The benefits of having a remote or partially remote team are striking and have become much more apparent in the last year. Studies show that remote workers are generally more productive, healthier, and happier than their office counterparts. At the same time, employers can experience 50% more retention and savings $ 11,000 per remote job, per year, on average.
It’s not easy to see why no manager would not want their team to work remotely with all of these benefits. However, some challenges have left some companies unsure of being ready to adopt a permanent remote workforce.
Fortunately, advancements in automation tools can help ease the burden on remote team managers. Read on to find out what challenges you may face as a remote team manager, and how you can reduce the load using automation.
Challenges of managing a remote team and creative solutions
There will be different challenges for different industries. But of course, every business and even every team within a company will have its own unique hurdles to overcome when it comes to managing remote workers.
There are a few key areas to keep in mind. These are some of the biggest frustrations of remote team managers and our favorite automation solutions.
Training and onboarding
Providing effective training to new hires is one of the biggest challenges in managing a remote team. Some managers complain that when training new team members, they simply cannot judge the approach of the remote new hire on a screen, and it is more difficult to know if they are really “getting it”.
A manager could sit down with a new employee in an office setting and watch him complete a task. The new hire could easily ask questions as they go along, and the manager could observe their expressions and methods of making corrections before they become bad habits.
As a result of not seeing all the non-verbal visual cues an employee might give during training, the onboarding process takes much longer and managers are struggling to find the time.
Another challenge that can arise occurs when training a group of new employees. Because everyone moves at their own pace, training a group with zoom or another video conferencing platform can be very ineffective because some students will finish training tasks earlier than others and could spend hours just waiting for the rest of the group to get on. up to date.
If you have many new hires that must go through more complex or rigorous training, there are many cloud-based learning management systems that include automation.
Programs like AbsorbLMS, Cornerstone, and Docebo will allow you to create a complete training program with assignments, materials, certificates, and more.
You can even create a training program that incorporates other departments and “gamifies” the training with awards and certificates so that employees are motivated and engaged with the material. With your training almost completely automated, you may even spend less time training new hires than if they were physically in an office with you.
Plus, when new hires can learn at their own pace, take quizzes along the way to make sure they understand the material, and get fun incentives to complete tasks, training can be more effective than ever.
With your team working from home, it can be challenging to know if people are distracted, letting things fade, or even sleeping at work.
In some industries, it won’t matter when work gets done as long as it’s done, but remote team managers still need an efficient way to keep track of all tasks, projects, and deadlines so nothing is missed.
Employees may need to be awake and alert during business hours to answer occasional calls from clients and co-workers in other organizations. So how can managers in both situations keep track of everything without spending all day chasing down each individual remote worker or causing workers to waste hours completing tedious reports?
Tools that can help: Activity tracking, repeated reminders and Form automation software
It is well known that you can use team collaboration software like Slack to send repeated reminders. So why not use this feature to send team members a weekly (or even daily) reminder to present a summary of what they have accomplished, what they have been working on, or what their goals are?
Combine this with form automation software like Hubspot or Prontoforms. You can allow your employees to quickly and easily enter updates to your day or week, and you can see all the data clearly displayed in an intuitive spreadsheet without wasting time formatting.
Suppose you are concerned that employees are not as alert as they should be during business hours. In that case, activity tracking and sales automation software, such as Sort out You can automatically track and monitor activities, emails, and even assignments assigned to other staff without employees entering any information. This way, your team can focus on the most critical work.
For busy teams, collaboration is always a challenge. While the ability to work independently is critical for remote teams, hyper-independence can lead to disunity and problems that end up costing the company time and money. If you manage different time zones and work with individual schedules, collaboration can become an even more significant challenge. It is essential that managers ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The best way to do this is by implementing workflows that incorporate checks and balances between team members. This is easy to do with the right automation tools.
Automation tools that can help: Project management software, Calendar integrationand regular meetings
Project management software platforms allow users to work efficiently on tasks in a collaborative manner. For example, most platforms like Asana It will allow you to organize tasks and projects so that users with access to a particular project can see all the tasks within the project, who is working on them, and how much progress has been made.
If a document review is required, it can be assigned to another team member automatically with a set deadline based on logical commands. When you add Calendar integrationTeam members can see at a glance which of their coworkers are available to collaborate on projects, even if they are in different time zones.
Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom It will allow managers to effortlessly schedule repeat team meetings. For example when integrated with Slack, you can send reminders automatically through team collaboration software with a zoom link.
Companies have been using automation for years to free employees and managers from the monotonous, repetitive, and tedious aspects of their work in order to have the time and energy to focus on the complex and creative work for which they were hired.
Interestingly, advances in automation technology have allowed for almost limitless opportunities and ways to use software. Now, with remote working at an all-time high, it’s the perfect time to assess potential wasted time and energy, pain points, and added stress that the transition to a remote workforce has caused.
Once you’ve identified them, it will be easier to find automation software or functionality to help your remote teams be productive, efficient, and satisfied.
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