‘The future of work is remote’ – Take a look at all the significant reports being shared by renowned business and management portals, and you would surely assume this. Of course, this is expected, as 99% of total respondents to the Buffer’s 2019 State of Work survey opinionated that they “would like to work remotely for the rest of their careers, at least some of the time.” Moreover, data from the Upwork team forecast that 73% of working teams will enjoy this privilege by around the year 2028.
But despite the increasing number of workers who are going remote, it’s not uncommon for people from the talent management industry to come up with these common narratives:
Yes, remote working is ‘unusual’ from the usual office set up by all means – the teaming feels different, the projects seem different, the meetings are different; but, that doesn’t mean remote teams can’t ever stay productive. And, productivity won’t occur by accident too. They need to take critically specific steps to ensure their productivity levels remain high.
But who has enough time to achieve this utopia? Thankfully, transforming the managerial skills to adapt to the remote work context doesn’t have to take weeks of formal training. Just enjoy a hot cup of home-brewed coffee and read ‘Making Remote Work’ from the StarAgent team to see the FIVE PRO TIPS you may implement to establish a productive remote team.
Done with that?
Well, then let’s do the slipper shuffle towards more advanced steps for managing a successful remote team. Whether you’re running a remote team or working remotely as an individual contributor, this will work for you.
While remote working, the communications among the team will go digital, and when communicating digitally, no one will ever understand what the person on the other side is doing at that specific moment. He might be either at his desk or sometimes, rushing to have a meeting with talent or clients, making just “yes” or “no” responses to the other person’s questions.
Without recognizing that person’s circumstances, the colleague might think that person doesn’t really care about the issue he brought up. However, if that employee has the right information available of his colleague’s context, the short answers would surely make sense for him.
Prefacing communication with each one’s context can help to prevent the occurrence of any miscommunications, in such cases. However, that might not be possible all the time. So, we recommend you to try out the StarAgent talent management software, which will let your entire team know when an employee is headed down on a particular task and can’t respond to questions at the moment.
Either over-communicating or tracking the tasks and holding on accordingly is undoubtedly better than making assumptions!
There is a general perception that all remote workers are slackers. Indeed, employees can slack off if their managers aren’t good at communicating goals and deadlines. However, if they precisely understand what all tasks they are responsible for and at what time it needs to be finished, they will work accordingly, without warranting an unfavourable “slacker” title.
For this, along with daily or weekly video calls with your team, try these elements of StarAgent, to maintain a better remote working team:
1. Synchronous Communication: StarAgent’s built-in chat system can allow you to have a real-time connection with your team.
2. Digital Workspace: With StarAgent modelling software, the entire team from your agency can have full access to each project’s progress and task assignments of who’s doing what, at a particular time.
3. Document Storage: Using the cloud-based shared document space like StarAgent, everyone from your team can access any details they need about talents, clients, or projects, anytime.
4. Team Calendar: A common calendar for your team on StarAgent that displays essential events and due dates, will help your team see everyone’s availability at a given time.
We’re sure all the points mentioned above will enable your team to thrive because these will let your employees feel confident about how to communicate, and collaborate well. Also, managers like you could gauge your team’s success through adequate records of activity.
A lot of remote workers believe that they need to be “visible” always in their digital workspaces. They think they can’t let messages or notifications go unanswered for at least a minute. Such pressures about working might bring unnecessary anxieties in employees.
This could, however, be ameliorated to an extent when the working of your talent agency is normalized through a single talent agency software like StarAgent. With this, your entire team could create reminders to tackle daily tasks and pending events, so that the team will be alerted every time until those actions are completed. Employees can also keep track of their own workflows anytime simply by viewing the common calendar.
Another biggest concern when considering a remote team is the perceived culture hit. Workplaces have long depended on co-location to build effective corporate cultures that it seems bleak to think of everyone working within their own silos without any face-to-face social interactions.
The key to building great remote teams is nothing but pure dedication to have meaningful meetings, genuinely understand the employees’ perspectives, and be transparent in everything you do. In fact, creating a robust remote team culture depends on two things:
While the first one will help to keep your silos down and efforts shared across the agency, the second is a crucial way to ensure pure transparency. With tools like StarAgent, achieving transparency isn’t too hard, as anyone can chime in and check up on what’s currently happening across the organization. That’s particularly helpful if your team is working over different time zones. When team members log in, they can quickly pick up where their colleagues left off rather than not knowing what went on while they were off from work.
Finally, Connect On The Bigger Picture
Remote teams can more easily get disconnected from the overall strategic direction. Just like an office team, they wish to connect to each other, and they will look to you for inspiration here. So, make sure that you come up with non-work interactions for your remote employees. You may try creating special messaging channels (thanks to StarAgent’s Facebook-like chat system!) for the team to start informal talks just as they would have done in the office.
If possible, you could try leaving a few minutes before or after video conferences for your team to catch up or host a virtual team-building exercise for building bridges between your remote employees.
So, Are You (Really) Ready To Go Remote?
As everyone says, remote work is here to stay. So, the question is: “Is your team ready?”
We hope you apply this actionable advice from innovative remote teams at StarAgent. It might take some time to make deliberate changes to enhance your remote team’s productivity, but with StarAgent at the heart of your business, your team’s successful transition to this new norm could be a bit faster.
Interested to know more about How StarAgent can make working remotely work for you?
Click here to schedule a demo: Schedule Demo
We’re sure – you’ll become one of the many to fall in love with StarAgent!