The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of to change across the world. Many experts are predicting that the world will never be the same after the pandemic. One of the changes is the requirement to work remotely if your business is not providing essential services.
However, most businesses were not ready to work remotely. As a result, no strategies and plans were in place to manage teams who work from home. What are some of these ways that organisations can apply to manage teams working remotely effectively? This article looks at some of these strategies:
Establish a structured daily check-in and check-out:
Maintain your working hours and/or flexible working hours, but establish a way for your team to check-in when they begin work. This can be via a WhatsApp text saying they are now online and available. It can be via Slack. It may be all idea to check-in via video call once every while. Use this time to communicate the goals or plans for the week or month. Where necessary, also communicate your strategy to the team.
If a steam member takes a break, they must also check-out so that the rest of the team can know that they are not available for calls or customer requests.
At the end of the day, also have a check-out method via the same channels. The purpose of checking-out is to make sure that the plans of the day have been executed and any that is not executed is understood and carried forward. This also gives staff time to reflect on the day and identify where they have lost time and this will help them plan for the next day.
Provide communication channels:
You will need to be in regular communication with your team. This is important to enable and ensure that team collaboration does not stop. It is also important because working remotely can get lonely. Some of your staff members are staying alone during the lockdowns and times of isolation.
Establish the channels and technologies that you and your team will be using to communicate during this time and remote working. You can use Zoom or Google Meets for your video calling. You can use WhatsApp or Slack for internal chat messages. You can also use email for internal and external communications. Also, make use of digital apps that allow you to transfer phone calls to individual team members from wherever they are.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” It is in your best interests to encourage collaboration during these times and beyond. Also, it is important to make sure you build a culture of trust within your organisation without which team-work can never exist.
Establish some rules of operation:
You need order while your team is working remotely. Establish set rules around what time work starts, what time people should check-in and check-out for the day, and establish the format and manner through which reports should be submitted.
Have a way of tracking work that is complete and uncompleted for the day, week or month and make sure that there are responsibility and accountability checks for this work. One way of doing so is using such tools like ASANA, TRELLO and Monday.com. You can still work in teams but each member of the team must still be responsible and accountable for their work. These accountability and responsibility lines should not be obscured.
Add some fun moments in the day and encourage your team:
You know that all work and no play makes us all gloomy. Find ways keeping team members entertained or motivated. This can be in the form of starting your day in song or by what some are calling “positivity calls” where each or one of the team members start the day by sharing a positive story. Take time to call or text your team members and find out how they are doing and coping under the circumstances.
Your team may be looking for you via various forms of communication channels that you have established. Let them know what times you are available to them. Most communication channels will have icons that will show them your status, do not forget to update this. Check your WhatsApp at regular intervals so that your team does not feel neglected.