Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, teleworking has been part of the daily lives of millions of people around the world. But what happens to the culture of communication, collaboration, and personal relationships of teams when those people do not share the same space?
Despite the distance, we do not have to lose the most humane values of the work environment! Here are some tips from leaders and experts on keeping teams together, even if they are miles from each other.
How does teleworking influence the attitude of employees?
The pandemic has accelerated an already growing trend: teleworking. What once seemed like a utopia has not only become a reality but has also helped to verify the importance of work flexibility. 75% of the workers who carry out their home tasks say that this regime helps them better reconcile their professional and family life.
Before getting to the details, we advise you to permanently offer your employees the telecommuting option if your company and structure allow it. Possibly a large part of your staff prefers it that way.
Many large companies are located in cities, and people often spend a lot of time going to the office between trips. The time that they can now pay with their relatives or practicing hobbies, which will make them happier personally and professionally;
Also, motivation is vital for employees when they are telecommuting. Spending too much time at home can negatively affect performance and cause teams to be demotivated.
Now, for teleworking to be operational, employees need to access all the tools they had in the office. If employees do not have the necessary work material to carry out their task, offer them the possibility of using the devices and furniture they may need to work comfortably from home.
To do this, designate a person to keep a record of the material delivered to each worker. In this way, you will ensure that your team can perform its tasks in the best possible way.
Teleworking: a rising trend in Europe
In 2019, only 5.4% of people with work in Europe did it every day from home. Those who did it occasionally only amounted to 9%. And what are the data after the passage of the pandemic? It is estimated that approximately 40% of the population now work from home full time.
If we look at the data in Spain, only 8.3% of those employed in Spain resorted to the option of working from home, either regularly or occasionally. Currently, it is estimated that 22% of workers in Spain have the option of teleworking available. This figure is below the European Union average, although it shows an upward trend.
Despite formal guidelines on teleworking and the relaxation of restrictive measures, teleworking is likely here to stay in many people’s lives. 85% of business leaders say that thanks to the flexibility that work offers, productivity levels have increased and improved family balance.
Digital tools to bring teams together
A remote team needs good connectivity, which implies having the necessary platforms and tools, like a VoIP phone system for business to communicate and work from where they are.
That is why programs such as Zoom, Hip Chat, Slack, Discord, Skype, or Microsoft Teams are used for individual and group meetings and presentations and talks through shared screen mode.
Do you know dynamics to promote closer relationships between co-workers and improve the work environment? Don’t miss out on some examples to build more fun relationships between the team!
Other tools for sharing files online, such as Dropbox, Yammer, or Google Drive, and applications for workflow management, such as Trello, the Atlassian suite, or Assana, guarantee access to information in real-time.
Even brainstorming can be held in the digital environment, with apps like Mural or Miro.
How to unite the teams in a teleworking regime?
Having the right digital solutions can go a long way. However, in the end, it is up to the bosses to make sure the teams work well together. Unite and inspire your remote workers with advice from some of the world’s leading business leaders:
1. Recognize the value of employees
«If there is no growth, a company dies. A company has to be alive because of the people it has », Amancio Ortega, founder, and ex-president of Inditex.
Talk to your employees and tell them how their individual and team efforts help to achieve critical business goals to motivate them. Use an environment that allows you to set objectives, such as the OKR methodology (objectives and key results), to define and track the goals’ progress.
2. Act quickly
“It is up to us to imagine, design, and build the company we want to be in the future. We have done it, we have imagined it, we have designed it, and we want to start building the path towards it”,
A dynamic company is constantly evolving, and that means responding to challenges and opportunities by hiring the right people. So make sure your goal, vision, and values are reflected when hiring and training new hires.
3. Empower your team
“The mission of a company is to satisfy a customer by satisfying the needs of other workers.”
By fostering a trust-based work environment, you show your employees that you value their contributions. Avoid managing even the most minor things, and instead delegate tasks, as this will allow employees to hone their leadership skills.
4. Encourage two-way conversations
“We all need to be valued. It is the way we have to improve ». Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft
If you don’t meet your employees’ expectations or give them feedback on their work, they may become unmotivated at work. Tell how remote teams should interact and collaborate early on, and regularly check how they feel, so they feel supported. Also, please encourage them to send you their comments and take the opportunity to clear up doubts and receive suggestions.
No matter what awaits you on the job horizon, a good leader is always one step ahead. Find a way to create a telework policy and support those who work from home.