Managing an entirely remote workforce is a phenomenon that many Canadian businesses would have never imagined being tasked with. However, the past few months have forced companies across Canada to adjust to new work-from-home environments. One of the most important drivers of workplace productivity is the network of working relationships within an organization. This article will breakdown the key components of fostering successful relationships with remote working teams.
“One of the largest inhibitors of productivity and job satisfaction is stress. There are countless sources of workplace stress, from job position or title, the complexity of assignment, fast-approaching deadlines, to organizational structure.”
Lacking the lunch-room banter or water fountain small talk, remote work can be very isolating and lonely at times. That is why maintaining open lines of communication is key. This can be as simple as a quick text, email, or phone call. Regular communication is essential considering both business and personal fronts. Regarding work projects and tasks, it’s a good idea to use a platform that allows employees to access information quickly and easily. This will eliminate any delays or communication barriers that might otherwise interfere with productivity.
It’s no secret that you need to trust your team members in order for any kind of successful working relationship is built. Effectively employing a remote workforce requires an additional level of confidence in your team’s ability to perform their tasks because it heavily relies on their own individual self-direction and willingness to accomplish the task at hand. However, with increased trust and autonomy at work comes boosted motivation, satisfaction, and drive to do a good job. Thus, showing your employees that you trust them is important to establishing productive working relationships.
Clear Goals and Expectations
For your team to work productively, they must know exactly what is expected of them. This is especially important considering a remote team, as employees who are working out-of-office are more prone to feelings of isolation and lack of motivation. Regularly checking in with your team is a great way to ensure that they are on track and clear on their tasks. Scheduling frequent meetings and calls is one way to touch base with your staff to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Working from home can result in the lines between personal and professional life to become blurred. That is why, as an employer, it is important to take time to communicate the importance of self-care to your remote team. Educate your team on the importance of disconnecting, taking breaks, exercising, and dedicating time each day to cook healthy meals. In order to be productive and collaborative, we first need to be well-rested, nourished, and in a good mindset to tackle the workday.
The nature of remote work can sometimes cause it to feel impersonal or informal. Cultivating team engagement is a great way to keep your staff involved, interested, and motivated. It is useful to discuss individual gains and losses to allow employees the opportunity to share personal achievements and be recognized for their work. Identifying weaknesses is essential in order to fix what isn’t working and make improvements where necessary. Regularly asking for feedback is another effective way to foster engagement. Discussing with your team what is working and what isn’t will not only make everyone’s lives easier, but it will also show your staff that their opinions are valued.
Appropriate Task Delegation
Taking consideration to what your team members enjoy doing most is a smart idea. When we are granted the opportunity to work on something we enjoy, we are naturally more motivated and are more likely to do a good job. Taking the time to discuss with your employees their most favourite aspects of the job will give you a good sense of who should be working on what. Delegating tasks in this way is a key component to successful working relationships with remote teams because it will cultivate engagement, motivation, and overall job satisfaction for your remote workforce.
Get to Know Your Team
Particularly with a remote workforce, it’s important to establish a relationship with your team that is not only based on business matters. Because all physical interaction and office comradery is lost as your staff works from home, healthy working relationships can be cultivated through virtual office happy hours, weekly lunches, or virtual coffee chats. Getting to know your staff on a personal level will play a significant role in fostering strong and successful working relationships.
One of the largest inhibitors of productivity and job satisfaction is stress. There are countless sources of workplace stress, from job position or title, the complexity of assignment, fast-approaching deadlines, to organizational structure. As an employer, it’s important that you take steps to minimize the stress felt by your team. This means treating your staff with fairness and respect, setting reasonable deadlines, allowing appropriate room for discrepancies and human error, being clear about job responsibilities, and setting reasonable working hours. A less stressed workforce is a happier workforce and will contribute to more fruitful working relationships with your remote team.