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8 ways to operate effectively in a remote environment

Operating effectively in a remote work environment is about trusting your employees and giving them the necessary tools.

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According to a 2020 survey conducted by Growmotely, 74% of professionals expect remote work to become standard.

This is not surprising given remote work’s widespread adoption and success following the COVID-19 pandemic.

But switching to a fully remote work environment has its challenges. To make the transition as smooth as possible, companies must follow the best remote work practices

So here are some tips for operating effectively in a remote environment:

Set clear expectations

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Every remote team needs clear expectations. These can include policies for working at home, communication expectations, and more. 

Having clear expectations shows what the company values, gives team members a sense of direction, and keeps everyone on the same page.

Once you’ve determined your team’s values and expectations, publish them somewhere for all to see (like the team portal).

That way, employees can refer back to them as needed. Also, have new employees agree to team expectations during onboarding.

Embrace differences

One of the remote teams’ beauties is that you hire talent from across the globe.

It doesn’t matter if they’re located in Europe, Asia, or the US. So long as they have a computer with an internet connection, they can join the team.

However, this also means that you’re more likely to have team members from different cultures with different customs and perspectives.

Be sensitive to these differences and strive to create a remote team culture that embraces diversity.

After all, diversity can be a strength. People from other cultures often have unique ideas and solutions you may not have thought of before.

Establish standard processes

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Working with a distributed remote team can get messy without standard processes.

For example, you may need to set standards for appropriate communication channels (like email, Slack, or Zoom) or require the use of scheduling tools like Calednly for handling different time zones.

You can also establish processes for daily check-ins and weekly one-on-ones. 

This way, your remote team can collaborate asynchronously, and you won’t have to manage every little task.

Employees will know how to work without supervision.

Automate routine tasks

To save time, it pays to automate routine tasks. This can be done by leveraging technology. 

For example, you could set up automatic meeting reminders and reports.

Or you might adopt a contact center solution that improves your customer support agents’ productivity while enhancing customer experience and leveraging deeper insights into your business. 

All this allows you to waste less time and gives you and your team members more time to focus on more important tasks.

Train employees

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Since working from home is new to many, it’s important to train employees properly on how to work in a remote environment.

You can do this during onboarding and at regular intervals in an employee’s career.

Train employees through online videos or through in-person events where possible. You can also fund employee professional development opportunities. 

Watch out for mental health

Despite all the benefits of remote work, many remote workers struggle with mental health issues, and it can be hard to tell when you don’t see each other face to face.

So it’s important to look for signs of distress and ensure your team knows you care about their well-being.

Ask how individual team members are doing in one-on-one meetings and be accommodating and flexible with special needs. A little empathy can go a long way. 

Facilitate social interaction

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To create strong team bonds despite the distance, you must facilitate opportunities for social interaction.

This could take the form of virtual parties, a casual “water cooler” chat channel, or getting together in person every once in a while. 

Don’t take social events for granted. They’re a great way to grow stronger as a team.

Recognize good work

Lastly, recognize good work. It’s easy for good performance to go unnoticed in a remote work environment.

So make an effort to celebrate milestones and express appreciation whenever you can.

This will help motivate employees to work hard and increase their overall satisfaction at work.

Wrapping it up

At the end of the day, operating effectively in a remote environment is all about trusting your employees and giving them the tools they need.

Don’t micromanage. Show confidence in your team and do all you can to help them succeed. They’ll thank you in return. 

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