During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S Chamber of Commerce is urging employers to embrace remote working. The Greater Arlington Chamber understands managing employees working from home is a transition for many businesses. During this time, we would like to provide resources to effectively conduct remote teams.
Addressing Challenges & Assumptions – Many leaders are slow to accept remote working. They fear team members won’t be productive or that communication will be ineffective. The truth is that managing remote teams is perfectly possible, and it can be a great decision for businesses. Leadership must move past the mindset that working remotely is doomed to fail.
In fact, telecommuting is a growing workplace trend that many businesses successfully adopt. According to Global Workplace Analytics, regular at-home work has increased by 173% since 2005. It is no wonder why businesses are embracing telework to remain competitive because the demand is there. About 80% of employees want to work from home, and both Millennials and Baby Boomers ranked flexibility as important for workplaces.
Manage Communication – Just as you would for any other employee, leaders must make sure to set clear expectations, goals and deadlines for people working from home. In addition to chat tools, leaders should make sure to check-in with their remote employees frequently to answer questions and offer feedback.
Create Processes – Managing remote teams starts with strong leadership and inclusive processes. Even if only one member of a team is working remotely, you are still managing a remote team. Please remind every team member to be thoughtful and considerate when creating a virtual office. It is everyone’s responsibility to make information accessible for remote workers whether it’s hosting video conferences or allowing people to call into in-person meetings.
Utilize Digital Resources – Part of creating a virtual office understands what resources are available to you. Businesses of any size can take advantage of the following free resources.
Trello – Trello helps employees keep track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details. Trello is a free list-making tool that can help teams track progress on projects.
Zoom – Zoom is a free video-conferencing tool to host virtual meetings or webinars. It is user-friendly and allows screen sharing. Free users can host 100 participants maximum for group meetings that can last 40 minutes.
Skype – Skype is a free video-conferencing tool that also allows instant messaging, call recording and live subtitles. Paid users can any number, regardless of whether they have a skype account.
Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Teams is a communication platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings and file storage.
Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts is a free software for instant messaging or video chat.
Other Google platforms – With a free Google account, users can access Google Docs, Google Slides and Google Sheets. These platforms provide an easy way to collaborate with employees from anywhere.