It's safe to say that remote and hybrid working has become the new normal. In the UK, 44% of workers reported working from home or hybrid between September 2022 and January 2023. Moreover, 1 in 3 self-employed individuals reported working full-time from home, as opposed to 14% of employed individuals.
As more and more people see the benefits of remote work, and technological advances continue to enable them to work remotely, the percentage of professionals working remotely will only continue to increase. That is why companies need to invest in building stronger remote teams. In this article, we explore how they can do this and why it pays off in the long run.
5 ways to build stronger remote teams
Invest in high-quality tech support and security measures
Whether you're working with a fully remote or hybrid team, investing in high-quality tech support and security measures can make a world of a difference. Since your company depends on tech, it's crucial to properly invest in cybersecurity software and 24/7 tech assistance that will keep your business running smoothly and your team focused on what matters.
Investing in the right Apple Mac support for your business not only improves workflows but also avoids bottlenecks and time wasted trying to solve problems. By accessing industry-standard hardware and software for iOS and Mac devices, you'll not only keep up with the latest updates Mac has to offer but also ensure your data security protocols are in check.
Create a flexible work schedule
If your team members are based in different locations, it's important to create a flexible and time zone-specific work schedule that suits the employees' lives. A flexible schedule motivates and encourages employees as their needs are being met, resulting in a low employee turnover rate.
To create a flexible schedule, make sure you take into account the needs and role responsibilities of the employee. In addition, consider factors such as time zones, urgent family obligations, preferred working hours and the working style of each employee.
Then, work with your team members and your HR department to create a schedule that balances the employee's preferences and the team's needs. This may involve setting core hours during which the team is all online for meetings and collaborative work, while still allowing a certain degree of flexibility. In this way, you'll ensure that your team members can work independently, but still collaborate during those core hours.
In today's competitive job market, perks such as flexible work schedules and remote work attract top talent. Many professionals are now valuing flexibility over salary and benefits. Therefore, putting flexibility as a core corporate value ensures that you stay ahead of the curve.
Invest in the right tools for your team
Investing in the right communication and project management tools for your remote team is essential to amplify your team's work. Without the right tools, remote work can be a challenge, as it can lead to misunderstandings and disjointed work. To ensure this doesn't happen, you need to invest in the right remote working tools that not only benefit your team but also your company's bottom line.
Consider investing in cloud-sharing and communication tools like Google Drive and Slack. These tools help team members work seamlessly by having access to team documents, being able to edit documents on the fly, pinging other team members and groups when needed, and ultimately improving workflows. Project management tools like Workast are also a great way to ensure that everyone's on the same page and manage tasks, deadlines, and who's involved in what.
In addition to these helpful tools, it may also be worth considering subsidizing your team members to ensure they have high-speed connections wherever they are in the world. These can be monthly stipends for the Internet connection, as well as a one-off grant for things like a computer desk and a chair.
Teamwork can make or break a company. 33 percent of HR professionals agree that poor teamwork can decrease team morale, which in turn impacts the turnover rate. Remote work can be isolating, however. Therefore, encouraging teamwork and collaboration through group projects and team bonding activities is a good way to ensure your team is in sync.
To bolster teamwork among your employees, it's important to schedule regular team meetings where everyone is allowed to contribute to the conversation. Not only does this help team members bounce ideas off each other, but it also encourages them to get to know each other. This helps team members working remotely to feel like they're part of the same group and facilitates goal alignment.
Another way to promote teamwork in a remote workplace is to set up virtual team bonding activities. These can range from fun activities like a pop culture quiz to professional ones, such as peer-to-peer learning sessions. Ask your team members what they want - after all, getting them involved helps you come up with activities that are actually a hit!
Set clear objectives
To set your goals, it's important to define the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and share them with the rest of the team. These can include metrics such as the profit margin, number of new clients, customer satisfaction ratings, and website traffic.
Once you’ve set your KPIs, communicate them with the rest of the team, receive their feedback, and ensure that everyone knows what their role is when it comes to achieving these KPIs. Being transparent with your team members will make them feel involved in the decision-making process and encourage them to share their ideas with you.
Regular check-ins and reports can also help monitor progress and ensure that what each team member is doing is working. Talking to each team member is also productive, as it helps them feel supported and in line with the company's goals.
Building a stronger remote team requires the commitment of both the employer and the team members. Success depends on the employer's willingness and ability to invest in team members, not only on a professional basis but also on a personal level.
As remote work becomes increasingly popular, companies need to get up to speed with how remote teams work, rather than brush them off. Investing in strong remote teams now will not only give them a competitive edge here and now but also set them up for the future.