It was March 2020 when the pandemic hit the globe, and within a night, it was declared a lockdown across the different parts of the world. While we were heading into the pandemic, major IT companies, banking, financial companies, and firms from almost every domain switched to WFH (Work from Home). Remote Team Management
Unfortunately, many of us had not implemented remote working and did not know the tips for leading and managing the remote team. We at PixelCrayons did specific research by discussing with managers and carved out clear remote work policies.
Stats says that more than 4.3 million people in the USA work remotely, which is 3.2% of the workforce. So, how do they manage? While many employers agree that remote workers tend to be more productive, the surprising news is how much more. Remote workers saw an increase in productivity equivalent to an extra full day of work.
While being part of a remote team sounds innovative and empowering, the reality is that managing remote teams to keep them coordinated and on task can be difficult. The employees at PixelCrayons are fortunate to work with an extremely bright and dedicated team whose service is spread across the globe. The experience has taught our employees some best practices and insights into the future of work.
We discussed with our employees and colleagues and found that the most challenging thing they face when working remotely for a software outsourcing company is the communication gap. We have come with some tips for successful remote team management that have helped our team grow and be more productive and coordinated with co-workers.
1. Implement synchronous vs asynchronous messaging
Synchronous messaging means the channels and mediums such as the phone, video calls, and face-to-face meetings. Whereas, asynchronous includes email, slack, text, messaging apps, and anything where you get a chance to think and compose the reply before hitting the enter or send button.
You need to identify which between these two works best for your team as you may end up wasting your time on endless email chains, irrelevant conference calls, and annoying notifications fatigue. Don’t neglect this vital part, and you will witness the difference very soon.
2. Focus on outcomes, not the activity
Often, we have seen most of the companies focusing on the activity and number of hours their employees work. But, we at PixelCrayons never judge our employees on this parameter.
When employees work remotely, the entire team is distributed across multiple locations where you can not track and manage every aspect of their work. Instead, focus on the outcome and if the work allotted has been completed in the required time frame or no.
3. Assume good intentions from co-workers
We always say that think positive and be positive. The same thing goes for an organization when you work remotely. Emails can be crazy because there are no context clues like tone, body language, etc. People tend to interpret messages differently based on their mood or what they assume about the writer. Train your team to assume good intentions in each message.
It is the team leader’s job to take things in a positive way and spread positivity among team members. The employee does not really need to add an appropriate smiley after every text and search for the GIFs. All this is done to soften the tone of compact and straightforward messages. It will automatically save a significant amount of time and allow the team to focus on what they really need to.
4. Resource your team
At PixelCrayons, all the team leaders and managers know the technology they need to get the work done. We know what equipment and resources are necessary so that the employees can work without any hurdle.
All our managers and team leaders make sure that the employees are equipped with laptops, software, mobile devices, and high-speed internet connection. PixelCrayons has also provided WFH allowances to all its employees to set up and upgrade their workstation the way they wish.
If possible, try to provide allowances to your employees as anyways software development companies are flooding with profits during this pandemic.
5. Be flexible
Trust your team and allow them to be flexible. Everyone is facing the pandemic, and so are the employees. All the employees should have the freedom to work at their convenience. We at PixelCrayons focus on productivity and allow the employees to work at any time of the day.
Many companies force their employees to have complete 9 hours of shift and a certain level of productivity which somehow puts them in restriction and drives away their freedom. So, these tips and strategies for successful remote team management by PixelCrayons will prove to be really helpful when you implement them.
6. Stick to a routine
Consistency in keeping appointments is of utmost importance. When it comes to complex schedules across time zones, a disruption in calling hours will create chaos. Get consensus on a regular cadence of meeting times and make sure team members treat it as a priority.
We make sure that employees recognize that regular meeting times are the foundation for respectful play with others. It has infrequent exception requests and increased productivity for everyone.
7. Use video calls as a part of the meeting
Our mobile app development company feels that conducting meetings by keeping your videos on has a great and positive result afterward. We require video calls for every meeting. Meetings should be held from a quiet location with high-speed WiFi and headsets.
When team members professionally present themselves, it means fewer distractions and less wasted time while building rapport and increasing productivity. Especially when you are scheduling or conducting a meeting with foreign delegates or clients, a video call through Zoom or Google meet reflects your company’s reputation.
8. Help employees disconnect completely during the holidays
At PixelCrayons, we make it possible for employees to prepare for their free time in advance and temporarily hand over all responsibilities so that they can really loosen up and relax during their vacation.
In the meantime, each task is assigned to another employee within the team so that it does not remain in process or uncompleted. As part of the handover, the vacationer makes a short call with everyone who will cover him. Authority, timelines, and other items are documented in a shared record that others can access for quick guidance on who to contact.
Do not bother them by contacting them or texting them on communication tools like Skype or Teams. After vacation, the employees will be more proactive and more focused on their work.
Concluding Thought from the PixelCrayons Team
Though these tips sound simple but believe us, it becomes somehow tiresome when you will implement these within your organization. These are simple but not easy tips. What it requires is time, commitment, and consistency.
While we have shared some secret tips and strategies for successful remote team management, the heat and trial will continue till the WFH mantra ends. These were the tips and strategies which we have revealed with this blog.
We will love to hear your thoughts, either good or bad, to adopt the best practices from them for managing the remote workers.