More and more of today’s employees in the IT world work remotely on a regular basis. Although, as the current epidemic situation is changing day-to-day, it might be tricky to keep your team focused on the goal. How can you make sure your remote working team is motivated, happy and productive?
How does it all work?
When it comes to methods, most IT companies use Agile, Scrum, or a mixture of different frameworks. Also, we all know that every team should have a clear work structure: timeboxed meetings, daily checkups, rules, criteria. Those are the heart of the working process.
A set of clear ground rules and a manager with good organisational skills comes in handy when you’re trying to maintain a decent level of productivity and effectiveness. However, while that is surely true, there is definitely more to remember.
It’s all fun and games until…
On the other hand, this type of work does present challenges. Creating an organizational culture for all employees, regardless of their location, is a tough nut to crack for managers. When it comes to working remotely, the crucial aspect is to build bonds between employees. It’s the project manager’s job to keep them happy and motivated while maintaining a high level of productivity at the same time.
How to make sure you’re pulling your weight
Luckily, there are actions and tools managers can use to foster a company culture that’s friendly for those working remotely. Let’s take a look at what can be done!
Communication is the key
Communication is much easier when everyone can see each other in the conference room, but make sure to schedule timeboxed events when all employees are expected to participate. This helps keep everyone up to date with the project and focused on the goal.
Check everyone’s availability
Ask your team to set up clear virtual office hours. The same goes for project managers! It is important for the whole team, as well as other employees, to know they can rely on their entire team to be available via chat or teleconference when needed. Clear information about team availability will help you to establish trust between everyone.
If you have team members working on several projects at once and struggling to keep their day organised and productive when working remotely, consider using a more intuitive time tracking system. Having a clear and simple time management tool might come in handy when switching between projects and planning future sprints.
Pick the right communication tools
All project managers have their favourites when it comes to communication tools. Picking one of them might be a challenge because not all of them are suitable for every team and every project. An intuitive and user-friendly tool will help your team members stay productive. Perhaps, if you have time, you could even consider creating your own?
Make sure to keep everyone on track
It might be easier to lose focus while working remotely. Make sure to involve all your team members in all conversations. We all have our tasks and priorities aside from the projects we work on. That’s why making sure that everyone is up to date will help keep communication clear and easy to follow.
Find the time to meet with your team
It’s your responsibility as a project manager to make sure that everyone knows their role in the project and feels included. Make sure that you can find time to meet with your team members face to face when they need it. Don’t be afraid to use video cameras and encourage your team to do the same. You might be surprised about how effective a short video call can be.
Notes to remember
Although it might pose a challenge to a lot of us, there are many ways to leverage remote work to your advantage. Focus on keeping your communication as efficient as possible, as it helps you keep your team up to date and productive. Remember to always involve your team in the process. Let your team members speak because their voices can make a difference. Keep calm and #stayhome!