Remote work is here to stay. which means we have some work still to do, to get it just right. The question is: how effective are remote workers today?
In the absence of face-to-face office interactions, communication as a team can sometimes suffer. The larger the remote team, the more difficult it can be to synchronise schedules, overcome language and cultural barriers, and foster that group feeling that is so integral to a happy and productive workforce.
Existing communication ecosystems won’t always be enough to support the shift to remote, or even multi-office work. So what do businesses need to do?
Unlocking the potential of your large remote teams
Productivity doesn’t happen by accident — it has to be built. That’s why organisations need to devise a strategy and take specific steps to ensure their teams can communicate effectively, no matter where they are.
Here’s 5 ways to ensure your remote team is communicating and collaborating just as effectively remotely as they do in person:
Define how your team will communicate
What do you expect from your teams when working remotely? The etiquette that’s second-nature in an office environment is a little less clear when working virtually. Are all team members requested to have cameras on when in meetings? Should questions be saved for the end of a VC?
Being upfront with your team about expected virtual protocols can help streamline remote communications, whether it’s general housekeeping (e.g. muting microphones during meetings) or focused on operational excellence and new ways of working.
Create smaller, more agile teams
As your employee's transition to remote work, it might be time to reconsider the size of the teams they’re in. Why? Because trying to maintain large working groups, without face to face interaction, can be difficult and counterproductive.
All work centres around projects — that’s true for any organisation. So when working virtually, try splitting large teams into smaller groups, designed to tackle specific parts of a larger roadmap. This can be much more productive and can help play to team member strengths.
Humans are social creatures — just because we’re working remotely, doesn’t mean we want to work in isolation.
Team leaders need to play an active role in creating ways for members to connect and motivate each other.
Whether it’s organising a virtual lunch or team quiz, finding ways to interact as a team, just to chat or have fun, is crucial to maintaining well-being. Thankfully, the rise of sophisticated video conferencing tools can go some way to replacing face-to-face communication.
Host shorter, more efficient meetings
Even with the best will in the world, it can be hard to concentrate on a laptop for extended periods of time.
When working remotely, shorter and more structured meetings can help teams focus. Establishing and sharing an agenda document in advance, with clear objectives and desired outcomes, can help people come prepared and ready to work collaboratively.
Invest in the right technologies
Very few organisations expect their in-office employees to come equipped with their own tools and technologies. It’s far easier for the business if everyone’s working from the same software system, the same file-sharing server, email provider, etc.
So the same principles should apply when working remotely. Built specifically to cater for large remote or multi-office teams, Mitel MiCloud Flex helps improve business productivity by streamlining virtual communications.
What is Unified Communications and how does it help?
A Unified Communications (UC) refers to a phone system that integrates (or “unifies”) multiple communication methods within a business. Your business probably communicates in a number of ways: phone calls, video conferencing, instant messaging, email, SMS – the list goes on.
Mitel MiCloud Flex delivers a full suite of cloud-based communication technologies. From instant messaging to VCs, phone calls to file-sharing, and everything in between, MiCloud Flex allows your team to fulfil communicate in multiple ways from one single app.
It works regardless of where they’re based or how many people are using it at any one time.
Mitel MiCloud Flex & Cisco Webex, brought to you by JT
As the Channel Islands’ leading provider of choice for Mitel & Cisco, JT has proven experience delivering collaboration and communication solutions for businesses of all sizes, designing bespoke systems to suit the desired outcome. Also supplying where required, a suite of intelligent Mitel video and audio hardware, to compliment the system, ensuring a unified and complete experience in and out of the office for your teams.
Get in touch with the JT Enterprise Team today, to find out more about and to book a Mitel Flex or Cisco Webex demo for your business. It’s the first step toward smarter, more productive, and more unified working habits for your large remote teams.