7 Tips to Manage Sudden Remote Environments and Stay Connected

7 Tips to Manage Sudden Remote Environments and Stay Connected

Sudden business pivots require innovative solutions and the right environment. COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the need for effective remote environments to achieve operational continuity. As more companies consider the impact of extending remote work, we can learn best practices from the early adopters of global, remote environments. 

These early adopters include companies in health care, marketing and technology where teams have conducted collaborative work across continents and time zones – since nearly day one. In a post-COVID world, many companies are now considering extending work from home arrangements for the foreseeable future.  

In fact, a recent Facebook employee survey found 20 percent of its workers to be “extremely or very interested” in moving to remote working on a full-time basis after COVID-19 restrictions become relaxed. This global health crisis has accelerated the need and demand for remote work environments. 

But are businesses prepared for this pivot long term? And are they resourced to empower employees to stay connected?  

Remote Reimagined

A recent Prudential Financial study found the majority of US employees (63 percent) said the workplace has been forever changed by the coronavirus global health crisis, believing the way in which Americans work will never return to normal. 

The digital innovators and early adopters of remote work environments – before the global public health crisis - have learned perspectives from a decade or more of remote collaboration. 

Here are seven strategies which can help provide guidance for your remote operating environment. 

Lean on technology to stay connected with collaborative tools. Each team is unique and has specific needs to be effective collaborators. There are digital resources such as Zoom, Webex, Trello, Asana and Google Drive which will help remote teams be more connected in their work. 

Engage with team members by learning how they are motivated and using structured time strategies. People of all levels and responsibilities are now working in remote environments – all of whom are motivated differently. Remote work does not happen naturally or because of technology. Make time for face-to-face video meetings and get to know your team.

Over communicate with team members about work projects. Setting expectations is important for any manager but essential when working with remote teams. Sharing processes, deadlines and specific outcomes at the start will help alleviate misunderstandings and set team members up for success. 

Be adaptable as teams apply agile methodologies and processes to their work. These include scoping and designing a sprint structure, managing projects without interfering in rapid build process, adapting to feedback and closing the project.

Set teams up for fast access using technology and other resources. On a global basis, Internet speeds can vary. Providing hi-speed Internet and other needs for being productive is critical. Take team requests for boosting or extender technology as an essential need and provide it. 

Instant message or check in once per day. According to a study by Slack, 85 percent of workers want to feel closer to their remote colleagues. IM platforms help to keep teams connected and build relationships to combat employee disengagement, which costs the U.S. economy up to $600 billion per year in lost productivity.    

Measure outcomes, not hours worked. There is a trust factor when working in remote environments. As managers, a focus on the work product can help build a strong framework for team member trust. COVID-19 has upended the work and personal lives of teams. In remote environments, the end result is more important than how they got there.   

Is your firm in need of digital resources to keep your remote teams and clients connected, engaged and driving business forward? Learn how our teams can help you today.

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