Remote working is not a new phenomenon. It is something that was already becoming common among the workforce today. However, there are still many companies that didn’t adopt it until they were forced to do so by the recent coronavirus pandemic. This sudden change caught many companies unawares.
In the real sense, it can be very challenging to manage a remote team, especially if you are looking to continue with “business as usual” and make your employees feel like all of their work is towards achieving the company’s same goals.
With the global crisis that we're now experiencing, the work culture is bound to have changed forever. This means that the new normal will now be remote working. With this in mind, it's important to note some of the challenges that CEOs face with working remotely and handling remote teams and the strategies for overcoming these challenges.
Communication is a crucial part of the success of any remote team. All team members must know what to do, when to do and what individual members are working on irrespective of where they are. While this is easier in a centralized office setting, it is more difficult to pass information across while working remotely. Open communication is essential and necessary, but hard to achieve. A commonly used tool is the email, but it does not help quick conversations.
The best way for remote teams to tackle the communication problem is by creating a dedicated communication channel. This channel can be specified for remote workers working on one project or for workers in the same department. This will ensure that information is relayed in real-time and will help to reduce the communication barrier between remote workers.
Tracking work and level of productivity
CEOs and managers need to know the quality of their remote teams' quantity of work. But most of the time, this is usually unclear to them. It becomes harder to tell whether a remote worker isn't doing enough work or being underutilized without a proper understanding of what productivity should be like for them.
This is why remote managers need to establish the best means to track employee productivity. An example of this is to set up a metric for the amount of work that needs to be done every day, such as:
- Developing and maintaining the company's blog.
- Scheduling 20 posts on social media every hour, etc.
Whatever metric is chosen to evaluate the work and level of productivity of remote workers should be the same with an in-office worker. This will ensure that the remote workers are not underutilized or overused as well. So, there's a clear expectation regardless of where and how the individual or team works.
It is challenging for CEOs to build trust between themselves and the remote team members. It is easy for the managers to worry about the workers not completing their work or being efficient with it. On the other hand, the workers also have their own concerns, which include whether they'll get the payment for their service at all or on time. That's why it's essential to be transparent as this is the only way to build any form of trust between both parties truly.
In building trust between both parties, there are certain things to be transparent with, and some of them are:
- Project expectations
- Working hours
- Payment timelines
- Pay rate
- Project status update
Once there is a clear understanding between both parties on these issues, and both keep to their side of the bargain, it becomes easier to build trust between remote workers and CEOs or managers.
It takes time and consistency to cultivate company culture truly. It also involves getting the culture across all boards, fostering healthy communication between individuals and teams, and hiring the right kind of employees. Whatever culture you're trying to put into your team, you'll need to put in a lot more effort to instill that culture in a remote team than an in-office setting. It is often easy to shape the culture within the office without the CEO or even the manager getting involved. But this is definitely not true for remote teams.
You need to have a plan if you're going to create a company culture reflecting the company’s value in a remote team. You have to start at the very top. It has to start with the CEO; how they interact with the managers and employees, then this is passed down.
For instance, if you are trying to build a culture of open communication. Then it would be best if you had an open-door policy where remote members can communicate with everybody (the CEO inclusive). But if you are trying to build a fun and friendly company culture, then start with sending gift cards and organizing fun get-togethers.
CEOs face many challenges with remote workers, but it's mainly because it's new to some companies. But they aren't problems without solutions.
Thomas Lanigan has work experience for 4 years as a marketing specialist, social media manager, writer, journalist, and editor. He is also a professional content writer at assignment writing help in such topics as blogging, marketing features, progressive education programs, and business.