by Kate Devyatkina, CEO of Ahundred
on March 19, 2020

Self-isolation is one of the means of fighting against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. That's why companies around the globe require that employees work remotely. But if you get used to organizing the workflow within the office, the question is: how can you make your team work remotely along with improved efficiency?

In the year 2019, the remote work format has been gaining strength due to particular benefits:

  • The possibility to hire gifted employees from around the globe.
  • No need to rent an office
  • No office irritants like noise or talkative people who are always eager to have a word with you.
  • Risk reduction of catching any kind of infection.

Nowadays, as the World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus as a pandemic, this last point has gained extra relevance. Companies around the world require that their employees work from home. And here appear a number of questions, one of which is how to transform the team to Remote Work along with improved efficiency?

5 Tips For Transitioning Your Teams to Remote Work

In this article, we're going to share some tips and tools, so that temporary remote work won't become the enemy of the effectiveness of your company. Most probably, you'd even like to get rid of your office stuff after everything goes back to normal.

Take care of the discipline

Tip №1

It is of utmost importance to make it clear to your employees that the isolation period and remote working mode is equal to the usual working pace and task volume as in the office, but from home. If your company has already used task-tracking systems (where you can record tasks, time spent on them, and reporting) - it will be simple enough to start working remotely as you have a particular policy helping you record all the progress.

If you are one of those conservative people who set all tasks just telling them aloud or write the assignments on the paper, it's high time you reorganized your workflow. Now you can pick any tool you'd like starting from Trello and ending with Asana or Jira.

What is essential for saving discipline when working remotely:

  • A clear understanding of the working schedule
  • The possibility to track your time spent on solving working tasks.
  • Quick access to personal tasks, an option to ask questions and get extra info.
  • Receive a report on progress at the end of the day, as well as weekly reports.
5 Tips For Transitioning Your Teams to Remote Work

IImplement a culture of meetings and calls

Tip №2

Systematic communications are critical in terms of remote work. When you are in the office, you can just go up and ask, drink coffee, or simply walk together till the metro station. Remote work can become a pitfall in communication if communication between employees is not taken care of. An absence of mutual understanding can result in decreased team effectiveness.

Daily meetings (15 minutes, just to stay updated) is an excellent tool that helps your team stay tuned and discuss critical moments. If you work according to the Agile principles, you are likely to have already employed them in your work.

Otherwise, it's better to do it now. Indeed, an online meeting can concur with real ones. Owing to the technological progress we can benefit lots of tools, and even free ones, that you can use for conducting stand-up calls, for choosing the one that fits best: Google Meeting, Zoom Call, EZtalks, and even Skype ????

The main goal of these 15 minute calls is to keep the team abreast of all issues, and instantly detect the issues in their work. If we are talking about more complicated tasks, for example, discussing significant changes, solving critical issues, or holding a retrospective meeting, then you need more time (about 40-60 minutes). To avoid the holivar during such sessions, I'd recommend sticking to the rules below:

  • Prepare the meeting agenda in advance (the plan with a bullet list of points that are to be solved, with the list of people responsible for one part or another of the meeting).
  • Don't forget to insert a Q&A block, or the work with objections part.
  • Establish a strict rule that if a question appears, write it down in the meeting chat so as not to interrupt the speaker. Ask your employees to turn on their cameras - visual contact is always an advantage, especially when you don't see each other most of the time.
  • "Not to be late" rule - discipline is hugely significant in terms of remote work.

Conduct individual calls on working matters. For example, it is always easier to explain face-to-face how the home page should look, or why you consider this feature a bug.

Be closer to your employees by gathering feedback

Tip №3

Although remote work is something every introvert dreams of, this method has some disadvantages as well. One of them is that it is challenging to make your team cohesive, and also that it is difficult to build a remote work structure correctly.

People seeing each other in the office can support their interconnection with smiles, welcome nodding, or giving high-fives. In the remote world, emoji are the biggest demonstration of nonverbal communication.

