Using Information to Manage a Remote Team

Working from home has a number of benefits, such as not having to commute, having increased autonomy over one’s schedule, and being able to work in comfortable clothing. However, it can also present challenges that may not be immediately apparent.

Recent changes in working practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic have brought new challenges for teams and their supervisors. Previous data reveals that 66% of remote workers have encountered difficulties relating to isolation, work-life balance, teamwork and motivation. With the rapid transition to remote work, it’s likely that this figure has increased. It is essential that managers are equipped with the necessary resources to successfully manage the modern virtual workplace.

At Works, we analyse communication patterns to provide managers with actionable insights that enhance team cooperation, work-life wellbeing, and a sense of belonging. Our analytics enable managers to gain a deeper understanding of their virtual team dynamics and identify potential issues in a timelier manner. This is achieved without processing any text from sources such as email, IM, and calendars.

Please allow me to provide three suggestions backed by empirical evidence for enhancing teamwork and internal communication among managers:

Improve Your Group’s Conversations

Effective communication is essential to the success of remote teams. As more employees are now working from home, teams need to be increasingly reliant on digital communication methods, such as email. Research has demonstrated that email is the most effective way of communicating with remote colleagues.

  • Email (88%)
  • Texting in real time (45%)
  • Teleconferencing (36%); sometimes known as videoconferencing

Managers should create appropriate communication pathways in order to define the necessary requirements for success in the current remote working environment.

Don’t just choose any method of contact; pick the best one for the job.

When engaging in online conversations and electronic correspondence, it is important to remain professional and focus on providing objective facts rather than engaging in opinion or advice sharing. Video and voice chat can be used to better display empathy and lighten the mood with humour. However, this does not mean that electronic mail and chat applications should be dismissed; instant messaging services such as Slack can be a great tool to stay in contact with your team when working remotely.

Monitor how much time you and your team spend using written and spoken communication, and for what objectives. Take appropriate action and implement new procedures.

Don’t rely on instant messaging constantly.

Using asynchronous communication, such as email and chat, can be beneficial in many contexts as it can help teams to become more efficient and focused on their tasks. Asynchronous communication is especially useful for those who are working from home or in different time zones. To ensure optimal productivity and collaboration, it is important to plan effectively and strike a balance between asynchronous and real-time interaction.

Embrace novel practises.

Employees who transition to remote working can sometimes experience feelings of isolation and lack of preparedness. As a team, it is important to maintain a positive business culture and embrace any new practices that may arise. With the current tools available, staying in touch and engaging with digital communities is easier than ever before. Why not arrange a video chat coffee break for employees to communicate individually or organize a team lunch meeting? Even small gestures such as these can make a big difference in terms of morale for remote employees.

Maintain consistent communication with your staff.

Regular one-on-one meetings are an effective way of monitoring staff progress. It is commonplace for successful managers to check in with their teams on a daily basis to ascertain how things are progressing and provide support where necessary via daily calls.

Provide constructive criticism

It is essential that teams working remotely place great emphasis on expressing gratitude and giving praise regularly. Such expressions of appreciation can not only help to build self-esteem, but also make remote workers feel valued and recognised. Every day, we can all take the opportunity to offer and receive encouragement through our words, expressions and tones of voice.

Timing Considerations for Exhibits

Our research into working from home revealed that more than a third of workers with children would prefer their boss to seek their opinion on when meetings should take place.

Managers can utilise technological tools to determine when their staff are available to collaborate, allowing them to create a more efficient and considerate schedule.

Managers may earn their teams’ trust and demonstrate that they care about them by taking the time to learn about their individual situations.

Make sure you’re always taking the temperature of your team.

The importance of People Analytics in providing timely and impartial insights is paramount, particularly in light of the increasing significance of digital communication.

Gone are the days of monitoring team cohesion and employee sentiment through informal conversations and anonymous surveys. With many employees now working remotely and fearful of the potential repercussions of voicing their opinions, it has become increasingly difficult to gain an accurate insight into the wants and needs of the workforce.

Managers can utilise technology to compensate for the diminished leadership opportunities that arise with remote working. By collecting empirical data to gauge the team’s sentiment, leaders can take prompt action to enhance team cohesion and morale.

At Works, we have implemented a system which notifies a supervisor when a team’s meeting hours reach a specified limit. This allows managers to avoid excess scheduling of meetings, allowing their teams to focus on their primary duties.

Data can also be used by managers to assess how well new hires are integrated into the organisation. For example, if new recruits are less socially engaged than other team members, managers should take steps to close the gap. By having this insight, supervisors may place increased emphasis on the onboarding and retention processes for new staff members.

Capable Virtual Administration

Remote working offers many advantages; however, it can also present certain challenges. To ensure your distributed team is able to benefit from increased collaboration, productivity and work-life balance, it is important to leverage data to improve the remote work experience. With the correct habits and technology in place, remote working can be a rewarding and successful experience, regardless of whether you are an experienced remote team leader or just getting started.

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