Tips to Create a Productive Remote Team
You’ve hired your team, chosen your software tools, and held your first company meeting.
You’ve perfected your offers, trained your team, and set up company-wide goals.
The next step? Determining how to make your remote team as efficient as possible.
You know your team has the expertise, experience, and skills to get the job done. But you’re still wondering what that will look like when it all comes together.
Luckily, there are exact steps you can take to encourage your team to become more productive.
Let’s review five tips you can use right away to create a productive remote team.
1. Rethink communication
Setting up reliable and efficient communication systems for your remote team is essential to maximizing productivity.
When creating your team communication plan, make sure each team member:
- Understands who to contact for what
- Knows when to reach out to someone and when to refer to internal documents and optimized content for information
- Knows what communication tools to use and how to use them
- Has a clear understanding of who to loop in for group messages
- Knows when to send a direct message and when to send a group message
It’s also important to remove any information silos that can impede team productivity. To take a proactive stance with this, consider centralizing important information and resources.
Think about creating an internal newsletter for your remote team or creating a ‘team news’ channel on your team communication platform. This way, team members always know what’s happening and can keep up to date with new changes, clients, and coworkers.
2. Automate as many manual tasks as possible
Having your team spend time on mundane, repetitive tasks can easily suck up their productivity. Remote teams have a lot to juggle from planning team schedules to staying up to date with project deadlines.
But just because your team has a lot to do doesn’t mean they can’t do it efficiently.
To figure out which tasks to automate, start by listing your team’s necessary operation tasks, project management tasks, and individual employee tasks.
- Receive work orders
- Organize work orders
- Create project tasks for work orders
- Assign individual tasks
- Map out project deadlines
- Procurement process
- Facilitate check-ins and feedback
- Keep an eye on project statuses
Then, determine which tasks are the most repetitive and which ones don’t require human involvement. To map this out further, break down each task into subtasks. Analyzing the trajectory of how a task gets accomplished is key to designing better and more efficient workflows.
From there, use business process automation software to streamline all workflows and automate repetitive tasks. Things like project statuses, due date reminders, and assigning task checklists can be easily automated.
Not only does business process automation software save ample time on manual tasks, but it also streamlines processes to avoid human error.
3. Minimize productivity loss by taking data security seriously
Data breaches and cybersecurity issues can not only turn your remote team upside down — but they can also seriously drag productivity.
From losing important client work to unintentionally violating privacy and data laws, data security isn’t something you can take lightly.
Here are some cybersecurity tips you can use to minimize productivity loss:
1. Provide all team members with access to a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Providing your team access to a secure and reliable VPN is essential for data security and enabling employees to access information from any part of the world.
A VPN acts as a protected tunnel within one of your company networks. By keeping all data within the tunnel, nobody outside of it can get access — ensuring your data will never leak out onto the web.
2. Conduct a cybersecurity health checkup
Hire a cybersecurity expert to analyze your current setup and conduct a security assessment. Cybersecurity experts can help you identify potential problems and weak points in your networks. They also help you create an effective cybersecurity strategy, protecting all networks from data breaches and cyber threats.
3. Issue secure devices or virtual desktops
While virus protection software and malware tools work, not all employee devices are protected by a corporate network. This leaves security up to each team member — and that can be risky.
By issuing secure devices with teleworker gateways, corporate security features reach employee homes and separate networks into business and nonbusiness.
Another option is using virtual desktops. With virtual desktops, businesses can launch a corporate operating system (OS) that looks and acts native to the user. But in reality, these desktops are streamed from secure private data centers — or the cloud. If your main priority is data loss prevention, virtual desktops are a great solution.
4. Master operations and delegation
Your remote team’s procedures, systems, and task management processes are the lifeblood of productivity.
To make these as efficient as possible, you’ll need to master operations and delegation. Here’s how to be a pro at both.
How to master operations
Refer to the process you used earlier to determine which tasks to automate. Double-check all processes, procedures, and systems. Do you notice any productivity bottlenecks? Are some tasks taking longer than others? Why?
To take this to a whole new level, consider hiring an operations director to oversee everything. Operations directors are experts at seeing the big-picture of business operations. They’re usually the first ones to notice kinks, implement efficient software, and improve workflows.
By having an operations director on deck, you can breathe easy knowing that the hard stuff is up to them — not you. You can also ask your operations director to conduct a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly analysis to ensure all processes are still efficient.
If, for any reason, you're unable to hire an operations director, it's important that you understand who reports to who. Typically, this is your team leader or manager. For smaller companies, it could be the CEO a.k.a. you.
The person who your team members report to will have to take on the role of an operations director. On top of managing the team and their tasks on hand, this person would be responsible for optimizing processes so that your operations continue to run efficiently.
How to master delegation
Mastering delegation is a key skill any manager should learn early on. It applies to work in general but is especially relevant to time-consuming tasks, such as email management.
Knowing your employees’ strengths is important, and it ensures you’ll delegate the most appropriate tasks to them. It’s also important to give employees autonomy and trust them to finish their assignments on time. Not only does this lighten your load, but it also encourages employees to lead, problem-solve, and pivot when necessary.
Ready to strengthen your team’s productivity?
Creating a productive remote team is vital to your business’ success. By creating a communication plan and automating manual tasks, your team will have the tools it needs to collaborate effectively. By minimizing productivity loss and mastering operations and delegations, your team will have the tools it needs to thrive.
Ready to strengthen your team’s productivity? Try Gmelius for free. Create boards straight within Gmail and automatically assign tasks with ease.