The working from home trend is upon us! Which means lots of remote teams.
The workforce is finally starting to realize that productivity doesn’t necessarily mean 9-5.
A survey by Regus found that flexible working hours and increases in revenue and productivity could be directly linked back to one another. In fact, 72% of global businesses reported that increased productivity was a direct result from more flexibility in the workplace.
Small businesses have embraced this strategy making it the norm. 80% of small company managers saying their company works more flexibly than it used to.
In the same survey, teams reported that 63% of them felt more energized and motivated with the new flexibility of their working hours.
A Forrester Research study in 2009 predicted that 63 million people, or 43% of the US workforce will telecommute to work by this year, 2016.
But not being in the same physical space as your team can take a toll on team communication. The need to collaborate as a team is still very important within any business. Being more productive shouldn’t have to mean less team connectivity.
Here are 5 quick and easy steps for you to make your remote teams work better together:
- What are your expectations? Prior to the meeting, clearly state to the team what the purpose of the meeting should be and what the ideal outcome of the meeting is. You and your team will then be better prepared for the meeting and can discuss what is most important at the time.
- Find a time. Because everyone is not within the same office space, finding a time that works for everyone can sometimes be difficult, but it is important. Reading meeting minutes is never the same as actually being present and taking your own notes. Find a time that works, and stick to it!
- Talk time or face time? Whether you are having a good ol’ conference call or you use video conferencing, it is important that everyone have their voice heard. Video conferencing can be a great tool when meeting with multiple people because there are just some things that cannot be communicated over a traditional phone call.
- What’s next? Before ending the meeting, make sure that everyone has a clearly communicated takeaway; a next step to guide them in the right direction. If there is clear communication of these next steps, everyone can work efficiently by themselves and then come together once again to collaborate.
- Follow up! Keeping the channels of communication open after the meeting is what will seal the deal for increased productivity to happen. This could mean having daily or weekly check-ins or even better, using collaboration software that is made with the sole purpose of bringing teams together to communicate and collaborate. You just need to find the collaboration tool that works best for your business needs.
Communication is key when working on any team, especially when you do not have the advantage of being able to walk across the office to chat if you need to.
Managing remote teams can be difficult, but by communicating frequently, utilizing the time you do have together, and making sure the mission is clear, the influence your remote teams can have on your business is exponential.