Effective Tips for Remote Teams

February 06, 2019

Work today is increasingly tied to productivity rather than physical space. On average, approximately 5% of workers in U.S. work remotely, according to HR Dive.

Colorado has the highest percentage of remote workers at 7.9%, whereas Mississippi rates last at 2.2%. Among the cities, Boulder, Colorado ranked first with a percentage of 14.9%. California contains the highest number of remote-work jobs, whereas Hawaii has the least.

One of the drawbacks of a remote work position are feelings of seclusion or lack of camaraderie with fellow employees. Try these tips for keeping your remote team together –

Communicate Effectively and Regularly

Focus on strong soft skills on the part of management and yourself. Without good communication, leadership and interpersonal relationships trust diminishes and a company’s success will suffer.

Get to know your team. What motivates one may not motivate another. This will require listening with intent to hear not respond. Only 7% of communication is verbal- getting to know remote workers will require additional effort.

Schedule regular check-ins and events outside of work with calendar invites. Just remember that not everyone is in the same time zone. Reference all time zones in calendar invites.

Here is another suggestion for workers in multiple regions, video conference “remote happy hours”. Team building without “work” focus builds stronger connections.

Do not forget to communicate Core Values. No one can live up to un-communicated values and standards. Sustained Quality Group employees receive a pocket card that contains SQG Core Values and AP Principles:

SQG Core Values:

Professional:  Appearance and Action.

Dedicated:  Never Giving Up.

Trustworthy:  High Ethical Standards.

SQG AP Principles:

Appearance of Our People:  A dress code that meets or exceeds our customer’s standards.

Aptitude of Our People:  Our people know what they are doing for the tasks at hand.

Activity of Our People:  Everyone is active and focused on the job at hand to meet the objectives.

Use Positive Reinforcements

Thank you goes a long way. Remember to let every team member know what efforts you appreciated for the month. You will be rewarded with improved work ethic and productivity.

Ensure performance goals are documented and transparent by creating a shared doc that displays measurements and rewards based on completion of tasks and how well they met agreed upon deadlines.

Set reminders for any and all positive reinforcements and rewards.

Learn Alternative Tools and Techniques

With the multitude of apps and tools available to remote workers today, it can feel like you are in the office interacting with coworkers when you are remote.

These tools can include email, file sharing, cloud storage, instant messaging platforms and screen sharing software.

There are plenty of free chat tools to accomplish and maintain open channels of communication. One popular tool is Slack, a chat room for remote teams that can be used to greet each other, generate ideas, leave feedback, share stories, announce events and send reminders.

In Conclusion

Even though collocation is becoming less common place, do not eliminate face time entirely. Nothing beats getting everyone together face to face. You will build more rapport in a few days of team work in person than months of remote efforts.

These gatherings may be pricey at times, but the ROI is very high. The energy from these gatherings is always high and provides a unique opportunity to have big discussions around culture, vision, and the company or team’s future that would be difficult to do with people spread throughout the region.