COVID-19: Building a First Class Remote Work Environment – Part 4/6

In Part Three of this six-part series we learned about the best productivity and time management tools available to operate more efficiently and productively in your new Remote Work Environment (RWE). 

In this Part Four installment you will learn some of the latest and greatest tools available to keep YOU and your remote team accountable in their daily duties & responsibilities. 

The Three Big Things: 

Focus on goals:  One of the main reasons why employees desire to work remotely is to escape the office pressure of always needing to look busy.  Remote work, by its nature, is goal-oriented so don’t focus on how much time staff is spending on a particular task, but more so, focus them on deliverables.  This builds trust too.

Clear Communication:  this needs to be clear and open.  With distance, it’s easier to let dissatisfaction grow and fester.  I’m by nature a paranoid individual, so without constant comms with my team, any inklings that someone is not pulling their weight around would just grow inside of me.  No doubt.  Check-ins and daily meetings ARE CRITICAL.  They can be fun too – and use the video.  People like to see each other.  Make time zones your friend too by allowing flexibility in formal work hours.

Foster Community:  It’s challenging to instill or even maintain a corporate culture in a virtual environment.  Staff and teammates should be encouraged to interact online in ways that endanger community and camaraderie.  Even recoginizing birthdays and sales goals or similar can be cause for virtual celebration!  Make it fun – some of the emojis and bots are hilarious.  Make it a habit to schedule informal gatherings and parties too outside of the office. 

Found some more stats on remote work:

  • 85% of the workforce wants to work remotely
  • 38% of employers allow their staff to work remotely in some capacity
  • In 2014, 50% of US workers had jobs compatible with remote work.  That is a 103% increase from 2005.

Let’s discuss measurement and performance tracking in a Remote Work Environment (RWE).  Think about it:  how can a manager or team leader measure and reward the growth of an employee who is working remotely?  In a RWE, there exist tools now that can track and measure performance.  Let’s break the most popular ones down:

  • Timely:  If you use a calendar to carve out chunks of time for dedicated projects and work flows, this is a great tracking app for you.  Timely is unique in that it allows you to track tasks AND the time it takes to complete them – all in real time.  It works with a calendar interface.
  • 15Five:  These solution facilities and tracks regular check-ins between employees and teammates.  This capability is critical to maintain continuity and engagement amongst the team.  It helps everyone gauge how everyone is feeling, identify challenges, and keep everyone focused and moving in the right direction. 
  • Trackstar:  This is a wide-ranging platform that does many things including 1) performance reviews, 2) 360 degree feedback, 3) self-evaluations, 4) goal-setting and tracking, 5) employee engagement, and 6) sucession-planning. 
  • SAP SuccessFactors: Thisis a suite of products to provide a cloud-based solution to manage diverse HR functions, such as business alignment, people performance, recruitment and learning activities for organizations of all sizes in more than 60 industries.

In soon to follow, Part Five I will discuss security and some health concerns about working in a RWE.  I will discuss all these issues and more in this next installment.  

$1,000 Referral Reward for Helping Your Friends Get a Great Job Like Yours!