Remote Tech Teams Are Here to Stay.
At SGP Technology, we have observed a steady rise in demand for remote IT contractors and workers, and by the end of 2021, an estimated 25-30% of jobs will be remote.
The team of expert headhunters at SGP Technology have noticed that an increasing number of candidates are actively looking to work remotely, and that in order to avoid losing out on top talent, companies have to revise their workplace culture.
Meet Maria, the UI/UX expert
She spends her days hunched over her laptop on her couch, moving only to shoo her cat away from her keyboard. Maria spends 40 minutes to an hour every day on a morning meeting with her manager and colleagues that could have definitely been an email. She finds it hard to switch back from work mode because her team expects her replies to emails and messages whenever they are sent out. It certainly doesn’t help that she’s found it increasingly difficult to meet her work targets. Are you Maria? Or do the Marias’ of the world work in your company? Read on.
The Times They Were Already a-Changing
Remote and hybrid work models were in the cards a long time before the pandemic. COVID-19 pushed the world down a path it was already ambling towards. A study released by Zug, Switzerland-based serviced office provider IWG in 2018 found that 70 percent of professionals worked remotely at least one day a week, while 53 percent worked remotely for at least half of the week. The future (and present) of work is a remote/hybrid workforce.
It’s very tempting to ping a colleague or subordinate at 8 PM for that very important file for a meeting the next morning. Or expect colleagues to reply immediately to that message you had sent on the work WhatsApp group. When it comes to working from home, the lines become blurred.
How do you make sure your employees are not dreading the next email they get from you? How does a company ensure that its remote workforce is content, and consequently more productive?
In other words, how can YOU be there for your employees? Find out more from the remote work culture tips outlined below.
5 Ways to Ensure Productivity in Your Remote Tech Teams
1) Onboard new employees the right way
It’s important for newly appointed employees to feel welcome. Send out a welcome email or message on the team communication channels, so the whole team gets to know a little bit about their new colleague.
Remember to ask the new employee to introduce themselves on the channel by asking a few questions to get them talking. You know, break that ice.
2) Set clear expectations with your remote tech teams
Setting clear expectations and boundaries is key to ensuring productivity in a remote working team. Without a physical separation between office and home, it’s easy for them to feel burnt out.
Defining clear work timings for your team is important. Set expectations and thresholds on responding to emails and messages after work hours. This way, employees will not feel the need to constantly check their notifications and email during after-work hours.
3) Equip your remote tech team with the right tools
To ensure your virtual company culture is robustly set up, it’s important to support your team’s communication, time-tracking and project management with the right tools. Find the channel that best suits your team’s communication needs and culture – e-mail, texts, phone calls, video chats, an intranet channel—and reach a balance between constantly bombarding employees with texts and e-mail and total silence. The frequency of communication can differ among employees.
4) Establish the need for a remote work set up at home
An employer shouldn’t be suggesting the layout of an employee’s house, right?
Wrong. It may be well worth your time to ask employees to create a separate work from home set up. Encourage team members to create a good home office environment. It will help separate the experience of work from a lazy day on the couch, and minimize distractions.
5) Regular check-ins with your remote tech team
Set up regular check-ins with employees. It’s crucial in ensuring that employees feel like they’re a part of a team, and that their work is a vital component in the larger picture. While it may be tempting to constantly ping your team to track progress, this could come across as overbearing, and hamper your teams’ productivity. Resist the urge to micro-manage, so your team can focus on getting actual work done.
All work and no proper management will make Maria a very dull girl. Therefore, it’s a remote team manager’s responsibility to ensure they’re present, and is available to listen to their teams’ concerns.
We’re sure you’ve heard of the old saying “Happy team, Happy Manager,”?
Oh wait, that’s not how it goes?
Well, that’s how it should be then.