- Invest in work-from-home tools to ensure a thriving flexible working environment.
- Utilize technology for onboarding new staff members to streamline the process and introduce employees virtually.
- Create clear expectations for responsibilities and performance standards.
- Set accountability standards with the frequency of check-ins and task management tools
- Allow team members to take time off when needed.
As an employer, shifting to more flexible work options is no longer a choice but a necessity. With the rise of remote work, encouraging your team to work from home or on their schedule can help them stay productive and engaged in their tasks. But how do you create the right environment for successful flexible working? Here are some best practices that can make a difference.
Invest in Work-from-Home Tools
Having the right tools in place makes it easier for your team to adjust to working remotely. Of course, everyone will need laptops and internet access, but there are additional tools that can help with team collaboration. Some of the first ones to consider include the following:
Investing in communication tools will help streamline conversations between team members and ensure everyone remains connected. From video conferencing services to instant messaging platforms, having the right communication tools in place will help your team stay productive and on track with their tasks. It also avoids miscommunication, allowing everyone to get on the same page quickly.
Working remotely makes it easy to get sidetracked and lose track of tasks. Investing in project management systems provides an organized way for teams to keep track of goals and progress. It also helps streamline collaboration and provides visibility into who is working on what, allowing you to better manage timelines, workloads, and expectations.
Time-tracking tools are essential for remote teams. They provide a way to monitor productivity, allowing you to understand how your team is spending their time and where they need support. Time tracking software also simplifies payroll and billing processes, saving time while ensuring accuracy.
Another great tool is a remote viewer, which is a screen-sharing solution designed specifically for remote collaboration. This software enables teams to work together on the same document or project even when geographically apart, emphasizing smooth user experience and powerful features that make collaborative editing easy and time-efficient.
Utilize Technology for Onboarding
Onboarding new staff members is an integral part of setting up a successful remote team — yet traditionally, onboarding has happened face-to-face over coffee or lunch.
To facilitate this process remotely, employers should invest in technology solutions that automate the process as much as possible. For example, automated onboarding software can provide new employees with electronic agreements that speed up paperwork and dispute resolution. In contrast, video conferencing solutions such as Zoom or Skype provide ways to introduce new hires virtually without needing to be in the same room.
Set Clear Expectations
Though flexible work often means autonomy regarding hours worked or the type of workspace available, employers should still set clear expectations regarding responsibilities and performance standards required from their staff.
Setting these expectations helps ensure that productivity is maintained across all team members regardless of where they are working — so think about how you want your team members’ schedules structured along with what they need to complete every day or week to fulfill their job duties successfully.
Create Accountability Standards
While flexibility plays an important role when managing remote teams — the frequency of check-ins is also critical for keeping both employers and employees accountable for delivering results on time each month.
Whether it’s through scheduling biweekly meetings between managers and direct reports, utilizing effective task management tools, or instituting regular check-in times each day — accountability standards help ensure targets are met without fail despite geographical differences in location or individual scheduling preferences.
Time Off and Time Zones
Flexible work also means allowing team members to take a break when needed, no matter the time zone. Employers should ensure remote teams have enough time off to rest and recharge, which can help increase productivity over the long term.
In addition, setting expectations for when team members should be available during their local work day can help avoid late-night emails or requests if they live in a different time zone.
Creating an environment that encourages flexible work options is essential for achieving team success — and requires employers to invest in the right tools and set expectations for their remote teams. With the right approach, both employers and employees can benefit from these changes while boosting productivity levels.