Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increasing trend of outsourcing services and working with remote teams. In fact, last year’s pandemic even cemented this need, with the global workforce shifting to working from home settings. Now that many companies have experienced the economic benefits of switching to remote working setups, more and more people are making this move.
As much as it is beneficial, there’s also no denying that getting remote support for business operations still requires some adjustment before it works perfectly.
In this article, we will take a look at seven common challenges remote teams may face. We will also include some tips that you can apply to address these issues and keep your employees satisfied:
1. Working on Multiple Time Zones
With the Internet connecting people who are oceans away, many remote teams are composed of workers located all around the world. This work setup provides a diverse work environment which many businesses advocate for. However, the varying time zones can give managers a headache.
Here’s how you can solve this concern:
- Schedule meetings at a time that will be convenient for everyone
- Use a collaborative workspace
- Designate access hours where every employee can be reachable
2. Keeping Communication Flow Active
For a team to succeed in its goals, communication is the key that must be maintained at all times. However, active and engaging communication is always a problem, whether you work in the same space or remotely. For companies with remote workers, unresponsive team members can definitely be frustrating. But unlike the traditional setup, you can’t peek into their office and ask them why they didn’t respond.
If you want to maintain positive and active communication for your here staff, try these tips:
- Unite and stick with one communication app software for the entire team, though there are many tools available
- Don’t hesitate to check in once or twice a day
- Initiate small-talk sessions with your team
- Always ask for employee feedback.
3. Getting Confused with Roles and Responsibilities
Because remote working jobs are fully done online, with different employees situated in different parts of the world, there can be a layer of confusion if task coordination isn’t done right.
You never want this to happen with your employees because confusion will likely affect their morale and productivity. Not only that, but you wouldn’t want to have people overstep their work limits as well or fail to meet your expectations in their output.
Here’s how to make sure that everyone is on the same page:
- Design a clear organizational structure for your staff
- Prepare a structure for the stages of the workflow
- Take the time to be meticulous about the job description, project instructions, and all your expectations
4. Tracking Productivity and Performance
One real challenge faced by companies with remote staff is seeing whether or not they are utilizing their time productively. As a manager, you might feel worried about their commitment to their job, specifically about the energy and effort they put into their work.
Today, there are different types of software you can use to help you measure employee performance. However, ask yourself this question first: what do you want to get out of it? Are you after hours of work? Do you have a way to measure output?
You can choose among these solutions:
- Use time-tracking software if you want to identify hours worked on each project
- Be a results-oriented manager and measure their performance based on the work they produce
- Establish a daily or weekly check-in routine, where managers will discuss their team members’ work progress and activities
- Remember to reward high-performing employees to show them you appreciate their efforts and hard work
5. Building a Company Culture
Most companies have a visual of their values, how they want to operate, and how they want the overall culture to be. Nevertheless, communicating this well on a virtual platform can be a little challenging.
Here are things you can do to drive engagement and build rapport with your team:
- Launch spaces for your team where you can talk about things other than work
- Physically mail out gifts to your team members when the company hits milestones or when they celebrate special occasions
- Organize engagement activities at least once a month, whether they are virtual quizzes, games, pizza parties, or even karaoke!
6. Failing to Determine Growth Opportunities
Whatever type of worker you have, it is important to give them opportunities for growth and advancement. Keep in mind that today’s employees do not want to stay stagnant, and would want to see a development plan for their career. Without it, there’s a big chance that they’ll explore opportunities somewhere else.
As a manager, here’s what you should do to be a partner for your employee’s career:
- Host one-on-one meetings with every team member to discuss their goals, skills they want to develop, and other opportunities that will make them feel fulfilled
- Give your employees access to different online courses or certifications as a way for them to upskill
- Think about building a career ladder so that they can get vertical movement in their career
- Remember to have regular performance reviews with your team so that you can discuss things they can work on to better their career
7. Building Trust within the Team
One major concern for a team with members who are far apart is establishing trust within the company. Yes, communication can help, but this will never replace face-to-face interactions. However, with distance constraints, you have no choice but to work on building trust.
A major mistake remote managers do is micro-managing. When you repeatedly check up on your team members and enforce restricting rules, you’ll end up feeling alone, as most employees can’t handle their superiors always looking over their shoulder.
To overcome the impulse to micromanage, you can do the following:
- Be as transparent as possible with your team. Give them a clear picture of the job requirements, career growth opportunities, the state of the company, and what the future plans are
- Make your employees feel like integral parts of the company. Let them know how their job contributes to the overall success of each project
- Lay low on being too controlling, but assure them that you are ready to support them in case they need your help.
Working with a remote staffing agency to further business growth is slowly becoming a norm in today’s digital world. It is truly rewarding, but you must take time to form meaningful and valuable connections with your remote team to make it more effective. In the end, your investment in your remote team will bring bountiful benefits and rewards for you, your team, and the company as a whole.
Are you looking to outsource some of your company’s needs? CrewBloom can help you build a remote team of appointment setters, telemarketers, customer service representatives, technical support representatives, and other virtual assistant services. Call us today to learn more!