The global pandemic has forced companies to introduce work-from-home policies and many are expected to continue in the near future. Managing a remote team, building a cadence, and company culture remotely is one of the new challenges that managers are having to face. In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways team leaders can ensure that their peers are remote but together to achieve their goals.

Building culture remotely

In offices where employees are onsite, it becomes easier to build and nurture company culture through team activities, cross-functional collaboration, and so on, which gives employees opportunities to bond with their colleagues. When it comes to teams that are remote, it can require more effort on the part of the supervisors to ensure that all members feel like they are working together. It begins with the onboarding process – it is advisable to create cohorts of new hires to onboard together and set up an introductory meet with others on the team.

Communicate often

Maintaining communication with remote teams is essential. Communicate accountability for each team member and monitor progress with regular check-ins. Set up a clear timetable and deadlines for each project/task. While working remotely, it is also important for team leaders to provide the team with the big picture context that is missing when the team is not onsite together.

It is also important to clearly and explicitly list the specific expectations of remote work at the beginning, like the number of hours per day that employees are expected to be online or if any kind of travel is required, so that employees are completely aware of what the job requires.

Leverage technology

To continue to process of building culture remotely, platforms like Microsoft Teams, have several features like channels, tabs, templates to build teams remotely and collaborate optimally. Microsoft Teams for example, will be rolling out a new feature called Templates which helps build teams quickly while remote. These templates are customizable according to the needs of the team and are also industry-specific like healthcare and banking. They provide a team structure with pre-defined channels, tabs and apps that will help team members do their industry-specific tasks more efficiently, without requiring the users, unless they want, to build a task workflow from scratch.

Project software like Slack, Confluence, and Trello, which are routinely used by tech companies to work on their projects, can be adopted by non-tech firms to facilitate collaboration, transparency, and accountability as it enables team members to track the progress of their projects in real-time.

Prioritize key tasks

Remote teams can get overwhelmed with tasks quickly leading to delays in the project. Also, there is a tendency to schedule too many meetings, which can lead to a further loss of productivity for some employees. Therefore, it is necessary to communicate to teams that they should focus on the crucial tasks at hand.

The remote workforce is here to stay for a while. As companies are considering a hybrid onsite/remote work situation in the months ahead, people are continuing to explore ways to adapt to the new work environment.