Switching from an on-premise environment to a remote environment has multiple benefits like lower overhead, happier employees, fewer distractions, and more.
According to Owllabs,
“The top reasons remote workers choose to work remotely include: better work-life balance (91%), increased productivity/better focus (79%), less stress (78%), and avoiding a commute (78%).”
If we say in context to the above statistics, most of the employees want to work beyond the office walls, and they are more productive by working remotely.
But it is also true that managing a remote team is quite difficult. Lots of challenges come into the picture when we think to implement remote working in our businesses. Like communication breakdowns, team collaboration, employees’ productivity, and measuring their performance, all get affected.
Here are the two most common challenges that businesses usually face while working remotely.
1. Communication and Collaboration
Employees and managers both face communication gap as there is no face to face interaction. Managers think that employees may not be working hard or serving the customers efficiently as they do at the workplace. On the other hand, employees struggle with less access to files and are not able to get full managerial support. When businesses work remotely, it is not easy to foster open communication.
2. Tracking Work and Performance
If you are asked how much your employees are putting effort into performing tasks, then you might not have a clear answer. Measuring employees’ works and productivity is difficult to analyze. This is also a big challenge that you might face when implementing remote teams.
Everyone faces challenges when they start implementing new strategies and change their work culture. But it doesn’t mean you should not try to change the ongoing business scenarios. The challenges which we have discussed above can be easily overcome if you take care of some key considerations while implementing remote work culture. Let’s find out how businesses can manage their remote teams or staff.
3. Decide Team Tasks
From the very first day of remote work, your employees or agents should know clearly about your expectations from them. Also, some kinds of limitations are necessary to streamline agents’ work, like required number of working hours in a day or per week, task deadlines, etc.
Defining rules and setting conditions can streamline the tasks and can act as a guideline for the employees. Through this you will know what your team has done in a month; otherwise, you will be wondering what everyone has done.
Also, a research by owllalbs showed that,
“35% of respondents agree that remote work provides more opportunities for quality employment.”
4. Invest in Tool & Tech
There are so many solutions available that can help you to manage your remote employees. As we all are aware of cloud technology and its multiple benefits, implement cloud communication solutions in your business for effective business operations. Hosted cloud PBX solutions like cloud telephony ensure effective real-time monitoring where managers easily get to know about agents’ performance and track activity through advanced analytics.
Also, all the required information will be available within the cloud that every agent can access from anywhere, anytime. VoIP telephony solutions help businesses to be on the same page and ensure a smooth and cost-effective communication network.
5. Conduct Meetings
Meetings are crucial for managing geographically dispersed teams. So that no agent will feel isolated or in case of a tough task, he/she can easily reach out to his/her teammates and manager. Meetings help to keep the team connected and engaged while working from different locations.
Cloud communication solution has an advanced feature of call conferencing that enables you to conduct a virtual meeting with several participants at once. You can do both audio and video calls while deciding to have a meeting. Meetings are the easiest way to collaborate with your team and discuss their doubts and problems that might occur in the middle of some tasks.
Also, you can personalize your business process by doing one –on- one meetings. Start with individual agent meetings to know more about them. This would help you find out where your team is lacking in fulfilling customers’ needs and what problem they are facing when serving customers.
6. Motivate Your Team
The most common problem that occurs in remote working is that agents feel less motivated and isolated from their teams. It is totally up to you how you motivate your agents and how to keep them connected with every team member.
There are several ways to do this; you can organize games and quizzes on a weekly basis; this boosts agents’ energy and morale. Also, rewards are a good way to keep agents motivated and productive during their work hours. Give recognition to employees who do their tasks well and motivate others to do the same.
7. Emphasize feedback
To make the business process smooth and streamline, getting employees’ feedback is an important aspect. As a manager, you must take the required steps so that agents can perform well. But you can only imagine the problems agents might face; only agents can tell you the real scenarios and problems. So, it is important to collect feedbacks from customers and work upon the same to remove bottlenecks from the business process.
8. Stay Accessible
As a manager, your responsibility is to assist your team whenever they are needful. Define your availability timings and encourage your team to reach you out in case of any doubts. This will help you to make your agents happier and more focused on their work so that they are able to resolve their issues instantly.
Remote working ensures business continuity even in the time of crisis. So, to ensure effective remote teams, follow the above steps so that your business doesn’t face challenges of team collaboration, lack of data sharing, or less motivated agents.