Blog Post

5 simple tips to boost ‘remote’ team efficiency

Leading a team is challenging at the best of times as it can require you to master skills such as time management, strategic thinking and problem solving. If you add in the additional responsibilities and pressures of managing employees that might now permanently work from home, or as part of a hybrid working arrangement, this challenge could feel overwhelming.

However, in spite of its challenges, effective leadership of a healthy team whilst working remotely is most definitely achievable.

Here are our top 5 tips to help you improve efficiency with your remote teams.

1. Schedule daily check ins

When working with an office based team, a lot of communication tends to be ad hoc, operating on an as-and-when basis. You might be used to checking up on a team member’s progress on a project as you walk past their desk on the way to the refreshment area or your team members might be used to addressing any issues they may have by just popping over to your desk.

If all or some of your teams are working remotely, the opportunity to communicate in this way is no longer an option which can possibly act as an interruption to regular communication and possibly productivity.  

This can be addressed by scheduling a daily catch up into your calendars so you can keep up to date with their progress and be made aware of any concerns they may be facing.

2. Utilise technology

Whilst working remotely, you’re likely to have more online communications with your team than you ever previously experienced and this simply cannot be carried out solely via email. And with so much communication being visual through the use of body language, the lack of in-person contact can negatively impact the clarity of message and result in a lack of understanding for key information.

Overcoming this barrier with the frequent use of video call platforms like Zoom or Skype is a great way to maintain the person to person awareness. You might also consider investing in a direct messaging service like Slack – it’s great for short messages and quick replies especially in comparison to email.

3. Be flexible

Remember that switching to a remote working environment created different challenges for all of us and some members of your teams may still be adapting to this.

Try to understand that some team members may be operating under additional stresses or time constraints and may therefore be more productive outside of regular work hours. Wherever possible, allow your team to work hours that fit around their commitments, as long as, they’re able to continue delivering on their tasks at the required levels.

Have empathy for the members of your team whose circumstances might differ from yours and consider how you can use your position to make things easier for them, this is a great strategy for maintaining productivity and building positive team dynamics.

Focus more on results rather than the traditional activity standards we were used to.

4. Give your team the resources they need

Regular check-ups with your team to ensure they have the correct tools, equipment and resources needed to work productively and efficiently is a worthwhile exercise.

You probably made sure everyone had the right standard office equipment and access to the software or programmes they needed a year or two years ago, but it’s important to frequently check that they have what they need to produce the best results for today.

Are you investing in the right levels of IT or training? Maybe there’s a new software service subscription that would help your team improve their efficiencies or some upskilling requirements – you might not know until you ask.

Not only is it your responsibility to ensure your teams have the tools they need for success but dedicating some time and attention to this area can make your employees feel more valued, respected and supported by you.

5. Set expectations and trust in your team

You may feel under extra pressure to micromanage when you’re leading a decentralised team. The multiple communication channels we were all used to was abruptly disrupted and maybe you don’t feel like you’re as ‘in touch’ as previously. This could inadvertently lead to micromanaging where you feel the need to be copied in on all emails or too much time is spent on asking your team members to explain the detail of their daily tasks.

This can create feelings of distrust in the relationship with your team which could lead to lower levels of  productivity! Your team needs to feel like you believe they are capable if they’re to perform at their best.

Take a fresh approach to training and development

Learning and development is vital for the continual success of any business. But “off the shelf” training programmes don’t always make the changes you want to see.

That’s why at Puritas we offer bespoke training solutions that put you and your people at the heart of everything we do. Enhancing skills and performance for the long-term.

Book your free consultation here or give us a call on 01473 760692 to find out more.