There can be many reasons why employers of today are shifting to remote teams. One of those could be that it gives them the flexibility to hire and retain talent across different geographical locations. Other reasons could be providing location flexibility, or simply it’s their way or the offices need to be shut for some reason. However, taking away the office and sending off employees to work remotely is not an easy undertaking. It requires significant planning and preparation. It’s vital that managers believe their employees will remain focused on their job and not slack. Here are some of our go-to tips to make the transition from office to remote work easier:
- Remote work policy: Before transitioning a team to remote work, it’s important for leaders to set clear expectations on how their teams should communicate, record decisions, and collaborate.
- Right tools: Team collaboration and communication can become messy and disconnected quickly if managers aren’t careful. Therefore, it’s important to have all the tools in place to support remote workers before making the switch.
- Schedule meetings: If your team is transitioning to remote work, it’s important to schedule recurring one-on-one meetings where you ask employees if there’s anything you can do to support them.
- Feedback is important: Regular feedback can be easily forgotten when you’re not with your team in person, but it is critical for remote team success, and virtual meetings can be just as effective.
- Build trust: The demand for remote work isn’t going away, and team leaders that don’t trust their employees will find transitioning to remote work difficult. Don’t assume that your employees haven’t been working. Instead, check-in with them and ask if they’re struggling with something and if the expectations were clearly set.
- Cyber security: It’s important to have an information security policy in place before transitioning to remote work. Sensitive information should be stored in a secure cloud storage platform and a virtual private network (VPN) is recommended when connecting to public networks.
- Set boundaries: Working from home can quickly blur the boundaries between work life and home life. Therefore, it’s essential to remind your team to maintain a balance between “work-life” and “home-life” when they’re working from home. And of course, as a leader, you should set the example.
- Get comfortable with video calls: Some things are better said in person than over text, and video calls are the next best thing when your team can’t physically work together.
- Encourage social time and team bonding: Remember to create opportunities for casual conversations. You may not always want to talk about work with your team mates.