Covid-19 has upended life as we know it around the world, and it has thrust us into a remote work environment whether we chose to or not. Working from home, which was once thought of as a nice-to-have perk has become the new norm. It has come with it its own new set of challenges. We look into working from home tips to keep team engaged and productive.
Understand What is Expected of You
The biggest concern for most managers is the performance of their employees under an environment that is less structured and more prone to distractions. It would take a lot of self-control for employees to remain focused on the task at hand during office hours.
One of the most useful working from home tips is making sure that it is clear to team members what is expected of them early on. Managers need to have a healthy amount of trust in their employees that they can do their job even though they are not physically together in the same office. Some managers however, may be more prone micromanaging and tend to monitor performance unreasonably. Our working from home tips include establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure that work is completed in a timely manner. These KPIs should relevant and attainable to keep employees from becoming frustrated and disengaged. Employees are better able to reach their full potential when they are made accountable for achieving expected outcomes.
Take Advantage of Communications Tools
One of our key work from home tips is choosing the appropriate communication tools to facilitate effective collaboration. Assessing all the available tools can sometimes be confusing so here are a few that we recommend:
It is commonly said that people communicate not only through words but also with non-verbal cues. Zoom allows remote teams to participate in virtual meetings that is as close to being physically in a room together. To facilitate meetings visuals can be shared one person at a time on the computer screen. A built-in messaging tool lets participants chat and quickly share documents. Zoom can handle up to 100 participants and delivers high definition video and audio. It also allows for breakout rooms where people can be assigned into smaller teams so they can brainstorm or discuss issues within their group.
For organizations that are used to the Microsoft ecosystem such as Office 365, Microsoft Teams is just a natural addition to use for communications. Microsoft Teams is a collaborative workspace that is designed for remote teams and offers great benefits for in-house employees as well.
What Microsoft Teams brings that other apps cannot is their deep integration with Office 365. It can seamlessly bring any Office 365 application into the meeting to enhance productivity. You can collaborate on the same Word document, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation, or OneNote document as you discuss the content. It removes the need to go back and forth between applications so your team can review and edit documents quickly and efficiently while having a seamless discussion about that content.
Slack is messaging platform that streamlines communications in one organized space. Messages can be arranged by topic by creating Channels and assigning them to the people concerned. You can search any content from an internal search box so even if a sent message or link is buried deep in the message threads you can still find it effortlessly.
Make Best Use of CRM Platforms
Another useful working from home tip for remote teams is utilizing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM). A CRM It is a digital platform that It is mainly designed to help manage relationships with your prospects and customers. The great news is that modern CRMs have evolved to offer so much more than that. They have become tools to manage email marketing campaigns, social media platforms, and even track website visitors. It is a key tool for helping marketing and sales teams work together effortlessly.
One of the most popular CRM systems, HubSpot, has found that organizations with excellent sales and marketing alignment close 38 percent more deals and achieve 27 percent faster three-year profit growth.
Hubspot brings together marketing, sales and customer service teams so they can provide a seamless and exceptional customer experience throughout the buyer journey. Whether it is assigning the proper buyer personas, ensuring contact information is up-to-date, sending useful content, nurturing the relationship, providing the best solutions and offerings, closing the sale and pushing for repeat business, Hubspot can support all these efforts.
Create a Schedule and Track Progress
Working from home is a boon to most workers because the flexible schedule allows them to maintain a good work-life balance. But if there is no proper structure, employees could lose track of time. It helps to have a routine to keep them working towards their goals. It is essential to prioritize tasks by urgency and create a weekly schedule. Work with your team to develop an organized timetable to ensure that every member is in sync with the tasks they need to accomplish and when they need to complete it.
One essential working from home tips for managers is to make use of time management tools like Tick. It helps them oversee their remote teams as well as plan and allocate time assigned per client or activity. It tracks productivity, assesses progress of projects and informs managers how well team members are managing their time.
Working remotely can be very challenging, but with the right planning and the effective use of technology, each member can continue to work efficiently and remain engaged with the rest of their colleagues to foster collaboration and ensure that business goals are being achieved.
Looking for more tips for your startup or small business? Sign up for our monthly newsletter.