1. Find a tool that works for you and create a communication schedule.
The biggest potential gap in remote work is communication. When your team, or a single team member, isn’t in the office every day, they lose opportunities to stay in-the-know. There is less of a chance to participate in “water cooler talk,” which can create a disconnect on your team.
So, what now?
Even if you can’t be in the office, that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate frequently and effectively. We have technology on our side to keep everyone connected and moving at a normal pace. When staying connected, email is not your strongest tool. Products like Zoom, Slack, or Google Hangouts encourage fast communication that can sometimes be informal—promoting relationships and strengthening teamwork among your employees.
Having a communication tool is a great start, but the real key is to create a consistent communication schedule with your team. Set a virtual meeting at least once per week to let everyone share their wins and challenges, while allowing them to maintain the feeling that they’re part of something larger. These regular meeting schedules also help keep employees from feeling isolated or alone.
2. Find creative ways to keep the team connected.
Beyond staying connected on work initiatives, it’s crucial that your employees stay connected on a human level. You can try hosting virtual coffee chats or games, creating a shared playlist, or having a central place to share work-from-home tips or resources.
3. Provide your team with any equipment or software they may need.
Depending on the type of work, your employees may need additional equipment or software to work from home productively. You can explore project management software and productivity journals that your team might appreciate to stay on track. Open a conversation about their home workspace and what may help them or what might be holding them back.
4. Make sure all employees feel heard.
Employees who have introverted tendencies could be lost in the shuffle. Ensure that you’re giving everyone on your team an equal platform to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Remote work, as we mentioned previously, can also cause some employees to feel isolated. By providing each employee with a platform to speak up, you can avoid someone feeling left out or like they aren’t being heard.
5. Provide your expectations for workload and times employees are “online.”
Employees may be unsure what the new expectations are when they begin working remotely. Give them reasonable expectations to follow.
Here are a few questions they might have:
- What time should they be online or available for calls?
- What type of dress code is required for video calls, if any?
- How quickly should they be meeting deadlines?
- What is the expectation for weekly team meetings?
6. Encourage utilization and sharing of team members’ calendars.
Supervisors and employees will find it helpful to see everyone’s calendars so that they can schedule meetings or send messages according to when someone is available. Encouraging your team to keep their calendars updated also gives them a chance to think ahead on their work schedules.
7. Implement appropriate information security measures.
Remote work poses new information security issues that your team may not have encountered previously. Ensure that your employees’ equipment has strong antivirus software that is updated regularly. It’s also helpful to provide employees with a VPN to keep their connection safe if they should need to connect to public Wifi. Consult an information security professional to ensure that your remote work environment is secure.
LBMC Employment Partners is here to guide you as you transition to remote work. Contact us today to learn how we can support your company while streamlining your HR operations.