How to Successfully Manage a Remote Team in 2020

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It’s clear: we are now in a new era of remote work. Despite the abrupt start for many in the aftermath of the pandemic, companies are finding pleasant surprises from this transition to at-home operations and management. For example

  • Prodoscore, an employee visibility software company, found an increase in productivity by 47% during 2020, despite the COVID-19 lockdown and the ensuing increase in remote work situations.
  • Many companies have reported double-digit overhead cost savings with a fully remote team

In line with the WFH (Work-from-Home) movement, businesses are utilizing online management tools to keep their teams seamlessly connected and structured. It is a shift that will prove to be a lasting one too, even beyond pandemic times. In fact, a Forbes article found that “30% of IT executives surveyed by ESG believe that the ability of workers to effectively incorporate online collaboration tools into daily work patterns will be the most significant lasting change of the COVID-19 pandemic from a technology perspective.”

Monday.com has also seen an uptick in businesses purchasing and using their technology for remote work management, finding that many of these establishments are elated by the convenience and opportunities it creates for them. And it’s not hard to see why. With comprehensive online organization systems, teams simply become more efficient. Brain dumps, for example, don’t get erased on physical whiteboards. They’re saved, along with the online discussions and strategy sessions—making it easier to move from meeting notes to strategy briefs and then onto action plans.

Keeping some of these benefits in mind, we’ve compiled some other useful tips to help you successfully manage a remote team in 2020. Here they are:

Improve Communication and Get Creative

“I had one client say that they created personal bios to introduce themselves through monday.com,” says Eligeo sales rep, Kevin Entmaa. “They did this by creating an employee board and through the speak bubble they created a bio with their interests, past jobs, hobbies, as well as some pictures to give working remotely a personal touch. They started this for only new employees but ended up doing it for all employees to add a personal touch.”

This is only one example of how teams can create excellent communications practices online. Most people automatically assume that if a conversation is not in-person that it’s not personal. But the truth is that many online conversations allow participants to be more forthcoming with their ideas and needs, removing barriers like social anxiety, stressful environments or strong personalities. There are also more opportunities to get creative with collaborations. People can easily attach photos and documents on a whim during conversations, collaborate on digital whiteboards without having to worry about public speaking and type out their ideas with a bit more thought and planning.

The communication tools make asynchronous communication easy too. Everyone, literally, can be on the same page. Many love monday.com’s “Watercooler” board because it lets them share personal stories, ideas and knowledge in an interactive and fun way.

Track Tasks Across the Organization

How do you know if a project is making headway? You track the tasks and results. Monday.com provides several ways for departments to assign and track tasks and their accountability holders, not only from individual to individual, but from team to team, department to department and holistically from a company standpoint. This is hugely beneficial for assessing the collaborative achievements of groups and individuals. More importantly, if there are delays or breakdowns in progress, the mapping lets you see where these issues are happening and what might be causing them. For example, you can see which people and departments have the biggest workloads and number of tasks to complete, allowing managers to decide how to better allocate the projects and resources.

Provide Training that Makes the Transition Fun and Interesting

Tammy St. Pierre, another Eligeo sale rep, noted that “For the most part, my clients have said during this pandemic they felt like their staff (especially the older demographic) would not want to or be able to adjust to the change of such a platform, but surprisingly they enjoy learning about and working with it.”

This finding makes sense. If a tool works and makes people’s lives easier, most individuals will enjoy using it. More importantly, the technology is designed to be intuitive, meaning that anyone, whether tech-savvy or not, can learn how to use it quickly and on their own.

Create Knowledge Bases for Information, Make Access Easy for Everyone

VP of Client Success at Eligeo, Karim Mahdi states, “I have gotten great feedback from many of our monday.com clients regarding how it can be used as a document repository. It allows their staff to access documents and files needed for specific projects while away from the office and helps them avoid additional costs of adding equipment or services that give their employees remote access.”

A robust platform that safely gives teams access to shared databases, monday.com serves as a cloud-based asset management tool, while also offering extensive collaboration and management capabilities. Important files that people need to use are available for editing in real-time, and can be organized by project, teams and tasks. This way, no one has to waste time searching for project images or documents—they have all those assets organized and neatly mapped out within their project boards, along with all other necessary related collateral and tasks.

This shared accessibility also ensures transparency between teams, so everyone knows what’s happening in real-time. They can see what’s on their co-workers’ plates, view the collective progress, search through collaborations and communications for answers to their questions and keep all project info saved and out in the open. In this way, lost papers, written notes and email chains become an inconvenience from the past.

Remote Working: Here to Stay?

Even before 2020, remote workforces were on the rise, but once the pandemic hit, the movement exploded. According to statista.com, “Before the pandemic, 17% of U.S employees worked from home 5 days or more per week, a share that increased to 44% during the coronavirus pandemic.” It was a business choice that was once hotly debated by many companies, but is now becoming the norm.

Whether or not businesses will choose to keep their teams at home in the post-pandemic era will largely depend on the outcomes they see from their remote teams. However, many signs are indicating that this sea change is on the way, with a new survey by Stats Canada finding that almost one-quarter of Canadian businesses think that 10% or more of their workforce will work remotely or telework once the pandemic ends.

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