More and more organizations started offering flexible or completely remote work options over the past three years. These decisions bring significant benefits, save resources, and increase overall satisfaction and loyalty.
We have gathered the WFH best practices to help you switch to remote work mode. Let’s review how to coordinate the team, monitor its effectiveness, boost productivity, and not lose your mind.
Remote Work Is Not a Sentence
The concept of “remote work” has become quite controversial. Modern technologies blur the boundaries caused by distance and different time zones and open up more business opportunities. Digital means of communication have become so commonplace that people sitting in the same room often prefer it to face-to-face communication.
Let’s review the main benefits of WFH:
- Greater opportunities for business development with the ability to attract highly qualified employees from anywhere in the world;
- Reduced office maintenance costs (rent, utilities, employees responsible for the operation of the office, consumables);
- Flexibility and loyalty of employees due to the possibility to work from any location;
- Saving time and resources, especially if the team works in a country with lower income levels than yours.
However, there are various risks involved in collaborating on a remote basis.
Let’s consider some of WFH’s cons
- You can’t fully control the workflow;
- A risk of missing deadlines and deviating the actual result from the expected one.
- Lack of informal connections: you may not fully understand your employees’ lifestyles, personal preferences, expectations, etc.
- You may find it difficult to organize your corporate culture because of your inability to meet your colleagues in person.
So, what are the ways to establish a remote team to avoid all these flaws and work remotely with maximum efficiency?
How to switch a team to remote mode: useful tools for efficient work
We’ve prepared a basic checklist you should consider before planning remote work and before you start.
- Availability. Clarify your teams’ working hours or let them set their schedules.
- Tools. Think of all the software your team can use for collaboration and communication.
- Data management. What tools does the team use to organize and share documents and information securely?
- Productivity. Establish progress and productivity tracking methods.
Team collaboration and communication can fall apart quickly if managers are not monitoring it carefully. Many companies follow Agile and Scrum methodologies, which are very helpful in managing teams to achieve the most effective results. We advise implementing a rigorous but clear system that coordinates workflow.
Having all the tools to support remote workers is important before switching to WFH.
When working remotely, teams need a tool for unrestricted communication. Email is not always an option, so you should choose means of communication for faster response times.
Here are services you can use for online communication:
- Whoosh is an upscale solution based on artificial intelligence for small and large teams. It will help make communication within the team more interactive and effective, and integrations with many services will help limit all communication in one application.
- Google Meet is a simple, effective solution for team audio and video communication. It is ideal for quick, clarifying information and short meet-ups.
- Zoom is a handy program for video conferencing of any size. With it, you can hold daily meetings, webinars, workshops, and other online training events.
You should also remember that 75% of millennials prefer chats to calls. You should use convenient and secure software for fast correspondence. This could be Slack or Telegram. You can also choose one app that includes all the functions — calls, presentations, chats, and file sharing.
The organization is key for teams working remotely. The best option would be to set up a cloud-based project management tool. This way, all team members can access everything they need without asking for help. These services may also help establish collaboration on projects between different departments, send reminders, and set deadlines.
Many project management tools exist for remote teams, but the most popular include Trello and Basecamp. For document and file sharing and management, you can use Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and DropBox.
How to check your employees’ productivity? These days, most remote teams evaluate their employees based on the number of tasks completed and whether they achieve their goals rather than the number of hours spent. However, it can still be difficult to track everyone’s performance.
If productivity begins to decline, time-tracking tools such as Toggl, Tick, and Timesheets can be used to monitor projects or estimate how long it takes to make improvements.
Working remotely means many team members will connect to Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops, co-working centers, libraries, and other public places to do their jobs. Therefore, it’s vital to have an information security policy in place before switching to WFH.
Remote teams should create secure passwords using tools like LastPass and update them regularly. Confidential information should be stored in a secure cloud platform such as Box and a virtual private network.
WFH is an excellent opportunity to reduce costs and hire highly qualified personnel.
We hope that this article has helped you learn how to manage a remote team and organize aspects of working on projects in the most efficient way.