It is a real issue for the manager to understand the actual relationship between teammates. Do they get on well, or just passively hate each other? It is almost impossible to detect remotely, and sometimes there is not enough time to write to every person privately.

However, gathering feedback from everyone in the team, and also providing them with your own, become more special when you work remotely. How can you make this happen?

  • Request feedback for every team member by each team member
  • Choose the feedback confidentiality status
  • An option to leave the feedback with emoji
  • Write the long and detailed feedback as well as a short one: quick thanks, a positive smile or a suggestion what can be improved in the work
  • Screenshots with the feedback forms and answers.
5 Tips For Transitioning Your Teams to Remote Work

Conduct 1-on-1 meetings regularly

Tip №4

A good manager is a person who definitely understands how to build a dialogue with every team member, and can find an individual approach. Indeed, communication via messenger and putting thousands of likes on employees' photos on FB won't provide the proximity that allows a person to trust you.

The rules are the same as the offline procedure: prepare wise feedback on the employee's performance, ask about their tensions, wins, and plans. Crack a joke and chat about something unrelated to work. Do not forget to turn on the cameras to see each other better.

After each one-on-one, you have to write out essential thoughts and ideas, and compose some set of future actions. For example, you've promised your employee to give them more tasks within the new responsibility zone - writing it down is necessary.

To convert one-on-ones into something systematic and to no lose all the insights after the meeting, Ahundred provides you with suchlike features:

  • Establish a timetable in advance and synchronize it with your Google Calendar
  • Send a one-on-one request to a manager by an employee with the proposed date, time and agenda
  • Fix the notes after the meeting by the manager
  • To see the history of all conversation a and records by their results
  • Screenshots with feedback forms and answers.
5 Tips For Transitioning Your Teams to Remote Work

Take care of the integration between the team and the company

Tip №5

Remote work is not freelance work. And it is of utmost importance so that your employees keep in touch either with each other or with the company. And here is where the integration policy will work. The best method to achieve a total integration between the team and the company is an OKR. This is a framework for work with business goals achievement, and it significantly differs by its transparency and high level of employee involvement in the process of achieving great results.

What does it mean to you? Keep your employees connected to the company, teach values, and build the corporate culture no matter that you are doing this remotely.

What can help? Share company news on the private channel available only for your workers. Talk about the achievements with people - in this way people are going to know each other better.

The best method to achieve a total integration between the team and the company is an OKR. This is a framework for working with business-goals achievement, and it significantly differs because of its transparency and high level of employee involvement in the process of achieving great results.

How can OKR help when it's about integration?

- Company goals are transparent, and every employee can observe them.

- The manager gathers all the team for brainstorming and generates the team's goals together.

- All team members are involved in the realization of goals and respectfully contribute to the company's growth.

To learn how to begin working with OKRs, you can read our step-by-step guide. Along with this, we have to outline that it is more effective for working with a specially developed system where you can keep records, track and have a transparent progress situation.

Enjoy a free 30-day access to Ahundred software and automate three processes from our list:

  • A single platform - every employee can learn more about the team's or company's OKRs. Also, they can contribute and add some professional goals that might help the company reach all the set goals.
  • Progress visualization - at first sight, you can understand the progress of the department and also observe personal progress. Also, a dashboard with the information on risky, in progress and completed OKRs, is available for everyone.
  • Automatic push-notifications. The software sends several follow-ups that push an employee to make progress: choose your focus goal in the next week, what your progress is on the course of the week, visual report on Friday on the employee's, departments' or company's progress. This tool sends you a notification to update the progress. Ahundred is some kind of a progress keeper - the system helps a driver and allows getting inside the progress, saving them from fool's errand "kick-and-remind."
5 Tips For Transitioning Your Teams to Remote Work

Wrapping it up

Transition to remote work, when everything is organized correctly, can be enjoyed so much that after the isolation period, you may want your company to stay remote. Otherwise, taking into account and applying all the recommendations listed in this article, I hope that during this unstable period, your business will remain at the same level, and that your employees' involvement is even higher than it was before.

Wishing you all the best with your efforts, and clean hands to all.

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