Author: Asif Chowdhary, CEO, PerfectQue
The information I am sharing is not just thoughts that are being written what I am sharing is what we have been practicing for the last four years with our Team in Central Europe. Let's look at some of the challenges remote teams face and how you can minimize their impact.
Some of the Challenges listed by Harvard Business Review Article include:
- Lack of face-to-face supervision
- Lack of Access to information
- Social Isolation
- Distractions at home
I would like to add a few more challenges to this as majority of us have gone remote in the last few weeks due to COVID-19:
- Uncertainty of Future
- Financial Pressures
- Change in Habits
- Adjusting to a new Reality
How can you Support Your Remote Teams?
Some of the suggestions given by HBR article include:
- Daily Check-ins
- Provide Communication Technology Options
- Establish Rules of Engagement
- Provide Opportunities for Remote Social Interaction
- Offer Encouragement and Emotional Support
What has worked for Us?
Communication is the key when managing remote teams especially those off-shore and now we should include on-shore as well as everyone has gone remote. These meetings allow you to remain connected and any questions that your team might have can be answered in an open forum.
Any questions that require further discussion can be handled on a one-on-one basis.
Using Communication Technologies
If you are a small business there are a lot of tools such as Slack, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Viber which can keep you in touch with your team. These are difficult times for everyone so any communication that helps us stay positive and connected should be utilized.
Be Compassionate and Understanding
If you are too focused on getting things done and ignoring the human aspect of the current events you might have a negative impact on your teamâ€™s productivity. You have to let the team adjust to the new reality and set policies and procedures accordingly. This is the "New Normal" and everyone will adjust to the change.
For us, the key has been understanding and supporting our team who is executing our operational and strategic plans which are dynamic and evolving.
Communicate with Clarity
Since we don't have the luxury to turnaround and ask a question as a Manager or a Business owner who is responsible for a remote team it becomes essential that you communicate with clarity.
Controlling Information Shared
If there are tasks where every team member does not need to be involved then control the communication flow as unnecessary and unproductive group emails do not add value to the tasks that need to be executed.
Multitasking and Backups
One rule that has worked for us very successfully is ensuring that your team members especially those in the support role can multi-task. This is the time where you need team members who can wear different hats and let the ball rolling. Specialization is good but when it comes to maximizing your team efficiency and utilization you need team members who can execute multiple tasks.
Whether you are a small business, running a remote team or planning to move your team to work remotely or thinking about outsourcing, the challenges are real but not impossible. If executed well you can run a remote team successfully.
PerfectQue specializes building customer support/customer success teams in Europe that are integrated into your People, Process, and Products.
Published: Monday, May 4, 2020
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