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Hints and Tips for Building a Remote Workforce

You’ve probably heard about all the benefits of remote working for employees and employers. Better work-life balance, less time spent travelling, more flexibility, less money spent on office and overheads.

However, with all its benefits, there are some challenges to remote working as well. Since most Work on the Go employees work from their homes or some other location, keeping up employee motivation and engagement can be quite difficult.

Luckily, there are companies out there that have been doing at it for years, to prove that you can have happy, motivated and engaged employees. If you’re wondering how, you can do that on your own, here are a few great ideas to try out.

Communicate everything

You may be under the impression that there is too much focus on communication for remote teams. After all, it’s all good as long as the work gets done, right? The problem is, communication is pretty complex with 93% of communication being non-verbal, including includes body language, facial expressions and all other tiny details which you could miss when working remotely.

The lack of non-verbal cues can cause trouble. One sentence written in chat can get countless interpretations and before you know it, something harmless can cause a conflict or another kind of issue.

Therefore, remote communication is significantly different in nature. The first rule is to coach everyone to ask if they’re not certain about what the other person said. That way, conflicts will be easily avoided. At the same time, everyone needs to be mindful when sending messages since they can be interpreted in more ways than one.

Use the right tools for the job

In addition to the standard set of tools, remote work demands special apps to help team members stay in touch and keep up with each other’s work and progress. Chat, video and audio calls, light task management, screen sharing, integrations with the most popular cloud apps help and makes it much easier.

To keep your remote teams motivated and engaged, you absolutely need a good project management tool. And many other companies depend on a whole range of tools to engage their teams. Zoom is frequently used for conferencing, one-on-one video calls, demos and client meetings and much more.

Another useful tool to motivate your employees to work is a time tracker. There are a variety of time tracking tools out there, from those that just measure time, to those that measure time and mouse and keyboard movements and take screenshots of the employee’s device. Whichever you choose, note that tracking time is beneficial for motivation, improving time management and identifying tasks that consume too much of our time. 

Set clear goals and communicate them

One of the many reasons why traditional businesses are scared of going remote is because they’re afraid of losing control. If their employees are not in the office, how will they know if any work is getting done? 

Companies that want engaged and motivated remote teams can have a pretty simple way of keeping their productivity in check, set goals and track them. Instead of expecting employees to spend X hours per day because they’re simply supposed to, set outcome goals they have to achieve for the upcoming week or month.

The main idea is to set clear goals and communicate them to your employees. You won’t have to keep looking over their shoulder to see if they’re really working. All you need to know is whether the goal is achieved or not.

Make time for catch up moments

Besides taking care of daily tasks, employees also need to bond, spend great times together, laugh and cry and share moments of their lives. This isn’t all lost in remote work, but it’s significantly more difficult to keep these moments alive. However, it’s not impossible.

The first thing you can do is create channels in your team chat app to discuss anything but work. This can be hobbies, interests, pets, anything that comes to mind that is not work-related.

The bottom line is that your remote team needs to have ways to bond about things unrelated to work. Thanks to a wide variety of tools for communication, the sky is the limit, and you can find amazing ways to bring together people split thousands of miles away from each other.

Offer career progression

One of the reasons why employees aren’t so keen on remote working is because many of them think their career will come to a halt. Indeed, research shows that employees who work from an office are seen as more dedicated to their jobs, even though in reality the work is the same, if not even better when working remotely.

Just like people who work from an office, remote employees need to have a clear career path in front of them. Once you hire someone new, make sure they know what they can expect in the upcoming months and years. With a clear career path, they will be more engaged and motivated to stay working for you.

As more companies start working remotely, we will have new methods to engage, motivate and retain a remote workforce. With so many benefits of remote work, the future is looking bright, and we are sure to see more ways to make remote work the first choice for employees.


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