Five Productivity Hacks for Global, Remote Teams
Communicating often is key but not too much that it bothers employees
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Between the rise of remote work and increased want of bleisure travel, more companies are finding themselves creating remote work policies. Some companies prefer remote only or a hybrid of remote and office work. Employees more and more have the freedom to travel and work from other places. But it's important the business productivity doesn't decrease.
For teams that find themselves working across the globe, here are five productivity tips that can make sure work output remains high.
Centralize Team Communications
For almost every team, a project management tool is a must. And for remote teams spread around the world, it's essential. While there are many platforms to choose from, businesses should centralize communication on one or two platforms. Many organizations use Slack for day-to-day talking and platforms such as Basecamp or Trello to share files, update team members, and ask relevant questions.
No matter which platform a company uses, it's crucial to keep it consistent. When onboarding a new remote team member, make sure they know these platforms are mandatory.
Make Time Zones Easy to Track
Scheduling a call is difficult when trying to figure out time zones. Luckily, some tools can help. Spacetime integrates with Slack, so all team members know what time it is at other team member's locations. For non-Slack users, try Every Time Zone. This shows users local time in different time zones around the world. Platforms like these make it easier to schedule meetings and help set expectations on when different team members will reply to messages and emails.
Ask for Feedback
Remote work isn't for everyone, and managers may have a hard time checking in with each member of a large team. Luckily, there are tools that can help. Managers can use 15Five or Officevibe to gather feedback on a larger scale. Maybe the weekly meeting runs too long, or there are not enough video conferences. No matter what employees have to say, managers can take all notes into consideration easily using these tools.
In a physical office, if an employee does an excellent job, management usually takes them out to lunch or for drinks. For global, remote teams, this really isn't an option. However, employees always appreciate being singled out for a job well done.
For special days, managers could ask the global team to sign a group card using GroupGreeting. This tool is great for birthdays when signing a physical card isn't possible. Managers could also offer monetary rewards using Bonus.ly to recognize high-performing individuals. Finally, global recognition is always a great way to compliment your team members. Posting in a global channel in Slack or a similar platform to highlight the great efforts of a team member will allow people from across the globe to also congratulate and recognize them.
Those who can work remotely are typically self-starters who set their own pace. What can become frustrating is if managers decide to have a weekly call and then change it to a daily call then change it to a monthly call, etc. Employees should have a consistent plan for communication so they can schedule it into their to-dos and know to block off time. Remember, these employees are trusted to work around the world remotely for a reason, so don't waste their time with a changing schedule.
It's likely that global remote work will continue to rise, so managers should prepare to lead this type of team in the future. Productivity can actually increase as companies move to remote work, as long as managers provide the tools to make this happen. Communicating often is key but not too much that it bothers employees. These tips will help anyone ready to stay productive leading a global, remote team.