We are still in the grips of a new working world, making it essential we continue to work from home if we can. We have already adapted to a world where remote teams have become the norm but ensuring our teams are effective involves a new approach to management. Keeping teams motivated, productive, and empowered in their work can be difficult from afar but there are strategies you can put in place to support your team and ensure your business continues to run smoothly.
Maintaining engagement and motivation
It is understandable that the first few days or weeks of this current climate resulted in a flurry of activity. Employees and teams – all of us – are keen to show they are willing and get to grips with new methods of communication and working practices. And maybe there was a bit of adrenalin involved in this new working from home routine?!
However, the first few days are hard to maintain in the long term, which is why it is essential to have a rough schedule and regular check-ins. Don’t forget some employees may find a relatively huge influx of communication and change difficult, so having a measured approach can be really helpful. Flex to the personalities and needs of your team, colleagues, and leadership.
Working from home requires a different kind of mindset and you need to give your team members the chance to get used to the new system. Team calls can help to increase morale, especially if you theme the calls or give them an informal edge, as well as getting down to business. You also need to appreciate the flexible nature of the modern working world, which seems to have accelerated incredibly these last couple of months or so! Not all employees will be able to sit and work standard office hours what with home-learning and so on. So be mindful of this to help keep employees engaged and motivated.
It is how we all need to live and work these days, but it can be hard to get used to. Or you can try to adopt the mentality of “it doesn’t matter when or where the work gets done, as long as it’s on time and at least of the required quality” to help come to terms with variable hours.
Embracing the changes
The way we are currently working may be in place for some time so we have to embrace it and get on with it as best we can. From a management perspective, this means finding ways to motivate and empower your team in their roles in an effective way.
Provide regular meetings without overwhelming staff with daily calls. Adapting to change is essential and, as has been provided in some sectors, it can be easier than we think. But it is not always easy for all people. Mastercard, for example, has reported huge uptake in the use of contactless payments, showing consumers have swiftly adapted to this change. The same can be said for video conferencing and Zoom calls in many workplaces. The regular weekly team chat has become a scheduled Zoom call, and the power of this tool is something we simply cannot underestimate.
While a standard telephone call can keep the updates flowing, video conferencing and calls allow for a more personal approach, which many of your staff will appreciate. (Although some simply won’t – so respect their preferences and roll with it.)
Create a safe virtual workspace
For teams to feel safe working online you have to do more to ensure their work environment is as safe as possible. A standard security protocol for offices simply doesn’t provide the level of protection required anymore. With this in mind, it should be the role of the management and senior teams to provide all employees with the information and tools they need to feel safe at work.
VPN use has been standard in countries like China where censorship is much more prevalent, but they can in fact simply help with the security of your network. Although many see VPNs as complex and aren’t entirely sure how to use them safely, plenty of people use them on a daily basis to access geo-restricted content on streaming platforms like Netflix, whose huge traffic highs further demonstrate just how popular their worldwide content is.
Remote-first SaaS boom
The demand for software to improve the remote working environment has never been higher, with many companies seeing a demand like never before. SaaS companies have been able to take advantage of this huge boom, with huge amounts of new usage in successful existing tools. Of course, this includes brands that have become household names like Zoom, and also other companies such as FreeConferenceCall, BrandDive and LogMeIn, or simply finding cloud storage that’s right for you and your teams.
The top growth activity for SaaS companies is new customer acquisition, which has been choked off for many businesses right now, and 59% of SaaS companies rate renewals and customer retention as second most important. Companies are testing many different tools to support their new remote working teams and this gives companies in the SaaS sector the chance to show off what they do and utilize their skills to avoid churn and retain, as well as bring in new customers.
Combining technology and personality
The software and technology out there are designed to make working from home and in remote teams as easy as possible, helping to make this time more straightforward to navigate and even enjoyable and productive.
This technology is the starting point but it is what you do with it that will help your teams manage these difficult times and ensure they work effectively despite being apart. Combining the technology available with personal skills in motivating and empowering your team is key to successful management at the current time. Easier said than done… but certainly achievable.
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