5 Ways to Ensure Your Remote Tech Team Is Productive
The year is 2021 (almost 2022, mind you). And these past few years the world has been through a lot.
Heck, we’ve been through a pandemic. Some cities were placed in a lockdown situation that, until then, was only imaginable in a Hollywood zombie movie.
Thankfully, a zombie apocalypse never became our reality. But the sudden need to reallocate millions of people at a global-level from their corporate jobs to work from home is still an ongoing reality for many.
Regardless if you miss commuting to the office every day, it seems the remote working possibility is here to stay. In fact, many employees now expect some sort of flexibility regarding their work conditions.
And this is no exception for those working in tech jobs.
The problem is that working from home can tally an additional level of disconnection that may cause your tech team members to feel alone. This may lead to team miscommunication, company culture misalignment, a lack of efficiency, demotivation, and potentially even burnout.
To help avoid the issue, we share today the best ways to manage a remote tech team to keep your employees happy and competent.
Remote Tech Team Benefits
Just like any other department, the benefits of working from home for tech teams are also seemingly endless. And even though remote teamwork may not be able to fully replace real synergy, it still has various advantages and positive aspects.
By working from home, your tech employees will have:
- An improved work-life balance
- Flexible work-life schedule
- Reduced stress from commuting
- Money savings
- Positive environmental impact
- More time with loved ones
But regardless if you are brand spanking new to remote work, or if you’ve been at it for a while, knowing how to manage a remote tech team should now be one of your main priorities.
How Do You Keep Teams Together When Working Remotely?
Working with remote teams is a discipline in itself. And managing a remote team might look totally different for each company.
That being said, there are a few basic guidelines for managing any remote team.
Below we will cover 5 best practices for effectively managing your remote tech team.
How to Properly Manage Remote Tech Teams
1. Set clear expectations
Setting expectations means communicating with your team on what is expected from them.
It is an underlying leadership method (and duty) that will ultimately give your employees the information required for them to perform well.
Putting it plain and simple, setting your employees’ expectations and, as well, measures of success, will keep your workers focused and give them a sense of direction. This is especially important when you manage a remote tech team.
2. Hold brief interdepartmental meetings each day
As everyone knows, good communication among team members is fundamental to success.
When it comes to working remotely, the real magic happens with how you communicate with your team members.
Face-to-face interactions in your online meetings are a great way to promote team-building, brainstorming sessions, and socializing when they find themselves sitting (perhaps) alone in their living room.
But a word of warning regarding the amount of video calls you plan on setting: Too many and you might risk annoying your employees, which is counterproductive to the end-goal.
Alternatively, at the start of each working day, a short daily meeting featuring expected daily objectives and impediments allows for quick and efficient team communication.
End by asking for a quick end-of-day report stating all that was accomplished from the daily planning (and any difficulties or issues your employees might have encountered during the day). Be sure to follow up and talk about such issues the next morning.
3. Allow (and embrace) more flexible work hours
Workers’ schedules from around the globe have been affected by unforeseen needs, such as childcare and remote schooling. In parallel, the frequency of video calls seems to go up every day.
Allow for flexibility of your remote tech workers by moving all non-urgent meetings to email so people can respond when their schedules better allow. This “asynchronous” communication system permits your workers to perform their best while accommodating their new reality.
4. Recognize workers’ contributions and achievements
Recognizing talent and individual contributions is a way to maintain team cohesion and keep your employees motivated.
In the words of Teesee Murray, Epicor, “Profiling successes, including the contributions of those behind the scenes, is empowering and reinforces relationships. I also send surveys to my team, getting input from many vantage points to focus on innovation”.
5. Encourage non-business activities during normal work hours
Contrary to popular belief, tech people aren’t robots (shocking, right?). So the activities to keep your remote tech team united don’t always need to be strictly work-related.
Every now and then, aim to lead non-business related activities during work hours. This will allow you and your employees to connect on a more personal level, which is a way of demonstrating appreciation and value for individuals within your organization.
You can do dynamic activities such as trivias, games, contests–anything that can spark excitement and a feeling of belonging.
At the end of a busy week or after a project delivery, why not host a virtual happy hour? Talk about things unrelated to work and allow your employees to talk about what they plan on doing now that they have more free time at hand.
The secret is to keep these virtual happy hours relatively short. After all, there is only a certain amount of time people will want to sit at their desks after work time has passed, regardless if they are having a drink and talking to coworkers about non-work matters.
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Ana is the voice (erm, hands?) behind Ana Palombini Copywriting, where she provides content marketing for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and marketing agencies. Once graduated from a university where suits were mandatory, she is now a firm believer that work + sweatpants are ‘the way’ (cue to The Mandalorian theme song). When she is not furiously typing ‘till her fingers are numb, you'll find her watching Friends for the millionth time or having late-night sushi from her couch (or both). Say hi on LinkedIn or check out her website.