Building, Onboarding, and Managing Remote Teams

August 30, 2021

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Is your business implementing a hybrid or fully remote work model for the first time? Wondering how to successfully onboard and manage work-from-home employees without impacting workplace productivity, collaboration, or culture? With the right tools and processes, managing remote teams effectively is possible. Here’s an overview of what companies who are shifting to a hybrid or fully remote work model are doing to build, onboard, and manage remote teams.

Tips for Building and Onboarding Remote Teams

When building a remote team, you can focus on hiring based on skills, expertise, and culture fit rather than location. This gives your company a wider pool of applicants to draw from and makes it easier to create a dream team for your company.

To build and onboard a remote team, you’ll need the right people, processes, and tools to make it work.

  • Designate HR staff to focus on hiring and training remote employees. The work experience is different when you’re working from wherever, so it’s important to have someone who understands how to engage, teach, guide, and provide support for remote workers.
  • Set expectations from the beginning. Establish the rules for work hours, specific times remote employees should make themselves available online, and time tracking from the beginning.
  • Create clear processes around communication – what channels should they use for collaboration, one-on-one meetings, and work questions? Who should they connect with for different types of communication and group work?
  • Empower your remote teams with easy-to-use and full-featured communications solutions that integrate with your business applications. As a lot of work happens through technology, it’s important to use platforms that enable productivity and minimize frustration. The essentials for keeping remote teams connected include unified communications, video conferencing software, and cloud phones.

Tips for Managing Remote Teams Successfully

Because your remote employees aren’t in the office, it can feel like you have less insight into how they spend their time, making management difficult. The reality is, working from wherever doesn’t have to impact productivity. With a smart, practical approach, you can still bring the best out of your employees. Here are a few tips to help you manage your remote employees:

  • Set up regular meetings. With remote teams, it’s more important to be proactive about meeting with your staff. Whether you do quick, one-on-one check-ins every morning or a weekly meeting with small groups, making face-to-face interactions part of the routine helps to keep everyone engaged.
  • Be upfront about work goals. Set benchmarks for individuals and groups – what should they be able to get done each day and each week? Also, be open to feedback from your employees. Check in with them to ensure they don’t feel overwhelmed with their workload and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Consider time tracking to gain clarity over time spent on tasks. Time tracking reveals how much time different employees take to do certain types of work and where they are devoting most of their work hours.
  • Provide tips and tools to help your remote employees create an optimal work environment. Talk to them about privacy and quiet when working from home, ways to set up an ideal home office, and what expectations they should set for themselves. Your company may need to provide hardware such as VoIP phones, work supplies, or ergonomically correct home office furniture.
  • Encourage a healthy work-life balance. Working remotely can be a positive experience that increases engagement and job satisfaction. However, employees do need support from management to make this happen. Regular feedback, supportive conversations, and help with the challenges of working from home, such as loneliness or a lack of physical movement, can help your remote teams thrive.

How Many Businesses Are Relying on Remote Teams in 2021?

A few short years ago, remote work was the exception, not the norm. In 2012, only 24 percent of employees worked from home 80 percent of the time or more.

Throughout the pandemic, millions of employees traded their daily commute and nine to five at the office for a work-from-wherever lifestyle. Working remotely provided the adaptability and resilience necessary to ensure business continuity during the global health crisis. And now in 2021, 41 percent of the US workforce is fully remote. More than half work from home at least part-time.

As a result, more employees and employers have experienced the benefits of remote work – the cost-savings, flexibility, and the potential for increased focus and satisfaction with work. So, it’s no surprise that the American workforce is moving ahead with some level of remote work.

No matter what stage your business is at right now – whether you have a few remote employees, are developing a hybrid work model, or you’re considering going fully remote, build your foundation for success with cloud communications for remote teams. At Intermedia, we provide essentials such as Intermedia Unite, AnyMeeting, and Contact Center. We also offer impeccable customer service, a 99.999% uptime service level agreement, and leading-edge cloud security.

To learn more about how using Intermedia can help your business transform, explore our Business Innovators series or get in touch with our team – we’d be happy to talk to you about how our tools can help you better manage remote teams.

The Intermedia Team

Intermedia helps businesses of all sizes connect better – through voice, video conferencing, chat, contact center, business email and productivity, file sharing and backup, security, archiving, and more – from wherever, whenever. And, as a partner-first company, Intermedia goes to work for our channel partners to help them grow their revenue and maximize their success.

August 30, 2021

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