The Challenges Of Remote Work
Now that collaboration with remote teams has become popular, organizations’ issues about this setup have also appeared. These challenges include the following:
- Lack of Communication: Discussing ideas with your co-workers is easy when you’re inside the office. However, working away from the workplace can make engagements difficult.
Thus, managers must find ways how they can replace the traditional face-to-face interaction. Moreover, managers should also ensure that they check up on their team members often because working from home can become lonely.
- Low Productivity and Lack of Supervision: While it’s vital to trust your employees, not everybody is built for working remotely. These types of employees might find it challenging to start working without supervision.
If you’re the type of manager who trusts that your employees don’t need time and progress trackers, then their productivity might suffer.
- Distractions at Home: A home is a place where you relax and take a break. Working from home means the boundaries between work and personal time are crossed.
However, bringing your workload into your house means that you can get distracted by the entertainment sources around you. These distractions include your television and easy access to social media.
The Benefits Of Remote Work
Despite these challenges, working remotely also has benefits, such as:
- Flexible Schedule: The freedom to work from anywhere and having a flexible schedule can make your employees live a freeing lifestyle. The asynchronous work schedule means they can work only when they’re creative and energetic.
This kind of lifestyle can elevate their mood, help them maintain a happy work and life balance.
- Fewer Experiences Of Being Stuck In Traffic: Instead of waiting for a public vehicle and spending hours in traffic every day, remote meetings can give your team members a chance to balance their project productivity and share their vision for the whole team.
Tips To Collaborate With Remote Team Members
After learning the challenges and benefits of working remotely, here are five tips you can use to collaborate with your remote team members:
Find The Right People
Since not everyone can work remotely, you must be more vigilant in hiring new team members. In a remote work environment, everybody must understand the importance of on-time delivery and meeting daily goals.
Although your team still needs guidance and direction now and then, they should still finish their deliverables within a period to stay productive. That’s why you should hire individuals who can work with minimal supervision.
One way to identify if you hired the right team member is to work with several individuals on a short-term basis to assess their skills. After the selection process, you can choose the top trainees from that pool.
Weigh Your Responsibilities
As the team leader, you must assess your responsibilities first before you weigh others’. It’s your job to administer rules consistently and fairly. Since remote work environments decrease personal interactions between team members, your central role is to provide a firm understanding of what you require from them.
This method ensures that employees are clear about what you expect from them. You also have to ensure that your employees have access to different resources. It’s also essential to keep your lines open during working hours.
Communicate Effectively Through Technology
Since you won’t be regularly meeting your team members in your workplace, you must find ways to communicate effectively. There are many instant messaging and teleconferencing tools that you can use to ensure that your team is on the right track.
The constant work updates and notifications on your phone can be distracting at first, but it’s a great way to support general team engagement. Questions can be quickly answered through group or one-on-one chats. Working remotely can take some time to get used to, but people can eventually adjust.
Sometimes, when a remote team goes through issues, the problem may be the leadership style. Having a team leader undergo leadership training may help in their work with their members. The training can contribute to the leaders’ better understanding of their responsibility on monitoring, directing, inspiring, and motivating their remote team.
Don’t Overload Your team
When a team works within one location, it’s easier to see if they get overwhelmed. However, if your employee is working remotely, you can’t have access to this insight. If you don’t take care of them properly, they might be overloaded or resign.
If you have no choice but to send them tasks, ask how it can affect their existing deadlines. Your team members will give you an idea of how much time they’ll need to add to their current tasks.
Another way to reduce their workload is to ask your team members not to use ‘Reply All’ whenever they send less urgent emails. Your employees will have to filter these types of messages they shouldn’t have to receive in the first place.
Taking All Into Account
Managing remote teams can be challenging, but working remotely can have benefits, like having a flexible schedule and less time spent in traffic. However, it’s hard to track their productivity without time trackers and lack of communication.
Collaborating with your remote teams can be easier using practical communication tools. Moreover, having team leaders go through leadership training can also help them connect more with team members. And because you have wider choices, remote working can also mean you have a greater chance of finding the right people to join your team.