What is Remote Work?
Remote work is a way of working outside of the traditional, centralized workplace, usually with the help of digital technology.
It can also mean they work in different offices than their colleagues or clients—or that they work from home. No matter how you slice it, remote work typically means teams need to leverage communication tools like messengers, videoconferencing, phones, visual collaboration tools, and task trackers to get things done.
Ever since this thing called the Internet came along, we’ve increasingly relied upon it to get our work done.
Telecommuting has been on the rise for years. In a 2015 survey, the U.S. Department of Labor found that a whopping 35% of the professional workforce did some or all of their work from home.
What you need to know before setting up your home office?
Remote work can make people happier. But as with every good thing, you have to do it right to make it work. This goes both for employees as well as employers. While it’s entirely possible to sit around and do nothing in the strictest of offices, working from home requires a lot of discipline. More than responsibility, you’ll need to stay motivated without all the stimuli of an office. Communication is everything.
There is no such thing as too much communication for remote teams.
When you’re working from home, you’ll miss out on a lot of information, both verbal and non-verbal that you have access to in an office. There’s no watercooler talk, overhearing conversations or seeing that someone is too pissed off to shoot a work related favour at them. Over-communication becomes crucial to stay in the loop with what everybody else is working on. Beyond work, lack of face-to-face time also means that it’s harder to maintain relationships. These would have to be maintained online somehow.
Fully remote teams
A company may not have a central office. anyone can work at home, on the road, or in office spaces. This way you have a completely remote team. While this setup has its difficulties, it also has its advantages. That is, being “remote first” means that you can create processes and technologies that facilitate the needs of remote employees from day one.
How to Set Up and Run Successful Remote Teams with Remote Work?
Technological advances allowed distant teams from all over the world to rise. In this way, multiple team members can work from different cities and even countries. This allowed the selection of the best team members based on the skills rather than the position. However, it also creates difficulties for those who set up and manage the team in time.
There are three essential areas to pay attention to when setting up a remote team:
- hiring the right members,
- communication and
- ongoing management.
Successful Remote Teams Hiring Practices
How do you select the right staff, and what qualities do you look for?
Successful members of a remote team will have a few key characteristics. Because there is a lack of direct daily oversight, you must hire people who are self-starting and can accomplish tasks independently. This also means that they are the type who can operate without the typical work environment that offers social interaction.
Other important qualities for remote team members are that they can do homework, have the necessary skills. Otherwise, team managers will have trouble controlling progress. Or it will need to spend a lot of time asking for updates from members who do not perform their roles.
Staying in Contact: Remote Teams “Team Building”
Once you have assembled the right remote team, the next step is to establish an efficient communication method for ongoing contact. Due to the nature of remote work, this may make the difference in keeping your team members engaged and involved with other members and management.
Remote teams ‘team building’ can be achieved by regular video conferencing, training, impromptu team challenges and other non-business related communication. If team members are allowed to share personal information with each other (birthdays, important events, travel plans, etc.), this can create the feel of a social environment similar to a physical office.
How do you keep them connected?
In order to achieve true team collaboration it will be necessary to rely on technology for real-time interactive communication. It may be tempting to use email or one-to-one phone calls. However, it is preferable to arrange visual and audio meetings via video conferencing. It is difficult to measure attention and participation when there is no video conference. So it is a better alternative than phone conference.
There is also a need to establish clear meeting schedules and agendas ahead of time, so that all are prepared for the topics discussed. Scheduling videoconferencing can be a challenge depending on worker location and time of day or night, and it may be necessary to record it for some members.
Remote Teams Management
The primary task will be monitoring work output, oversight of quality and timelines, and management of worker time and activity.
Motivating Remote Teams with Remote Working
Motivation of remote teams will depend upon the degree of inclusiveness and connection they feel. Some team members may initially be motivated by the income and relative freedom of remote work, but over time will also require reinforcement of their value to the team and company. Regular reviews and evaluations can help individual team members to stay motivated, and working toward clear team goals will keep the remote team motivated as a whole.
Maximizing Remote Team Performance
Individual and team performance will be the ultimate measure of the success of the remote team and achieving the set goals should be a continuous priority. You should hire remote employees in anticipation that you will compensate and retain them on the basis of performance and productivity, similar to an office-based worker; and team milestones. You may need to check remote team members more often from office staff to provide support and clarify the direction of the project.
Communicating With Remote Teams
Traditional communication methods can work just as well with remote teams, such as email, mobile phones and landlines. Popular apps such as Skype or Yahoo can function well for simple messages to individual team members. However, team-wide communication maybe be better suited to apps like Prosoftly.
Managing Remote Sales Teams with Remote Working
When you come together with the remote sales team, your next priority is to create a consistent and reliable management and evaluation method. You can create these methods well, but you may need a different approach with the telemarketing team. You can customize your organization by addressing the unique needs of remote members who need a mix of support and independence, along with sales team management, modern communication tools.
Just as with any remote team member, communication with a salesperson is critical, especially if they are in foreign location. Communication through mobile devices, online apps and messaging can create an ongoing link to management and other team members. Periodic sales team meetings via video or phone conferencing can help add to a feeling of inclusiveness and accountability, as members report their results against established goals and benchmarks.
You can integrate the CRM system software program with other communication modes. You can allow management personnel to view specific communication and progress activities of sales team members. (even customers!) So you can ensure the transparency and accountability of the sales effort. Prosoftly provides this service to you reliably
Reporting and Tracking
When a salesperson is constantly on the road, meeting with prospects and ongoing customers takes priority over the reporting process. Even effective sales people may neglect documenting each meeting and relaying the information to the home office. If they are using a CRM system, this will still require data input at regular intervals. A member of the telemarketing team must motivate itself to monitor the effectiveness of the entire team. Otherwise, actual sales meetings and efforts may remain uncertain.
Remote Work in Number
Studies show that remote team members can be 10-20% more productive than in-office workers.
A leading US education company, Kaplan Test Preparation, has 85% of its employees working remotely, including sales, operations and business management.
An increasing number of cutting-edge companies utilize a 100% remote virtual workforce, with no principle office or headquarters.
If you use a remote team member instead of an office worker, you can save over $ 10,000 a year, taking into account real estate costs, office expenses, and employee support.
Some analysts predict that by 2020 over half of skilled workers will be part of a remote team, or a hybrid remote/office team.