Working from home is becoming the new normal and many managers are in the same boat. The world is changing rapidly and managers are forced to push forward and tackle the day-to-day and strategic challenges of managing a Remote team.
The concept of remote work from home is not new. It’s no secret that Millennials love working from home because of the increased flexibility of the working situation. According to a survey done by PWC, 64% of Millennials want a more flexible work schedule and 66% say they want to work fewer hours.
Millennials are thrilled to be working from home. As we move out of the global pandemic, you are likely to be met with resistance from your new remote team when it comes to working at the office again. 84% of leaders are looking to implement more flexible work policies post COVID.
Luckily we have lots of tips and tricks for managing a remote team.
Communication is an enormous factor to consider when it comes to remote work. With your team not operating face-to-face, you’ll likely to experience communication challenges. Effective communication helps you and your team avoid conflicts within your team. It can also help solve your customer’s issues in a timely manner. Companies are 3.5 times more likely to outperform competitors when effective communication programs are implemented.
So how do you communicate with your team when you are all working online?
You need to consider your employees’ communication styles. While some people will be very comfortable working from home in isolation, others will be stressed without the option for workplace socialization. There is work from home software that helps make the transition easier for your extroverted employees.
Many companies are gravitating towards work from home software like Zoom for video conferencing calls. It allows you to talk with multiple people at the same time and see your employees’ faces when they are working from home. They are also migrating their old legacy office phone systems to Virtual Business Telephone systems, where the service is on the cloud and allows for remote configuration such as managing call greetings, extensions, call forwarding all from a remote location.
Slack is a popular option for chatting and collaboration. It is a messaging platform where you can chat with any member of your team, send documents, and create project-specific chat groups. It is a great tool to duplicate your workplace culture online because you can incorporate emojis or GIFs into your conversations to show emotion. Creating a culture slack channel is a great idea to have “employee water cooler conversations” online, which will increase your employee morale.
Managing Meetings with your Remote Team
Without an office space, you’ll be left having all your meetings online. For important meetings like HR meetings, job interviews, or big team meetings, face to face communication can be a huge factor in gauging people’s emotions and authenticity. 80% of person-to-person communication is through body language. The loss of key face-to-face interactions makes it difficult to host these meetings online. However, you could rent a meeting room for the day for important meetings.
As a coworking office, we’ve seen an increase in the number of companies requesting meeting room bookings so they can still have in-person meetings. At the end of the day, there is nothing better for collaboration and communication than a face-to-face sit-down.
But can I have an in-person meeting safely?
You can, but you should take extra precautions when you plan your meeting. Make sure you choose a meeting room option that is big enough for you and your team to socially distance. When selecting your meeting location, make sure they have a COVID policy with access to cleaning supplies that will disinfect the area. Try and choose an office with as few touchpoints as possible to limit the potential spread of COVID. You could also encourage the meeting attendees to wear masks and sanitize their hands before the meeting.
Another thing you miss out on without an office is your business address. This can present a major business challenge. If you own a business that gets mail or regularly has customers visiting your office, you need a workaround.
So what do I do about my business address?
Many coworking spaces also offer a virtual mailbox with a business address. This way you can still receive your mail and use a business address.
At The Profile, our customers get a unique business address to use for mail, to claim a Google My Business account, and any marketing or legal documentation. This way you can still receive mail and cheques from your customers without giving out your home address. Our offices are staffed during business hours so if your customers decide to drop by, there will be an attendant to greet them.
If you’re worried about managing your employee’s work ethic while they work at home, you’re not alone. This is one of the largest concerns that managers have about managing a remote team. It’s fair to question your team’s productivity as they work remotely. However, worry not. Implementing a time management system will help you manage the amount of work your employees are doing. Using work from home software like Trello or Asana helps to show your team’s projects and the tasks associated with it. This way you can see the tasks your employees are completing day-to-day.
This gives your employee accountability while they work from home. It also gives you peace of mind that the work is getting done, it helps you manage your projects, and you can rest assured that your team is being productive.
With so many considerations about remote work from home, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. As a leader, you’ll need to make hard decisions about your workplace safety and culture. However, at The Profile, we are always around to help answer your questions about flexible office spaces in Vancouver and virtual mailboxes. We’ve been in the business for over 10 years and have a wealth of knowledge on coworking and collaboration.