Three Helpful Tips for Remote Worker Success
Remote work teams are becoming more common every day in our fast-changing world. Technology has made it possible for team members to work remotely; company remote work policies have become a major recruitment and retention tool for top talent. Are you thinking about setting up a remote work policy for your company or adding team members to your virtual team? Not everyone enjoys working remotely and not everyone is a good candidate to work remotely. Here’s how to set your remote work teams up for success.
You can build a successful team by following these guidelines to put the right people in the right place. Some people are best suited for working onsite in the office while others really shine at working remotely. Here are 3 tips for selecting the right people for the right position and management tips to maximize the potential that you will have the best possible outcome.
- Select disciplined and self-motivated individuals
- Before you place someone into a remote position, make sure they have the proper self-control and are self-directed. Working away from the office presents a whole new set of distractions, especially for someone with a home office. Web-surfing, phone calls, television, errands to run, family members, friends and pets who would like some attention – the undisciplined worker can get distracted very easily. If possible, have your team members work in the office for a few months before being assigned offsite; if they have challenges meeting their goals in the office then working remotely may not be a good fit for them. An added benefit of having them work in the office before being assigned to work remotely is that they will build a relationship with their supervisor and team members, making it easier for them to reach out once they are working remotely.
- Create connection
- Help build relationships between team members that are in the office and team members that are working remotely. One of the primary keys of successful virtual team is connection. Team members need to feel connected to the work, to their supervisor and to the other members on their team. Even the most independent of remote workers need to feel they are not just out there, floating around in space, all alone. Remote workers can develop feelings of isolation that make them feel undervalued and powerless in organizations that still emphasize the traditional employment model. Make an effort to create a remote-friendly atmosphere by engaging your remote employees via technology. Try using project management tools (i.e. Asana, Basecamp, Trello or Teamwork) to help remote and traditional employees work together to complete projects and achieve goals. Break away from relying on email for collaboration and try using project management and video conferencing that allows your entire team to interact in real-time. Everyone should have access to the same technology and use it as part of their daily routine.
- Set realistic and consistent expectations
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- Managers can help remote employees succeed by implementing technology that encourages accessibility, open communication and collaboration. Despite the challenges involved in making your teams feel valued and connected, you can successfully integrate remote workers into your team while enjoying increased productivity and cost-saving benefits.
- People who are successful remote workers are diligent and focused on productivity; they will want to make sure you know they are producing and not slacking off. This internal sense of over-responsibility can create a situation where they become worn out from pressuring themselves too much. As a manager, make sure they are not working too hard; you don’t want to burn them out. Make it clear that you understand they are not available for work 24/7. Make a special effort to interact with your remote team members; take an interest in them as human beings and show them you want them to succeed at every level.