5 Strategies to Building a Successful Remote Working Team
The global workforce has experienced a rapid and massive shift in our work culture. For some, the disruption introduced by COVID-19 has forced them to move out of the office and into a remote working environment. There are organizations that currently have work from home policies in place that might have experienced a smoother transition. For companies new to remote working, making the switch has left them scrambling to quickly keep up. The coronavirus even left the NFL to conduct a virtual draft on a short time frame, a first in league history. Remote working not only introduces infrastructure problems, but it also introduces concerns with employee engagement and company culture. How can organizations continue to strengthen their team, even as they work remotely? In this article, we provide 5 key strategies for leaders looking to build a successful remote working team.
Tip#1: Clearly Communicate Expectations
It is critical that leaders clearly communicate their expectations to their remote working team as early as possible. From working hours to the expected level of productivity, employee accountability starts with clear expectations. Employees should also be expected to continue to follow company policies, guidelines and procedures when working from home. This will help your remote team maintain professionalism and productivity, as if they were in office. However, it can be difficult to verify if company policies and procedures are being complied with. Conducting procedural compliance audits can be an effective approach to drive remote working compliance. Continuous compliance to company policies, procedures and expectations is critical to the continued success, and survival, of your organization.
Tip#2: Ensure the Availability of Resources
Leaders should ensure that their remote team has the resources they need to be successful. This could mean ensuring they have a computer or laptop, access to software or even a phone or headset for calls. If your organization saves documents or company procedures on external hard drives, consider how employees will access them remotely. It might be beneficial to consider cloud based storage or a company intranet, which is a network available only to your employees. Because of the transition to teleworking, many organizations will realize that company processes might need to be revised. If your organization does not have documented procedures in place, how will remote employees follow these changes successfully? Ensuring the availability of resources also mean ensuring employees have the standard operating procedures they need. Learn how we can help your organization get everyone on the same page with clear standard operating procedures.
Tip#3: Foster an Engaging Team Culture
Communicating and engaging with your remote team on an ongoing basis is vital to building a successful team. When we are working in our own spaces, it can be easy for individuals to disengage and feel isolated. Foster an engaging team culture by encouraging your team to take advantage of tech to stay in touch. For quick conversations or questions, consider using the popular google chat feature or another messaging feature. For more complex or official meetings, video conferencing provides a richer experience. Also, consider implementing daily staff meetings or weekly team video calls. This can help your company foster a remote team culture, and get employees out of focusing on only their projects.
Tip#4: Implement Information Security Best Practices
Employees working from home can increase the number of cyber risks introduced to your company. The sudden switch to a teleworking environment can leave unnoticed security gaps. This is critical to identify, especially if they are expected to access company documents and propriety customer information remotely. Here are a few best practices to protect remote workers from cyber risks:
• Ensuring equipment is installed with antivirus software;
• Requiring team member to perform work only on a secured, trusted and password protected internet network;
• Educate employees on coronavirus related scams, including scams regarding financial transactions, suppliers and company IT notifications.
One of the most effective strategies for increasing information security is to consider implementing an ISO 27001 information security management system (ISMS). An ISO/IEC 27001 ISMS allows organizations to stay a step ahead of information security incidents. This is more important now than ever, especially as security and data breaches continue to grow in popularity and sophistication. ISO 27001 will help your organization improve information security controls and reduce risks, even when you are back in office. Click here to learn more about how ISO 27001 can take your information security to the next level.
Tip#5: Build Mutual Trust
Let’s face it, working from home requires a stronger level of trust between leadership and employees. On one hand, leaders will need to trust that their employees will continue todeliver quality work in a timely manner and focus on work during business hours. On the other hand, employees will need to trust that their managers will keep the lines of communication open and provide the resources they need to be successful. By both parties keeping their word and delivering results, your team will build trust amongst each other.
Building a strong and successful remote working team is a vital for business survival, especially when continuing to operate during COVID-19. While leadership’s initial priority might be establishing the infrastructure for teleworking, they need to consider how they will manage their remote team. By implementing these 5 strategies, your organization will have a better idea of how to build a successfully remote working team. Contact us to learn how we can help your organization improve operations and reduce risks.
Victoria Ontiveros | Marketing Coordinator
Victoria focuses on creating quality educational content that provides value to current and potential clients. By collaborating with members of leadership and sales, she is able to develop informative articles that answer common questions and connect with current trends.
Victoria earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an emphasis in communications from Texas A&M University.