How Can A Boss Make Work From Home Easier For Teams?
With work from home being adopted by organizations all over the world, here are a few ways through which a boss can make remote work easy for teams.
Ever since we’ve witnessed the onset of CoronaVirus, work dynamics, and the business landscape across the world, have changed. Individuals have been working remotely for months, as companies made remote work mandatory for employees.
What started as a coping mechanism when COVID came has now become a permanent solution for various organizations. Companies have proposed an indefinite remote working period for their employees keeping their safety in mind. Moreover, employees have been highly productive during remote work which is beneficial for individuals as well as organizations.
Like all other organizations, we at ProofHub also introduced multiple new policies and ways to make remote work easy and fun for all of us. As a person in power it is of paramount importance that you keep your team’s comfort in mind while making a decision, and that is exactly what we did.
From flexible rules to giving us room to expand our vision, we gave everyone a chance to trust their instincts and do their best. This resulted in many of the team members outperforming ourselves and generated impactful results for the team.
This is what encouraged me to believe that a boss has a key role in optimizing the productivity of a team. As a leader, you are also accountable to your team as they are to you, and hence, you must do anything in your capacity to make remote work a fun, learning experience for your team.
To help you out, here are some tips you can follow to make remote work easy and enjoyable for your employees:
- Effective Communication
As per a communication survey by Project.co over 96% of people are of the opinion that their organization’s work may improve with effective communication and management.
Communication is a pivotal part of working in a team and a lack of it can be detrimental to a team’s performance. It helps in letting your team know what exactly you’re expecting of them and gives you a chance to monitor their progress.
Employees in a team look for transparency and accountability from their leaders and that can be generated through effective communication and collaboration. This is made easier through virtual communication that has grown leaps and bounds, making everything accessible for teams working remotely.
One must remember that communication does not always have to be official and serious, a little joke here and there does not harm anyone after all. It is in the best interest of a boss and the team to communicate effectively and make sure they are on the same page when working together.
- Cross-functional Collaboration
Experimenting with team members and the style of work is a great way to mix things up and bring a much-needed change. Numerous remote working teams embrace cross-functional collaboration with open arms as it is a great way to bring a new vision to your existing team and collaborate with experts from diverse backgrounds.
By inspiring skilled professionals from diverse backgrounds and placing them in a wholesome working space virtually, a boss can help teams perform to their full potential. Siloed departments and traditional hierarchies need to be dismantled and a refreshing change must come.
Cross-functional teams are especially successful while working remotely as it helps generate new ideas with everyone’s creative energy on board. The proactive reorganization of a team is a great way to help employees perform better while minimizing the challenges faced while working remotely.
The major benefits of cross-functional governance are:
- Expert team membersA conducive environment to generate new ideas
- A conducive environment to generate new ideas
- Promotes worker-interdependency
- Establishes trust between the team members and the boss
- Proper communication and clarity of visionEnsures accountability
- Ensures accountability
- Embracing Technology
Whether you’re working out of an office or a remote location, online management tools always come in handy when it comes to teamwork. Tools like ProofHub, Asana, Trello, Jira are an asset for better collaboration and communication within teams and grants teams the ultimate control over your work.
These tools help streamline work and enable teams to plan, execute, and deliver projects without compromising with the quality of work or missing deadlines. The most important features of online management tools are:
- Customized workflows
- Group and one-on-one chat options
- Assign tasks and task listsDiscussions with team and clients in one place
- Discussions with team and clients in one placeTime tracker to monitor progress
- Time tracker to monitor progress
For a Boss, online management platforms make it easier for you to stay on top of your team while also giving them room to grow and expand. With such tools by your side, remote work becomes more accessible, organized, and cohesive. You might also want to invest in enhanced security tools to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive data that your remote team is handling. Some of these tools include password management apps like LastPass or VPN services like Surfshark.
- Organize Fun Office Events (Virtually)
The office is not always synonymous with work, meetings, and deadlines, but with fun and games also. Having a virtual office party once in a while is a great ice breaker and a welcoming change from the monotonous work routine.
Facilitating non-work interactions especially among remote workers must be the responsibility of the boss. This way offices can offer employees a chance to blow some steam off and be a space where they can get to know each other and establish personal relationships.
Celebrations like Halloween, Diwali, or Christmas help team members bond, dress up, share personal anecdotes, and get competitive over small games. Video conferencing applications like Google meet, Zoom, Skype, and others are easily accessible and have multiple features.
A boss can interact with his team and develop a personal equation with them, which will give them the confidence to fare well at work. A workspace where hierarchies do not decide your work circle and everyone from the boss to employees come together to celebrate is definitely the kind of wholesome workspace you’d want to be in.
- Recognition Programs
As an employer or a leader of a team, it is your moral and professional responsibility to appreciate your employees once in a while. And we are not talking about the usual annual appraisals.
This not only lifts their spirits but also gives them a reason to do better. This kind of confidence is key to optimizing employee performance and ensures satisfaction. Initiatives that revolve around employee appreciation for performance, behavior, working years at an organization can be opportunities to foster interaction between employees as well.
Here are a few benefits of employee recognition programs:
- Increased employee engagement
- Enhanced productivity
- Employee satisfaction
- Improved organizational structures (recognition and rewarding improves organizational structures by 85%)
Examples of recognition programs:
- Monetary rewards
- Verbal appreciation
- Written appreciation
- Coupons and gift cards
- Public recognition
Rewards and recognition programs are the best way to gain the trust of your employees that motivate them to do better. As per research over 38% of employees said that more personal recognition would encourage them to perform better at work. This is a reason employees slack off work and don’t give their best. With individuals working remotely, Such programs are needed more than ever to positively impact the performance and mental health of an employee.
Remote work came with its challenges and problems, but we all got around to working with it. This kind of work culture might be here to stay with many big leagues deliberating if they should give employees indefinite work from home. Anyhow, we definitely need to up our remote work game and if you’re the head of a team you need to focus on your team.
You must eliminate any possibility of conflict within the team and make sure you check in with your colleagues often. Establishing a clear communication channel and effective management is key for a team and thus, it's your duty to ensure that happens.
An organization is an amalgamation of a diverse mix of people from different backgrounds, and all of them are equally important. An employee-employer relationship is a concerted relationship where both are interdependent.
It is, therefore, in your best interest as the boss of an organization to do the best for your team. It not only makes employees feel satisfied and valued but also helps execute your leadership perfectly.
All the best!!