If you’re working with a remote team, making sure that everyone is working as productively as possible is much more challenging than if you were in a physical office.

With the right tools and strategies, you can keep your remote employees productive and happy.

Read on to discover some helpful skills and vital tools that will make working remotely a mutually beneficial experience for everyone involved.

Encourage Open Communication

One of the most difficult aspects of having a remote team is making sure that the communication lines are open. Without proper communication, tasks will be left by the wayside and workers will end up unhappy.

Use software like Slack to talk to your people in real-time. The more your business offers an open line of communication, the easier it will be to make sure things are getting done.

Collaborative tools are also helpful, and products like Trello can help you see what people are working on in real-time. When you collaborate and communicate, problems and issues will be resolved at a much faster rate, resulting in a happier workforce.

Aside from software programs, you should encourage people to contact management whenever they have questions or when issues arise. Whether it’s through phone calls, teleconferencing, or email, the real key is to make sure that all of your remote employees know there’s still an “open door” policy in place.

Assign a Project Manager for Remote Employees

The head honcho doesn’t always need to be in charge of their employees. Consider assigning someone to be the project manager so that you have one contact in charge of making sure things are running smoothly.

implement a project management office plan or software package that makes it easier for your PM to delegate and manage whatever needs to be done. When one point of contact is in charge, it gives your workers a leader they can turn to if they need help.

Your project manager should be in charge of making sure that each team member knows their specific tasks. They should also be able to manage deadlines and reassign tasks if another person needs assistance.

Trust Your Employees

A common misconception is that remote employees can’t be trusted to do their jobs correctly. The temptation to watch television, leave work, or simply get distracted by other things isn’t always as big of a problem as you might perceive.

While it can be difficult to let go and simply trust your workers, it’s actually the key to a happy workday and a better process overall. Of course, trusting your people doesn’t mean that you won’t check-in, but it does mean that you have faith in the people you’ve hired.

Do your best not to micromanage your workers or else it could backfire in the long run. If something seems off or wrong, you can then take steps to address it with individual people rather than the entire collection of employees as a whole.

When you put faith in the people you’ve hired, you might notice that production levels begin to increase rather than decrease. Remember to keep the communication lines open, and monitor your people occasionally just to make sure everyone is still on-task.

Hold Regular Meetings

Whether you plan to teleconference through Zoom or just call everyone together on a conference call, regular meetings make the experience of remote work better for everyone. Use these meetings as an opportunity to get an idea of where you are, and to address any concerns.

Meetings can be held weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on your needs. When everyone convenes together, it creates a sense of community and camaraderie that can help make up for what lacks in a real-world office setting.

Make sure that your remote team knows that these meetings are the best time to address issues and ask questions. Once it becomes a ritual, everyone will take advantage of this time to make sure that everything is operating as it should be.

Video-based meetings tend to be the best option when your people are working from home. This is a great way to put faces behind the names, get more social interaction, and recognize non-verbal cues.

Ask the Right Questions

One of the most important business skills is getting crucial feedback from your employees that will help you make positive changes. Ask a few questions to find out where everyone is, how they’re feeling, and what you can do better to improve the environment.

Ask your remote team what their favorite part is about working from home, and have them give you a clear vision of their daily routine. Make sure that everyone feels included as part of the team, and that they’re considered a part of the decision-making process.

Make sure that everyone is using the tools that are provided to them, and ask if there’s anything else they could use to help them be more productive. Finally, ask your people how they can be better supported. You might be surprised to learn that there are things the company can do to ensure that everyone is getting the help they need to stay on-task and stay happy.

Remote Work: The Way of the Future

Once you develop the right skills and use efficient business tools, your remote employees will find a great rhythm that keeps everyone happy and productive. Remember to keep the lines of communication open and to implement the right software and other tools that will help your business thrive and grow.

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