Remote working is on the rise, and it’s coming sooner than anybody realised. The question around keeping your team focused whilst working remotely is one of the most common questions that managers or leaders have when starting out. If I can’t see them or they can’t see me, how do I know that they’re not slacking off at home, watching Netflix? Think about it, are you in the office 100 percent of the time? What happens when you have meetings elsewhere? Does your entire team go crazy and throw caution to the wind? Of course not. Your physical presence isn’t what keeps your team focused, it’s setting an agenda and a strategy that enables them to act and keeps them going in order to propel them towards the end goal.
The key to keeping your remote teams focused and engaged is to outline your strategy firmly for your team as you normally would, ensuring that everyone knows what they should be doing. You can do this via a team management software, such as Wundamail, which is specifically designed to manage remote teams of any shape and size. You simply ask your team one daily question and you and your team receive all the responses, collated in one easy-to-read email. No full inboxes, no chasing team members - it’s simply, efficient and drives productivity in a modern way.
To outline your strategy with your entire team, you can utilise the daily Wundamail email to track progress and keep every member of your team focused. Additionally, due the transparency that comes with everyone seeing the compilation, a culture of accountability is automatically built. When everyone can see what everyone else is up to it works to motivate the entire team to continue working hard and driving towards the team’s aim, without you having to manually chase or crack the whip - perfect for working remotely.
Keeping your team focused on the task at hand is one thing, but keeping them motivated is another beast entirely. It’s well recognised that motivation has to be both internally led (by the team member) and externally driven (through reward programmes), to be effective and keep team members producing good quality work on a regular basis. Motivating team members in a remote setting can be difficult. Often with isolated workers, it can be easy to lose motivation as they don’t feel as if they’re working towards a bigger outcome. Also, reward structures in office environments often rely on physical perks, such as food, drink or team nights out for a job well done. When it comes to being remote, this can be tricky.
This being said, using Wundamail to reiterate that team members are still part of a wider team and vision, despite working in isolation, is an easy way to ensure that employees maintain their internal motivation. Reinforcing that whatever each team member is doing in contributing and adding value to the bigger picture is simple with Wundamail and gives them a motivating, renewed sense of purpose. Also, when you utilise the reward section of Wundamail, you can externally reward customers against their workload and engagement through a voucher that they can use for whatever they like. This extra level of motivation enables that high quality output from your team, regardless of location.
Remote working is on the rise, with some businesses having to fast-track their teleworking preparations to meet the increasing demand. As a manager, ensuring that your team remain focused and motivated is of paramount importance. Just because the location is different and you’re spread across the country doesn’t mean that the processes, outcomes and strategies of your workplace need to drastically change. Work is still work, just without the commute. This is the message that you, as a leader, need to ensure is front and centre in your team’s minds so that their focus, drive and motivation (and as a knock on effect, their productivity and efficiency) doesn’t drop. Remote work is still work, the same rules of the workplace apply.