Today, businesses are engaged in a balancing act between productivity and morale. You need high levels of performance and accountability-;but you also need your team to feel engaged and loyal to the company. And when you’re managing remote workers, the challenges are even greater.
By leveraging available technology solutions, along with simple shifts in how you manage remote workers, you can dramatically improve your results. Here are some tips from mobile workforce leaders who are meeting this challenge on a daily basis.
Adopt ideas from big-name employers. TRaD Works Forum is a conference where, large companies share their best practices on telecommuting, remote and distributed teams. Brie Weiler Reynolds a remote work expert with FlexJobs and Remote.co, says that two winning practices stood out in 2016. First, virtual toolkits, which typically include features like collaboration and community platforms, file-sharing services, audio/video chat apps, virtual meeting software and project management systems, helped streamline communication. Also, creating a shared document with information on the team’s communication style, tools used, regular meetings and core working hours, helped teams set expectations and establish trust.
“Technology can play an important role in helping businesses manage successful remote teams with high productivity,” she says. “Open and proactive communication is critical in a mobile workforce, and managers can use platforms like email, IM, virtual office environments, and web conferencing to engage mobile workers and encourage regular communication.”
Set goals-;and track progress. Almost all the mobile workforce leaders Remote.co has surveyed report that “being results-focused was the key to measuring productivity,” Weiler Reynolds says. “Rather than focusing on when and where workers are doing their work, these leaders are focusing on how and what their teams are doing and accomplishing.”
Some of the assessment criteria and tools mobile workforce leaders use to measure productivity include:
- Quality of work completed
- Customer satisfaction
- Ability to meet deadlines
- 360-degree feedback (a process that solicits input from a variety of sources to assess an employee’s work-related behavior and performance)
- Performance reviews
- Objective setting
Make sure mobile workers are treated the same as other team members. Remote workers should be made to feel they are important members of the team, says Sophie Wade, founder of Flexcel Network, which helps businesses transition to the new work environment. “Any business can create a cohesive identity and sense of community if it has a strong company culture and values that are clearly and consistently communicated,” she says. “In addition, holding gatherings such as outings, retreats and other company events that assemble some or all of the employees can be extremely valuable for ensuring all workers can develop and maintain a connection to the company’s mission, it also recognizes their role and contribution to the business’s overall success.”
Perhaps the most important tool for maximizing the productivity of a virtual workforce is “understanding each worker as an individual and meeting them where they are to the greatest extent possible,” Wade says. That means empowering remote workers to use the applications, formats, devices and channels that allow them to be the most productive and collaborative with the rest of the team.
T-Mobile is not associated with or endorsing the brands, services or products mentioned in this article.