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Optimizing remote work: 6 tips and best tools for effective operations

by | Jan 20, 2024 | Public Relations

Transitioning to remote work continues to be challenging for every industry that continues to do so. It has been daunting for businesses to create a collaborative culture amongst their teams considering the lack of physical proximity and a workplace environment. 

Working from home can cause numerous disruptions for teams and clients, where efficient communication can take a back seat. 

But thanks to numerous technologies, new protocols of a remote workplace, and workplace flexibility, companies are slowly adapting to a remote work environment. And while some disruptions are inevitable, they’re not impossible to manage. Let’s check out some of the top ways and tools through which you can optimize remote work for your team. 

Tips to optimize your remote team

1. Use remote monitoring and management tools

Many firms rely on cross-departmental communications for the successful execution of projects. Remote work has not only become possible but also efficient due to the availability of new tools. You need to have a repository of communication tools and an AI service desk to meet the communication and IT support requirements for managing a remote team. Some of the must-have tools you need to have are:

  • Slack: Slack is the standard messaging app for organizations and you can rely on it to keep in touch with your colleagues, marketing departments, product teams, etc.  
  • Zoom: As virtual meetings have taken over, the go-to tool for businesses is Zoom. The best part is you can record meetings and have a reference point in the future. 
  • Trello: It is a project management tool where you can record, plan, and execute projects you did, clients you need to get in touch with, etc. It helps you track projects of the team, create realistic deadlines, and stay on task. 
  • Google Workspace: It is a basic requirement and the easiest one to get started with. Google’s workspace allows you to collaborate on emails, documents, sheets, and presentations. 

Make it compulsory for all your team members to have these common tools of communication so that it’s easier for you to monitor and manage them, their deadlines, and even conduct video meetings. You can also use a business SMS platform in some cases for texting notifications—particularly notifications that have an impact on multiple people within the company.

2. Document process and workflows

Statistics show that 28 percent of workdays were worked remotely in 2023, as compared to 7 percent in 2019. This means that remote teams are slowly rising in brands and they’re even open to providing the option to work remotely now more than ever. This also means that a lot of work rules are changing with the remote work culture. You need to first develop a set of processes and document them to prepare for virtual teams. 

It makes it easy for employees to go back to these documents to follow a step-by-step guide. It can even be beneficial for employees who are onboarding the organization to a remote team and need a structure to refer to. 

Documents can also help you streamline workflows, and define the reporting structure while your employees work from home. The less time you spend clarifying queries, doubts and project handoff, the more time you’ll have for other important tasks. 

3. Have a communication plan

Communication in an office environment happens almost effortlessly. Informal conversations at the water cooler are natural and formal communication about work progress and challenges is resolved immediately. With remote work, you have to put in extra effort. 

More than half the remote workers mention they don’t feel close to their colleagues in a remote office setting. Nobody is going to be proactive and initiate conversations about their latest campaigns or work status. You have to make it a mandate and be proactive in initiating these conversations. 

Assume that your employees don’t read every email. So it is better to over-communicate in a remote setting than under-communicate. Don’t just let meetings be meetings. Use it as an opportunity to catch up with everyone about what they’re working on, their latest experiences working on new projects, the challenges they’re facing, etc. If you think some projects require office meetings, you can consider a hybrid work model or even decide office days in advance for people who want to visit the office. 

4. Maintain client relationships with CRM

While internal collaboration is crucial, effective communication with clients and customers is equally important. Have a CRM platform where it becomes easier for you to record every lead, segment them, get detailed analysis, and accurately forecast sales. 

Such tools also help you add notes and keep everyone in the loop with the progress and relationships with various clients and customers. It comes in handy when employees are working from home and cannot simply go over to their team members’ desks to ask what’s the status of a particular account. 

5. Encourage feedback

Understand that every employee works differently. Transitioning to remote structures can affect their expectations and productivity levels. So listen to what setups work best for them, the frequency with which they want to communicate, and how and when they will get the job done. 

Listening to their inputs can help you create flexible workflows where each individual works to the best of their capacity in a remote setting. It also helps in creating a psychologically safe environment where employees can have the freedom to share their ideas and question certain practices. 

6. Have virtual team-building sessions

Many brands have come up with a Zoom happy hour that focuses on team engagement exercises and fun activities. It encourages the employees to connect outside of work, despite the physical distance and virtual meetings.. 

Remote management doesn’t come naturally for people used to going to the office. The training sessions can focus on work, team building, productivity exercises, and collaborative applications and software—anything that can motivate the employees and improve their efficiency while working remotely.

Wrapping up

Remote working may be unconventional for many companies that are so used to working in an office set-up. But considering the growing demand for flexible work opportunities and remote job options, you need to step up your game by having the right communication tools, the right employee training, and establishing realistic rules for remote teams to follow. 

Streamlining workflows and filling the communication gaps can significantly aid your firm in adapting to the remote work lifestyle. In the end, you need to have patience as remote work can be a big adjustment for many. You can see the results in productivity only after you give your team time to adapt and get used to the idea of working from home.

Hazel Raoult
Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.

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