According to Fundera, more than 3.7 million people perform at least half of their work remotely.
As telecommuting becomes more popular than ever, there is a good chance that members will not share the same position.
How can you keep them all well connected? Using Cloud Solutions?
Here are a few practical ways.
Your first step: Get ready to move to the cloud
Businesses can benefit by allowing their employees to telecommute.
A common mistake is to jump straight into cloud-based operations without doing any homework at first. Managing remote team members will be much easier when you first prepare.
Once your cloud solutions are ready, you can follow these tips to make communication easier:
Maintain a consistent set of # 1 criteria
Start everyone on the right foot by applying a clear, consistent standard for everyone.
Develop a standard operating system It’s easy for everyone to follow and make sure your rules are consistent across the board. It will be much easier to keep your team members focused.
In addition to setting standards, you must make everyone aware of them. You can do this through online training sessions and making sure everyone has the same materials.
# 2 Written words promote an awareness
When people work from a distance, they communicate primarily through written words. The problem with this is that emails, memos and other forms of written communication are easily misunderstood.
With written words, you can’t hear people’s voices or read their body language. So one person can interpret something the same way, another will look at it completely differently.
Emphasize the importance of choosing words carefully from your employees. Emphasize the need to read and re-read written letters before hitting the “send” button.
Finally, come up with some best practices for resolving any disputes over misinterpretation of written communication.
# 3 Encourage building relationships
In a brick-and-mortar setting, workers can share jokes and hang out around water coolers. This is not always possible if people are not in the same physical position.
It’s hard for people to get to know each other and build relationships that will encourage good teamwork.
This means that individuals will need creativity to connect with each other on a personal level.
If your staff is close enough, you can Schedule periodic private meetings or training sessions To help them get to know each other.
When they are scattered far and wide, this may not be possible. In that case, you’ll need to focus on phone calls instead of texting and video conferencing instead of email. You can also encourage them to connect through social media.
Try not to over-schedule your employee time. That way, they can relax when making phone calls, and feel comfortable enough to even start small talk.
# 4 Manage well but do not micromanage
Your actions as a manager will largely determine how your team members interact with each other. When you maintain an online presence, your employees are less likely to return to their shells.
But what you don’t want to do is micromanage. Like a physical office, micromanaging lowers morale. People will not build relationships if they have low morale or constantly hear others complain about how things are going.
Knowing how much to communicate and when to be smart, but you must maintain the right balance.
This may require testing on your part. You may find that some employees have more questions and therefore need to hear from you more often. If so, you need to change your management style accordingly.
# 5 Give employees the right tools
Make sure everyone has access to all the tools they need to get the job done. This could be through the use of project management software, a shared drive folder, or other online tools.
Consideration Adding a cloud-based schedule and management tools To help everyone keep track of deadlines, individual tasks, etc.
The right tools will not do very well if employees do not understand how to use them.
For this you may need distance training sessions from time to time. You can even walk an instructor or an employee through certain software via Skype or chat.
# 6 Deliver work effectively
You don’t try to do everything yourself in a brick-and-mortar position. Yet assignment is an issue that many managers struggle with when their employees telecommute.
Remember that to work efficiently, You have to assign work from time to time.
Start with small tasks and then gradually assign more responsibilities to people who have proven themselves responsible. Be sure to follow-up so that those you submit to know that they are being held accountable.
Be sure to leave a positive feedback whenever someone successfully completes your assigned task.
# 7 Set up a clear chain
Group projects can be easily delayed if an individual experiences a problem.
Who will handle questions about the project or help with computer issues?
What if they face an emergency and can’t complete their task or meet deadlines?
Make sure your staff knows who to call and what to do if they encounter a problem. Ideally, this should be someone other than you, such as a supervisor or an IT manager.
People should only contact you as a last resort whenever they cannot solve the problem in any other way.
Remember that some people want to fight certain things because they do not want to bother others. This means you need to emphasize the importance of communicating with the chain rather than trying to solve the problem personally.
# 8 Encourage some friendly competition
Nothing like a little friendly competition will motivate your employees. Let your employees compete against each other for top sales, maximum new leads or maximum productivity.
Set up a leader board To let everyone know how they are doing and to encourage them to do more.
You should do more than just encourage competition. See that you reward your employees for a good job.
Perhaps you can announce the winners during your video conference or online meeting. Show everyone the rewards, whether it’s a financial bonus, a gift card or some merchandise.
When everyone sees that the award is real, they will be more likely to work on it next time. Just make sure everyone else gets a small boost, otherwise, your employees may treat each other as competitors and nothing more.
Ashley Wilson A digital nomad writing about business and technology. She is known for quoting Harry Potter in casual conversations and enjoys baking homemade food for her husband and their two cats, Lady and Gaga. You can communicate through Ashley Twitter.