In today’s workplace, being a part of a remote team was already commonplace. Until recently, companies were not required — and certainly not chosen — to work outside of their office walls. As a result, some people were taken aback. Because the reality is, managing a remote team is sometimes difficult, especially when you want to keep things “business as usual” and have your employees operate in a way that makes them feel like they’re on the same team. Furthermore, the global crisis would forever alter the way we work, and working from home would become the new standard. Below are some of the challenges facing remote teams today;
1. Isolation from others
One of the windfalls of working in an office is the opportunity to communicate with coworkers. Within the workplace, social interaction fosters purpose and a positive attitude. An abrupt shift in the atmosphere might have a detrimental impact on employees, lowering productivity in the workplace.
Managers could use devices like smartphones and technologies to their gain to address this problematic situation. Utilizing business management software, for instance like itrezzo, is capable of boosting productivity by streamlining processes. It also enables staff to exchange shared calendars on their smartphones and communicate and collaborate on projects, reducing delays. Managers could also organize team meetings via Zoom, Skype, or other analogous social media to encourage individuals to connect.
2. Problems with scheduling
Working with a virtual team boosts productivity, but managers must overcome some virtual inefficiencies. Managing personnel across many time zones, for example, is one of the most difficult issues.
It’s easier to set clear expectations for hours worked when all of your employees, virtual and otherwise, are in the same geographic region. However, managing work time is usually more difficult if your remote staff is spread throughout the globe. This issue is especially tiring when there are major time zone variations, such as when your day is another employee’s night.
Furthermore, determining whether or not your team is working together is tough. Is it true that your team members are logging in for their planned shifts? Is it true that customer service questions are being answered? If you’re waiting for a virtual employee to react to a critical e-mail, you’ll soon lose track of time and productivity.
3. Culture in the workplace
It takes time to establish a corporate culture, which includes hiring the right people, enabling open communication, and spreading the culture throughout the company. Building a professional corporate culture or a team known for being fun and life would take more time and work than in an office in a remote team.
A company’s culture is shaped without any effort on the part of the owner or manager. This aspect isn’t the case for remote teams, however. Like any other project or endeavor, creating a strong company culture with a remote staff that shows your organization’s values necessitates a plan. It all starts from the apex body, with the manager’s or owner’s interactions with employees.
Suppose you want to develop an open communication culture, for example. In that case, remote team members need to speak with everyone, including the CEO, through a virtual “open door” policy. Schedule entertaining get-togethers, gift certificates for staff to go bowling together, or arrange a virtual movie night if you desire a fun company culture.
4. Developing a sense of trust
For distant managers and team members, establishing trust is tough. Managers are concerned that employees are not completing tasks, while employees are concerned about being paid on time (or at all, in some cases). Transparency would assist all parties in creating trust, especially while working remotely. Transparency in the following areas helps you create confidence among a remote team:
- Hours of work
- Expectations for the project
- Payment schedules
- Updates on project status
When it comes to expectations, be open and honest about the workload you anticipate your contractors to handle. Even when this isn’t the case, many B2B marketing firms inform freelancers they should expect a significant increase in business in the coming months. Although these words may be well-intentioned, they may lead some freelancers to assume they are being used. They may have even negotiated a lesser rate due to the volume, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t work out.
5. Morale and one-on-one meetings
One-on-one meetings boost morale. While scheduling one-on-one meetings with each remote team member may seem inconvenient, they help employees feel valued and provide an opportunity to provide feedback on their work performance.
If these meetings aren’t arranged or rescheduled, remote workers may feel disconnected from the firm and unsure of their position.
6. Communication Issues in the Team
Communication issues are one of the most difficult aspects of leading a remote workforce. Managers should approach their employees and request a meeting whenever they need one once everyone is in the office. However, things are usually different with a small structure, which might stifle productivity within the company.
Business process management software comes in handy in such situations, as it assists remote teams in keeping track of each other’s responsibilities. Even if everyone is working electronically, team members can readily handle projects because everyone is just a conversation away. The remote team members can share documents, manage and track their vacations and progress, and arrange meetings using BPM tools.
7. Taking Care of Security Issues
IT specialists are frequently present in an office setting, and team members typically rely on them to resolve security issues. However, network issues usually occur at home, and not everyone is capable of resolving them. When this occurs, productivity rates would be impacted, potentially slowing down the entire team.
To avoid this, have your IT department install security software on the laptops and computers of your team members. Antivirus software and a remote-access VPN are both being utilized to keep the company’s data safe. Managers might also arrange Webinars on cybersecurity awareness to inform staff what to do if an issue emerges.
Managing a remote workforce comes with a slew of difficulties. Fortunately, they can be readily addressed by implementing team-building activities, improving communication, and implementing new processes. In the future, remote teams should become even more common.