• Makeda Waterman

Remote Team Tips and Tricks for Success

Updated: Apr 20


I hold the golden truth. I have worked for companies that offer an open-door policy to reach out for help as a newbie, while others expect you to work alone with minimal guidance.

Organizations are using offshore companies to design innovative technology using agile team principals to provide remote employees with resources to succeed at work. A few of the benefits of working with an offshore software developer is these companies have access to state of the art technology and the cost benefits is favorable over using a local developer.

In this blog, I will cover remote development techniques, effective communication, productivity, and team building to empower your workers for success.


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Joint kickoff Meetings

The project management experience is enhanced with joint kickoff meetings with employees working together on a project discussing responsibilities. Joint kickoff meetings in the remote world are held on virtual meetings with a meeting outline sent to employees before the meeting. It is an efficient way to remind employees a deadline for deliverable s is due.

Virtual Stand-up Meetings

What is a virtual daily stand-up meeting? It happens when employees meet on a regular basis in a virtual setting. If a new hire is struggling during a probationary period, a manager receives the update and connects with the individual to discuss options to transition them successfully onto the team. It is a time to ask open-ended questions and listen because most of the home workers can feel stressed with the goal of exceeding expectations.

Progress Tracking and Monitoring

A manager without a progress tracking strategy to review employee’s progress can lose touch with the importance of employee career development.

In my experience, the telecommute work settings where a manager set up a meeting with me every three months to discuss my concerns, areas of improvement and achievements made me feel less isolated. I felt happy to know the manager was paying attention to my hard work as I worked alone at home.

Remote managers schedule in-person or webinar meetings to discuss important issues with employees. The responsibility of traveling to meet with an entire team in a centralized location or a phone call to speak one-on-one helps to dissolve the feeling of isolation some remote employees experience.

Hire Managers in Different Time Zones

I remember working for one organization where the manager was unable to be reached when offline. It is important to hire management that works inconvenient time zones as employees. It is a benefit for the on boarding process for new hires, and it can prevent an overload of work if on-call staff can be contacted to log in to help the team.

Open Door Policy

Telecommute supervisors set up their emails to their smartphones and leave their cell phones on overnight when working in call center environments. Most organizations hire employees that live in different time zones, and an active manager must be available in case of emergencies.

Social Time to Connect

At one organization where I worked, once a week there was a group chat for interested employees to upload images of their recent trips, favorite music videos and favorite news article of the week. It offered a chance to network online with other departments and show a personal side of their life.

Special Recognition

Special recognition means sending a virtual card to an employee on their birthday. A graphic designer in the company drafting an image of an award to send via email to employees one-year anniversary. Openly recognizing a shining star on a team for closing the most accounts in a given month. Sending company swag like calendars, pens or stress balls with an employee’s name printed on the front.

It is the little things that count when attempting to retain top talent without losing them to competitors.

TEAM BUILDING

Online Games

Ask your team to join you for 30 minutes one day of the week to play an online game. It is fun and can open the conversation for coworkers learn about each other in a personal way.

Cross-Departmental Assignments

If the workload starts to decrease you can offer the opportunity for employees to work for another department. The moment a remote worker believes their job is in jeopardy, they start searching for other remote work jobs.

I hope that these telecommute best practices help your organization grow and retain top talent. I strongly believe that the culture of an organization starts from the top down; upper management to the front line employees. An work environment that embraces technology, employee recognition initiatives and value’s its workforce can decrease turnover and retain top talent.


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