We’ve seen how fast technology has come and because of that, people from different parts of the world can communicate in an instant at almost no cost. It’s a certainty that many more businesses will ditch the traditional brick-and-mortar office setting in pursuit of working from the comforts of their own homes or wherever employees choose to be.
Besides the cost savings, businesses are not limited to hiring staff based on location and can look for the best talent oceans away. However, this does come at a cost.
Whether it’s time zone difference or sensitivity issues, this transition will bring about unique challenges that a traditional office setting won’t have. Depending on the severity of the issues, it can cause tension between team members and greatly affect happiness and productivity.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some tips and tricks business owners and managers can apply in order to run a remote team efficiently.
Leveraging Simple Tools for Less Urgent Meetings
Most of us have been working in offices where face-to-face meetings were and are still the norm. Obviously, this would translate to video calls for remote teams. You get to feel a stronger connection between teammates and it’s easier to explain something in detail as compared to using e-mail.
However, for less urgent meetings like daily standups, most teams can go by using simple templates where employees are not faced with different time zone restrictions. This excel template for daily standup meetings allows your team members to fill their answers on Google Sheets and allows everyone to stay updated on each other’s progress.
Work Around Public Holidays and Celebrations
If you’re in America, you wouldn’t appreciate being bombarded with work e-mails and deadlines on Christmas. This rings true for your team members in Jakarta and Dubai too.
Keep an open mind regarding the national holidays of your team members, especially when they are associated with religious or cultural celebrations. Don’t be surprised to find out that their public holidays can span multiple days.
With this in mind, plan and organize ahead of time. Ask your teammates and employees when their public holidays are and try your best to accommodate them. Avoid having deadlines during or right after important holidays where possible.
This may be impossible for some clients, but your consideration will be appreciated amongst your team and they’ll be happy to find ways to work around it.
This is important, as having an absent (or unhappy) team member can really disrupt the flow of a project.
Mind the Words You Use
What’s simple English for you may be something of a higher level for someone from a different country. Use simple vocabulary where possible to eliminate any confusion. With remote working, you obviously don’t have the benefits of body language going in your favour, so make use of the emojis in your chats.
Water cooler talk should be welcomed in any work setting, but you need to be respectful towards your peers as certain remarks may be considered insensitive and deeply frowned upon in other countries, even though it’s completely fine in your country.
Be Generous With Positive Feedback
In an office setting, a boss’s smile would be enough to improve an employee’s mood. But when you’re working remotely, it’s not that easy.
Your employees would be pleased to have you say “thanks, you’ve been doing great!”. It makes them appreciated and motivates them to do better. It’s common for them to lose track of their vision of the company, but having an appreciative boss is a gentle reminder for them to remember why they are doing the things they do.