The digital age has now become our lives. With the changes our world is facing today, we have become more reliant on communicating with each other online. Whether it’s calling your family members through Facetime or moving your entire business remote. Communicating online has become the number one method of communication.
Because of this, and of course the current pandemic, businesses are analyzing the benefits of a remote business. This is a huge shift for any business owner. Having a brick and mortar setup provides structure. You have a constant overview of your staff and what they’re doing at all times. Allowing your staff to work from home takes that away from you. However, the benefits highly out weigh the cons.
Communicating Online Only Means They’re Not Physically With You
Your team will always be connected with you somehow remotely. Whether that be through communication platforms, e-mails, or video meetings. You can still see them, talk to them, and delegate how you need to. Keep in mind that you should still have some aspect of face-to-face contact with your team. When you’re communicating online, that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
Remote employees can sometimes feel isolated or left out. You can’t completely replace the impact of team-building face-to-face. What you can do is encourage face-to-face contact, through video, with your team members. This gives them that sense of being connected even though they are not physically there.
Transitioning Your Team Remote Means Communicating Online
When it comes to communicating online, you can never over communicate. Especially when it comes to delegation of tasks. It’s important to ensure your team members are clear on what needs to get done. When you’re used to communicating face-to-face, in person, it can be difficult to ensure your point gets across as it needs to. Not only that, it’s very easy to get lost in what you’re doing. When it’s only you in your office space, it’s easy to forget you have a team! Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Institute regular check-ins with your team! You can have quick 10 minute meetings at the beginning of the day and catch-up with everyone. Schedule “water-cooler” talks where everyone has a coffee and a video chat. This will fill that social aspect of the workplace that many people miss when in a remote environment.
Above all else, the most important aspect of transitioning your team remote, is trust. Not only do you need to trust your team, they also need to trust you. It’s important during the time of transition that leadership is focusing on how to establish that trust aspect. This may even open up new roles within your company as you realize there needs to be additional items delegated. Entrust decisions to individuals or teams and improve transparency by constantly communicating. This will also help hold members of your team accountable when they need to be.
Some companies have Friday pizza day for their team or bring in donuts for everyone in the morning. This doesn’t work so well in a remote aspect, of course. However, you can still capture this essence while your team is remote. How? Send them swag! Shirts, pens, gift cards, stuffed animals with your logo, anything you can think of that would show your appreciation for your team.
While you may think it’s silly, these small gestures go a long way towards employee productivity and retention.
Set The Right Expectations
Your team meetings should continue consistently as they always have. You want to keep as much of your structure as you can to not cause any issues within your team. These meetings provide valuable feedback to each member of your team. If you’re providing feedback in one off messages or during check-in meetings, the information can easily be lost. Meeting with your team members through video is much more effective and makes your team feel valued.
When you’re away from an office and team environment, it’s easy to feel detached. Having these regular meetings helps you know where your team is stuck, what’s working, and what’s not. Without these valuable insights, how can you successfully manage your team? That’s why communicating online is crucial to the success of transitioning your team online.
Listen To Feedback
When you meet with your team, put plans in place for how their role is structured from an online perspective. Get they’re feedback on working online and listen. Listening to the feedback your team provides makes them feel valued. While you may not be able to act on all the feedback your team provides, the items you can act on will make a big difference. You can also find out from them what tools and technology work best for them. This could become a discovery for you as well, discovering tools that make your business more effective online.
Once you have the feedback from your team, build out those expectations for them. Let them know what the structure looks like and what is expected from each of them. Hammer in what their work hours are. When you work from home, it’s easy to just keep working. Structuring this empowers your team to know, they can stop working at this time.
The most important aspects of moving your business remote are trust, communication, and your team themselves. Some people are not capable of working remotely. It’s important to understand who’s going to be successful in this transition and who is not. Your team needs to buy-in and be setup for success during this transition to reduce the impact on your clients as much as possible.