Each day more and more organizations are shifting to remote working to keep their businesses running amidst the pandemic. Remote working may not be a new concept – but it is a new norm for many. COVID-19 is forcing us to address the challenges of remote working – accountability of the workforce, connecting and collaborating with coworkers, working in a self-isolation mode, etc.
Helping organizations to work effectively from ‘anywhere’ has always been one of the chief objectives NexAEI as is expressed in our brand tagline – Be Here. Anywhere. Over the last few years, we have been working with distributed teams spread across locations, providing the managers and business owners with necessary workforce insights and analytics, and creating a connected and agile workplace that has resulted in the fact that today we know what exactly you need to do as a remote manager during an uncertain time like this.
The Art of Communication
Communication is one of the most important aspects when it comes to managing remote teams. For a lot of industry leaders, this new mode of communication will require true intent and real focus to learn. This means team leads and managers will need to take time and give thought in creating a set up for video conferences for connecting with distant teammates in a more friendly manner. The idea is to get as close as possible to give your team a feeling that everyone is together once again!
Bonus Tip: For teams that require a lot of collaboration we at NexAEI recommend using Microsoft Teams. This tool has been helping us by providing real-time communication and context through chat history.
Leveraging the Right Kind of Technology
As remote working is all about collaboration, you must develop a norm whereby every member of your team starts using the same tool for collaboration. On top of that reducing the tool stack will help to minimize any confusion among team members and it will also ensure that everyone has easy access to documents, policies, messages, and protocols.
An important thing to keep in mind when going remote is the fact that you cannot fret and fume about glitches on the internet. It goes without saying that with a huge number of employees now increasingly relying on home internet services, bandwidth is going to be pushed harder than before because some of them may not be equipped to handle this sudden influx.
Bonus Tip: While working remotely, what is said verbally is inconsistent with what is communicated through body language. This creates a scope of miscommunication. Therefore, we advise you to use your laptop camera while at video conferences so that you don’t miss the subtle non-verbal cues and behaviors of your teammates, especially when someone is confused.
Emphasizing on Work/Life Balance
As leaders, it is our responsibility to be able to model a healthy work/life balance for our teams. As the home has become the new workplace, for many of your teammates it will be hard to sperate work and personal life.
Avoiding any form of communication about work after the shift hours. Because any communication beyond the shift hours sends across the idea that you are expecting your team to work 24×7, which is not the case! You should also encourage your teams to take frequent breaks and take a walk in the balcony and get some fresh air.
Bonus Tip: It is always welcoming for your teammates if you can make sure that they feel it OK if their toddler makes an appearance on a video call, or if they need to reschedule a call for any urgent family work.
The COVID-19 crisis demands that organizational leaders step up and help their teammates to focus on the essential that can be achieved only through proper communication and collaboration. As a leader, you must remind your team that you are always around to help and support them to succeed. This is an important function for all leaders and managers, whether that is done in-person or virtually!