working or are looking for songs to listen to at Spotify. Should workers fall short on expectations and deliverables, only then should you bring it up.
If it can be an email for everyone, let it stay that way
Yes, regularly meeting with team members is a healthy practice, but virtually gathering everyone together despite colossal time differences can be exhausting—especially if the only agenda is to discuss a list of updates that don’t concern everyone.
That said, keep meetings for everyone to a minimum. What can be discussed through emails should stay that way. Quite oppositely, don’t dismiss the power of pooling each member together. A team meeting with everyone on board also helps everyone feel more comfortable with each other as this gives other parties a chance to feel each person’s energy.
The bottom line here is this: meetings with everyone involved should be intentional, quick, and meaningful. Doing otherwise can result in burnout.
There is no end in sight for remote work arrangements. As long as the internet keeps expanding, expect global brands and businesses to keep hiring talents from other countries and continents. Fortunately, technology makes things more effective for all of us today.
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