How to Keep your Remote Team on Task

A recent study from Upwork found that nearly 40% of hiring managers believe their employees will primarily be remote workers over the next decade. Working from home is already a common part of the office landscape, but many businesses still struggle to do it well. Managing people when you see them in person every day is difficult; managing people who are in another city or state can be even harder. Here are a few of the ways to ensure that your team stays on task–no matter where they are.

Fully Utilize your Provisioning Tools

Provisioning simply refers to the process of aligning your network to be uniform wherever your workers are, whether they’re down the hall or across the country. You’ll need to have secure user provisioning software to allow you to share documents over the Internet without compromising the safety or quality of the documents. This should be integrated into your UC management system as much as possible to ensure that your workers can effectively work and communicate with each other no matter where they are. For example, if you’re using Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco Broadsoft will allow you to keep your network on the cloud and will be integrated into the overall Cisco UC system.

Set Clear Measures of Success

If “working from home” to you is synonymous with glorified paid time off, you’ll want to make sure that employees who are working remotely have set goals and tasks. Because you won’t be able to pop into their office to check on them, be clear on what duties should be accomplished each day, how you will measure success, and how you’ll be monitoring the work they’re doing from afar. Asking remote workers to update their calendar with an outline of work for the week or having them email you what they plan to accomplish that week. You may also need to be more structured with deadlines, such as asking for documents to be “in my inbox by 4 pm,” instead of “completed by the end of the week” to make sure they stay on track.

Establish Check Ins

Good managers should have weekly or biweekly check ins with their employees, whether they’re working remote or not. Having a good UC management system helps with this, as can jump from a Chatbot function to a video conference call or phone call as you see fit. Check ins give you the chance to solicit feedback from your employee about how their work is going, to realign or refocus tasks, and to make sure employees are supported reaching their goals. Check ins are particularly important with remote workers, as they may not always feel that their opinions are included in the office dialogue. Also, setting expectations about how remote workers will establish contact with the team–whether being available for phone calls at any time or keeping Chatbot open–can make remote workers feel more like part of the team.

Ultimately, the most integral part of any remote working team is communication. Making sure that your team is regularly talking, whether through email, video conferencing, or with your UC management system, lays the groundwork for any successful business.

About: Technology

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