The sudden growth of remote work presents big challenges to traditional workflows. Often, these center around face-to-face conversations and in person interactions. How can you accomplish the same productivity now that most people are working from home? The answer is a combination of changing practices and adopting technology.
Make Sure Everyone Knows They Are a Part of the Team
Keeping everyone in-the-loop is essential. How you do so will vary based on the size of your team and the given situation. The most important thing is to have a quick and easy means of communication available, as well as remembering to ask others for their input where appropriate and to make sure people feel like a part of the process.
Establish a Time and Method for Regular Check-Ins
Obviously, individualized work schedules, not to mention time-zone differences, if applicable, can make it difficult for other everyone to reach each other. The solution is to establish consistent times of availability to respond to phone calls, email, or other messages–rather than try to shoehorn them into traditional, established schedule.
Weekly one-on-ones are also a must. You don’t have the same opportunity to pop into some’s office or the break room to ask a quick question. The best practice is to find mutually beneficial ways to check in. This may include chat, text messages, or looking for times that are convenient for a quick talk.
How often should you check in with each other? The right answer will vary depending on your work, personality, experience, and your company culture. In general, I think it’s a better idea to err on the side of too many check-ins, rather than too few, because you can always cut back.
Get to Know Remote Employees as People
A remote office culture can only be built with intention and consistent action. Without daily in-person interactions to rely on, getting to know each other is going to take some effort. Engaging for purposes other than discussing current projects is a good start.
Each person on the team should have an idea of what drives or depletes other team members’ passion and enthusiasm, as well as their short- and long-term aspirations.