Remote teams, virtual teams and work from home teams are an excellent way to save on costs associated with renting an office, providing all the necessary equipment and space for the team as well as ensuring transportation to and from work, in most cases. However, since the pandemic has started and we’ve seen an increase in the number of businesses that move their operations to the remote field, there’s been complaints about remote team productivity going down the drain.
More often than not, virtual team productivity relies on job satisfaction and employee well being more than it does on the managers of the projects that are moved to the online environment. Burnout can happen quickly in the online environment, since virtual workers that are new to remote activity may not be able to manage their time and tasks efficiently. There’s a drive in remote teams to get things done faster so that they can move away from the screen.
In order to circumvent this tendency, companies with small, medium and large online workforce should take into consideration that by diversifying their workspace and using specific, well-designed apps on their communication channels could help increase virtual teams’ productivity scores.
Improving productivity of remote teams
There are many fundamental ways to increase remote team productivity. The team at Aircall put together a few tips for increasing remote team productivity that might come in handy.
The responsibility for designing productive teams falls primarily on the shoulders of Founders, Team Leads, Project Managers, and Human Resources. In order to arrive at an efficient solution, stakeholders need to ask the right questions. While not a comprehensive list, here are a few relevant questions to ponder:
- How do you set and measure goals?
- What are the right tools for effective collaboration?
- How could teams communicate effectively?
- How do you prioritize employee wellbeing?
While they form different facets of solving productivity in remote work setups, they converge at a single point when it comes to implementation. Tools. More specifically, software.
Tools of Titans: Software for Productivity
For you Tim Ferriss fans, we couldn't help but borrow one of his books' title for the section header :).
In a modern business environment, you need a software tool for everything - communication, collaboration, employee wellness. More so in a remote setup. Let's take communication as an example. In a remote setup, it becomes more complex given that coworkers may operate in different time zones. While email wasn't the most efficient solution, it was the choice for almost every business until superior products such as Slack started replacing internal communications. Organizations need to adapt to a new way of working.
Best Productivity Slack Apps for Remote Teams
Similar to the example of communication, it is important to determine your remote software stack. Mind you, it isn't an easy task but we're here to lend a helping hand. However, in this article, we'll limit ourselves to the Slack platform since there's a good chance you run your workplace in Slack. We take a look at 5 of the best Slack apps for remote teams that are meant to help with task distribution and follow-up, time management, team spirit and team building, as well as break times and burnout.
When taking on the responsibility of managing a team of remote workers, one must consider that the team members don’t know each other personally and thus, have no accountability or connection to each other. Donut aims to bridge this gap by helping individual online workers get to know each other and forge strong working relationships.
Donut also facilitates building relationships by providing conversation starters and icebreakers to remote workers and new remote team mates. It gives managers and team members the opportunity to learn about each other on a personal level and that will in turn increase productivity.
Remote workers will be more accountable and responsible if they feel appreciated, respected and understood by their managers and leaders. At the same time, productivity of remote teams will increase if they feel personally connected to the leaders they are reporting to - and Donut is a great tool to achieve that.
One of the most important things for remote workers is to be recognized and appreciated for their individual and collective achievements. It has been proven by numerous studies, that recognition and positive reinforcement has many more benefits than always pointing out the flows and the opportunities for improvement.
Bonusly is an app that gives remote team managers the tools necessary to provide appreciation and recognition to their virtual workers and has the benefit of working within Slack, so no extra investment is required. It is focused on employee engagement, rewards, recognition, motivation, retention and company culture.