Organisations across the globe are suddenly in the midst of a work-from-home experiment.
Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon this article because you’ve been plunged into the dynamic of telecommuting. Wundamail does not want your team to be diving straight into their beloved pyjamas, instead, you need to know how to ignite a practical, fast and efficient working from home strategy.
Whether your organisation has actively chosen to implement a temporary ‘work-from-home’ system, or you simply had no other choice, you need to fire up your team and keep everything running smoothly. To maintain the momentum in your business, it’s all about making sure your team stays productive and efficient working from home.
The fastest, most efficient remote teams prioritise communication above all else, and have reliable structures and mechanisms in place to make working remote easy.
It can seem daunting for those who lead office-based teams, particularly as the new setup is situational and temporary. Luckily, Wundamail are experts in the world of remote work, and have plenty of practical, actionable advice for those new to the remote party.
And while this trend is the current global phenomenon, remote working could be set to storm the work dynamic for the future. There has been a 159% rise in remote working in the US and by the end of 2020, it is estimated that 50% of the UK workforce will work remotely.
By getting to grips with how communication software can help as early as possible, your organisation will continue to thrive, and be in safe hands, in this shifting work-culture.
Wundamail’s top tips in creating a productive, remote workforce
- Map out of a plan
- Communicate the Plan to your Team
- The Right Communication Software
- Seek Advice and Keep It Inclusive
- Stick to a Schedule
- Keep Positive and Introduce Rewards
The first thing to do is decide a strategy. Every team is different - ask yourself which areas are likely to be most affected by the transition to remote-work. Does everyone in the team have access to everything they need? It’s your responsibility to check your employees have taken laptops and devices home if you want to keep tabs on what everyone is doing. If your team has all of the resources and equipment they need, productivity will be so much easier to manage and monitor.
Wundamail, the communication software designed for remote teams, asks your team a daily question. This allows you, as a leader, to check-in with your team every single day to ensure that they’re up to date with your plan. There’s no IT integration or set-up required- click here to get Wundamail up and running in a matter of minutes.
This transition to remote working is likely to be temporary and situational- but it still requires a clean handover. Don’t assume that a single company memo will do the trick, and make sure it’s clear you’re available to answer any questions about the transition. Keep your team up to date with everything you currently know.
Do a write-up of your short-term agenda and set out your goals explicitly. It’s a good idea to choose one place which your team can refer to for information if necessary. Write your contact details on the document and brainstorm everything to show that you’ve taken the appropriate measures to equip and inform your team. If an emergency arises, they need to know how to report it in order to get back on track right away. If your resources are scattered around, work-time will be wasted.
With Wundamail’s daily feedback loop, you track every team member’s progress from their individual responses. If you need to chat one-to-one or flag something critical, your team’s response will highlight the actions you need to take as a manager.
In terms of proactive management, the most important choice you will make will be choosing how you communicate.
You don’t need various conversations happening across a range of different channels. It’s confusing to keep switching, and messages will get lost in the noise. As a leader, it’s up to you to set the tone and establish where you want group thinking to be happening.
Remember it’s possible to over-do communication! You don’t want everyone knocked sideways by the inevitable tidal wave of messaging. It’s a really good idea to choose set times to check in with your team (Wundamail does this for you) and automate everything as much as possible so your team don’t waste the afternoon bouncing from conference call to Slack thread, and getting nothing done in between.
Chat apps such as Slack or Microsoft Teams are great for instantaneous notifications, but important information can easily get lost, so make sure you implement channels for various teams and people - it’s essential to clarify where people should go for the information they need.
Communication is the bedrock of productive remote teams. Wundamail automates the daily feedback loop once a day at the time of your choosing, so you don’t waste time hopping between channels.
We designed the software with the human brain in mind. It was formed according to the fundamental principles of behavioural science: daily repetition, transparency and peer-to-peer accountability.
Wundamail’s daily, automated feedback loop can help your team stay on track. As a leader, you can set the daily question to whatever you need to know from your team, for example - ‘what have you done today?’. All individual answers are then compiled into a single group email, which is then circulated for all to see.
Team activity is laid out plainly- so your team keep each other accountable and efficient, no matter where you’re all working from.
Everything works in your team’s regular email inbox so there is no need to install anything new or create new passwords. While you’re remote working, the last thing you need is a complex IT integration and that’s what Wundamail avoids - your team can kickstart productivity right away. All you need is a few minutes and your team’s email addresses.
If you’re new to remote working, it would be unwise to assume you know what you’re doing. And even if you are a self-certified expert, your employees certainly won’t be, and are likely to feel disconnected initially. Check-in to see how your team are coping with the changes- if you’re a Wundamail user, the question would be a great place to do this.
You want to fill your team with confidence and keep them motivated- micromanaging or constant phone calls might make them feel insecure or smothered. Position this as an opportunity to prove themselves and be independent- you may be surprised at how well your team take the initiative!
If you have worries or concerns, communicate them clearly and prioritise feedback in those areas. It might be a good idea to establish mentors if you feel certain people may be struggling with the situation.
The best way of combating employee isolation is to maintain an inclusive workforce, which ultimately comes down to having a good communication strategy.
Wundamail promotes inclusivity within the team. The daily compilation allows everyone in the team to visualise all responses to see where everyone is at - ensuring nobody is left behind. The beauty of asking the daily question means that everyone is on the same page and has the same opportunity to reply. It gives a platform for everyone’s voices to be seen and allows your team to constantly be in the loop.
If you have a regular routine in your office, implement what you know to work into your remote practice, too.
If you usually have a daily stand up meeting, make sure you do a virtual version. This will replicate the normal working day for your employees and will work to reassure them. Likewise, take advantage of technology by having one-to-one meetings via video call. The more you stick to your usual routine, the less shock you will feel during this environmental shift.
To duplicate the daily stand up, you can take advantage of Wundamail’s daily, automated feedback loop. By modifying your daily question, you can find out whatever you need from your team in one, organised compilation. It provides a clear and structured way to communicate with your team. Having the flexibility to set your question at a time that suits everyone means that group productivity can thrive and continue as normal.
Finally, recognise that this situation is temporary and take advantage of the remote working lifestyle. If your team flourishes in this environment, it’s reassuring to know that you can continue to be productive in any situation. Whether you love it or loathe it, stay positive. You might miss the socialization available in an office as this can sometimes break up your day, but continue this through the means of communication software. While you’re managing your team remotely, reward and praise your staff to let them know they’re doing well to maintain an optimistic attitude.
With Wundamail, you can use our reward system to praise individuals in your team for doing well or achieving a certain goal. This provides a little healthy competition which is designed to increase productivity. By individuals having access to other’s responses on the compilation, they’ll know whether they need to work harder or not - a great strategy for making sure your team is working at home.
As a leader, your attitude is essential for the success of your team. Steer your team to success by keeping positive and applying these strategies to your new remote environment - your team will maintain a productive workforce without a doubt.
We want to help your business stay productive in the coming weeks. Wundamail are giving away a free month of work from home software to any business or organisation who needs it.