Critical practices you cannot overlook when managing remote talent  

Having been a 100% remote company since Day One, and experiencing significant growth for most of our existence, the team at WorkBetterNow (WBN) has learned a thing or two about how to most effectively manage our team at WorkBetterNow. With years of experience providing remote talent to hundreds of companies (and learning some tricks from our clients), we’ve uncovered valuable insights and implemented effective strategies to ensure productivity, engagement, and cohesion among remote teams. 

In this blog, I dig into the lesser-known aspects of managing remote talent, offering practical tips to help businesses thrive in a remote or hybrid work environment. By the end, you’ll have ideas and cutting-edge solutions to boost your company’s culture and your business’ productivity. 

Before we get started, keep in mind that many of the ideas and practices below will work for in-office teams too but are critical for remote talent. 

Clarity is Crucial 

A hidden killer of productivity is the lack of clarity.  Unlike in an office setting where you can pop by someone’s desk for a quick chat, communication in a remote environment needs to be crystal clear to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion. 

For example, let’s talk about working hours. It’s essential to be upfront about expectations regarding availability and flexibility. We understand that life happens, whether it’s picking up the kids from school or a midday medical appointment. As long as the work gets done and deadlines are met, we give our team members some freedom to manage their time, but we are clear about working hours and notifying colleagues as appropriate. Whatever the rules are at your company, make sure everyone understands them. 

As we run on EOS ™, everyone in the company has KPIs as well as rocks. “Rocks” refer to the major priorities or goals that a company or an individual within the company commits to achieving within a specific time frame, typically over a 90-day period. This further helps us be clear about expectations as well as focus on outputs, not inputs. 

Next, responsibilities and success criteria go hand in hand. When someone joins our team, we make sure they know exactly what’s expected of them and what success looks like in their role as well as on a particular project or task. It’s not just about telling them what to do; it’s about painting a clear picture of the end goal and empowering them to figure out the best way to get there. 

Cloud-based software is a must  

When it comes to managing remote teams, having access to cloud-based software is an absolute must. Here at WorkBetterNow, we use platforms like Office 365 and OneDrive to ensure that our data is easily accessible, no matter where our team members are working from. Google Suite is another great option. 

One of the biggest benefits of using cloud-based software is that it eliminates the need to send files back and forth via email. Instead of playing the endless game of “attachment ping-pong,” our team can collaborate on documents in real-time, making edits and updates as needed. Plus, with everything stored securely in the cloud, there’s no risk of not being able to store important files locally or version control issues. 

But it’s not just having access to the right tools; it’s using them effectively. That means taking advantage of features like shared calendars, collaborative document editing, and video conferencing to keep everyone connected and on the same page.  

Remember there is no water cooler 

When managing remote teams, it’s essential to remember that there’s no water cooler for spontaneous conversations. That’s why at WorkBetterNow, we prioritize having the right communication tools in place for our team. 

First and foremost, we establish clear guidelines on how we communicate within the company. We outline when to use chat for quick questions, video calls for face-to-face discussions, and email for more formal communication. We schedule regular one-on-one calls between managers and team members, as well as departmental meetings and company-wide calls to share updates and celebrate successes.  

And while we may not have the luxury of gathering around the office water cooler, we still find ways to make informal connections among our team. This might involve organizing events that bring remote and in-office team members together or hosting online happy hours and virtual team-building activities. By creating opportunities for connection, our remote team members feel valued and part of the team, no matter where they’re located. 

If you’re ready to explore what a remote team can do for your company, we’re here to help you transition. Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation and learn more about how we can assist your business with remote staff support. 

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