The pandemic forced many business owners to leave behind a traditional office setup and go all-in with leading remote teams. It accelerated the “work from home” trend, making this the “new normal” rather than an exception to the rule.
This shift meant a whole new way of working had to be established by business leaders – something that many felt would lead to reduced productivity and weaker team bonds.
However, for the companies applying the right tools and attitude, remote working continues to be a huge hit. In fact, 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when they’re working from home.
In this article, we’re sharing 5 key priorities for MDs who have remote teams to ensure your business thrives in the face of change (and your life remains headache-free in the process!).
1) Trust your people
People are empowered by freedom and autonomy. When you believe in your employees, they will be motivated to go the extra mile. So, while it can feel scary to release control, leading without micromanaging is essential.
Of course, you should still set clear goals, share instructions and request progress updates, but also allow your staff members the space to be innovative and creative. You will be surprised by the results!
The 4-day workweek is a good example of granting people greater flexibility and being rewarded with increased productivity, reduced employee turnover and a happy, healthy workforce.
“76% of workers say they would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours.” (Small Biz Genius)
Pro tip: Concentrate on outputs rather than the details of each and every input.
2) Be more human
When building a thriving remote team, you need to put relationships before tasks.
Here are some key ways to do this:
- Encourage employees to invest in their health and wellness
- Address social isolation challenges by having dedicated communication channels for personal topics and organising virtual activities
- Facilitate opportunities for deeper connection around people’s struggles, emotional challenges and individual wins
- Listen to feedback and proactively address it
- Help people create boundaries between work and home life
“If you’re used to seeing your colleagues or customers every day, feelings of isolation can creep in remarkably quickly. This new remote working environment can also affect focus, a sense of team and creativity… if we are to help our teams stay healthy, happy and ultimately productive, we have to recognize and manage the high-stress environment that remote working can create for many people.” (Jane Sparrow, The Culture Builders)
3) Provide the right tools
Your team must feel confident and equipped to perform. Getting the right technology in place helps you do that. Collaborative tools and automation software exist to make everyone’s lives easier and drive superior results by eliminating bottlenecks and keeping staff focused on one central place – your digital workspace.
Whether you need support with operational workflows, employee and customer onboarding, comms processes, task management, customer support and more, smart software is your best friend in boosting productivity.
Pro tip: Make sure everyone is trained on a shared platform (to promote collaboration) and consider extras like a team calendar, video meeting space and open document storage too.
4) Be transparent about goals
Keeping everyone focused on the right goals with transparent tracking is essential for remote working because it motivates employees by enabling them to see and understand how they are contributing to the broader organisation’s success.
During disruptive times (like during a pandemic!), we recommend setting flexible shorter-term goals that can be updated as trends and the market evolve. Showing your people a clear path forward also helps minimise stress during times of fear and uncertainty.
5) Leverage a global workforce
It can be easy to get lost in the potential pitfalls when making big changes to how you do business, but it’s equally important to revel in the incredible opportunities.
When you have a remote team, you can hire people from anywhere in the world! This means:
- Employees covering different time zones (for round-the-clock productivity)
- Access to local knowledge in different countries
- Diversity of thought for problem-solving
- A well-rounded team with a wide range of skill sets
Embracing the new normal
Remote working is here to stay, so it’s important for leaders to prioritise investing in their team’s success while working from home.
During a time of great uncertainty and change, you must take a people-first approach without forgetting the foundations for achieving team productivity and long-term business growth.
If you need support with the technology behind many of these processes, we are here to help. Our industry-leading, cloud-based CRM workflow software enables you to apply customised automations that streamline business processes so that you can reap the rewards of managing a diverse, adaptable and productive remote team.