Working remotely is not just the wave of the future - it's a well-instituted way of life for many employees from around the country to around the world. It's with good reason that companies are offering the option to work remotely, it helps maintain employee morale and allows you to hire the best of the best, regardless of where they reside. While there are seemingly endless new tech products coming out to connect employees wherever they are, it can be a daunting task to try and manage employees when they aren't all sitting in one office together. From differing time zone to bad wifi connections, many factors can get in the way of streamlining your day. If you're setting up or managing a remote team, follow the advice below to keep you and your team's days running as smooth as possible.
Get organized and be prompt
Set a schedule with your team and keep it. Daily or weekly meetings should always occur at the same time, and agendas should be set so everyone knows what will be discussed and what items are needed. By being organized and prompt, you'll allow your employees to get used to a certain routine, be as prepared as possible, and always be on time.
Use video as much as possible
Ensuring your team sees each other is essential - it allows you to read non-verbal cues, chat openly, and smile at each other! From Zoom to Google to Skype, there are a ton of ways to ensure your team connects face to face, rather than communicating solely through text form. Being able to see each other on a daily or weekly basis will also allow you to get to know your employees deeper. Since you won't have the opportunity for "water cooler talk," be sure to schedule in a bit of extra time so everyone can chat about how their weekends were, the latest TV shows that they're watching, or any other small chit-chat that would occur naturally if you were in an office together.
Slack is vital
By now, if you haven't been living under a rock, you've heard of the collaboration tool Slack (if you haven't, look it up!). It's a seriously useful tool, not only for remote teams, but in-office teams as well. Without having to send, forward and respond via email, Slack allows you to create "channels" that team members can instantly communicate through. You can upload, download, and even connect Slack to your drives like Google and Dropbox. Streamlining quick conversations without having to call or email is a great way to keep your team connected and communicative.
It's always good to schedule time to actually see your team members face to face. At least once a quarter (or once a month if possible), schedule a dinner or a team bonding exercise when everyone is available in a central location. This time will allow your employees to develop a further bond and show them that you're grateful that they're part of the team.