Working remotely can be a challenge for people doing it for the first time. Household distractions and responsibilities can blur personal and work spaces, creating challenges for even the most organized people.
With 60% of Americans now working remotely, there has been a newfound appreciation for the flexibility it provides. Forbes recently described remote work as the “new normal of work”, with companies of all sizes undergoing the transformation in light of the current global pandemic.
Some companies have been structured remotely for years and have flourished by creating systems and procedures that help keep productivity maximized despite the distance involved. To learn more about these situations, five executives with remote working management experience shared their insights on how to take advantage of the situation to create a well functioning digital workplace for their employees.
1. Provide Autonomy to Your Employees
Julius Cerniauskas, CEO at Oxylabs, explains:
“Each department has received unconditional trust from the management team to make their own decisions while working remotely. The only unified practice that all teams have is the daily morning stand-ups when each employee shares their daily focus and discusses any challenges they might be facing with their entire team. Some departments have successfully applied Agile to collect regular feedback and analyze their workflow. Others have used the Pomodoro technique to boost their productivity levels. Even during these times, we managed to double our proxy pool to over 60M, and we also onboarded 17 new staff members. Lastly, the ultimate tip from us – spread positivity as it is the key to new heights of productivity.”
2. Avoid Burnout
Mark Murphy, Founder of Leadership IQ, explains:
“One sure sign that people are starting to burn out working remotely is when they make more mistakes and miss more deadlines than normal. People don’t typically perform as well in highly-stressed states as they do in a more relaxed frame of mind. And that stress often manifests in sloppy, inaccurate or late work. Before you start seeing incorrect work, you might also see a general distractedness or spaciness amongst employees. This might show up as people zoning-out during a videoconference, or it could appear as forgetfulness.”
3. Proactively Focus on Things You Can Control
Jared Polites, Partner at LaunchTeam, describes:
“The COVID-19 crisis has proven that unexpected events can throw us for a loop, even when we have a contingency plan set. This loss of control can cause major stress for both businesses and individuals, creating a two-fold impact that needs to be dealt with. One thing that has helped me and my business is to focus on things we can control such as more meaningful interactions with customers and more emphasis on empathetic marketing and communication. By taking this more stoic approach, you will find yourself with more control over the things you can control, such as your mindset and outlook on the situation. That is half the battle already conquered.”
4. Leverage Automation Tools
Frederick Mora, Founder of Mora Ventures, describes:
“Automation tools can be used to streamline remote teams. Everything from running a sales team to CRMs and content management can be optimized for speed and efficiency. For example, when thinking about a content strategy, try to batch your writing and content into days and use a tool like Buffer to schedule everything in advance of the week. For remote specific teams, there are a ton of services out there that will help organize larger teams into more effective smaller teams to complete tasks when remote. These should be utilized whenever possible.”
5. Stay Consistent
Blake Bradshaw, Executive Manager at Magellan, shares his insight:
“Consistency is key when managing and working on a remote team. You need to show up on time and be reliable. This is how you build trust and create a situation that is less stressful for everyone involved. Some tips on how to do this include always answering your phone during business hours, dressing like you would in the office during video calls, creating a routine that works for you and your boss, and proactively keep people informed about your work without them having to ask. This is the foundation of a good worker in the modern remote workplace.