Now that remote working has rooted itself firmly in most industries, rolling out strategies to make sure every remote employee that’s separated across locations and time zones can collaborate effectively is critical.
During the pandemic, when remote working became the norm, leaders were put under a lot of pressure to make sure business continued as usual while simultaneously adapting to remote management, which was a brand-new skillset for some.
With most Covid-related restrictions now removed, companies have discovered that flexibility in work practices was and still is key to successful remote working. Companies that have been quick to accept and adapt to flexible work practices saw teams who were happier and more productive in comparison to ones who tried to stick to a more traditional style and saw a mass exodus of talent.
One thing that’s for certain is allowing teams to decide their own approach to hybrid working benefits the company as well as the individual. So that your team is able to collaborate no matter where they work, here are 5 ways to boost the efficiency of a remote workforce.
5 Ways to Boost Remote Collaboration
#1 – Develop a remote onboarding process.
Whether you’re hiring new remote employees or transitioning existing employees to a remote set-up, make an event of the switch! Put together a packet or video with tips and tricks that will help every worker settle into their remote role.
During the first few weeks of their remote employment, make sure you establish regular contact with each individual and their direct supervisor or team. Every person should understand that there is a standard of open communication between everyone on the team. It might even be smart to establish a “buddy system” so that each employee has an additional contact besides their supervisor who they will feel comfortable speaking to about any issues that arise.
#2 – Use the right collaboration tools.
Depending on the size of your company, you’ll need to use a set of tools to help your team collaborate on a daily basis, especially if they are working across multiple time zones.
The right tools will enable your employees to remain aligned with the same goals while also giving them the ability to independently structure, brainstorm, create, and discuss new ideas that are relevant to their work. If you aren’t sure which tools are the best for your particular needs, check out our guide to the top-rated tools for remote productivity, including scheduling apps, team chat rooms, and more.
#3 – Maintain clear lines of communication.
Remote managers need to put in a lot of effort to set up and maintain strong lines of communication within their team. Moreover, communication must also be a priority among the company’s clients, investors, shareholders, etc.
Setting up an internal noticeboard, a monthly (or weekly) newsletter, and regular check-ins with anyone that needs to be kept informed is vital. While team updates can be discussed on weekly team calls, it’s wise to also set up a monthly benchmarking system where all corners of the business can report their progress or share wins.
#4 – Set a regular schedule for each employee.
When possible, it’s important to make sure you and your team stay on track with a consistent work schedule. This will help make it easier for team members who may be working across different time zones to know when each person will be available.
Every employee’s schedule should be clear and visible to all team members. While you may allow your employees some flexibility when it comes to their start and end times, there should be some understanding of regularity as to when they’re available each day.
#5 – Create social events that can be attended virtually.
Last but not least, building rapport among remote employees is an essential part of a successful team, but it can be challenging to do so without the opportunity to meet in person. If all of your team members live in different locations, the best way to strengthen their bond and develop solid relationships among them is to organize virtual social events.
Whether you host virtual trivia, coordinate virtual “coffee chats,” or throw mini birthday parties for each other, there are hundreds of ways to virtually gather your team members and socialize beyond normal work hours.