Author Bio: Shaheryar provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Shireen Inc
The COVID-19 situation has led the whole world to start functioning remotely. Due to social-distancing and other rules implemented around the globe due to COVID-19, offices have now started to work remotely, and people are getting comfortable with the idea of work-from-home.
As per stats, despite the coronavirus situation, around 55% of businesses offer employees to work remotely. In the past few years, the trend of work-from-home has increased, and employees find it better and comfortable to be able to work from home.
Working from Home – Pros and Cons
Working remotely has its benefits; no long commute hours, you don’t have to get ready for the work, no office rents, timing flexibility, etc. Considering all these benefits, what is there not to love about remote working?
While work-from-home has a lot of benefits, it also has multiple coordination issues. First, let’s have a look at the plus points of working remotely:
- Flexibility of timings
- Cozy clothing
- Saves money and time
- No commute hassle
However, a lot of companies fail at managing remote teams and cannot ensure high productivity levels from their workforce in a virtual setup. As flexible as it may sound, remote work has its own cons, and management teams need to actively work upon managing remote teams, or else they fail miserably.
Work-from-Home and Management Issues
While employees love to work from home, it can be a little troublesome for management to ensure things go exactly how they planned for it to be. To lead a virtual team can become even more challenging than they anticipated. It is also an issue if you start managing virtual teams exactly like a physical team, which is why you must do your research in managing virtual teams.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why companies fail to manage remote teams and how can they avoid it:
Lack Of Clarity
Often there is a lack of communication and clarity when working remotely. It takes hours to explain something to someone, which you could’ve done in just 5 minutes. Inter-team and intra-team communication experience delays when they do not sit in a single space.
There is often a lack of clarity due to technical issues as well, including poor systems, server issues, or just bad internet connection due to unreliable coaxial cables at home.
For clarity, organizations must pay focus and attention on how to ensure smooth communication when teams are working remotely. You must ensure that you are using the proper tools which can monitor the workflow and helps in communication.
There are multiple project management tools available online which can be used for tasks assignment and to maintain the workflow and monitor employee’s performance. As an organization, you must ensure that teams have access to these tools and are able to use them without any trouble.
Some of the tools that help in communication and collaboration are Asana, Google Hangouts, Slack, Skype, Webex, etc. These tools are designed in a way that they ensure flexibility and transparency where the team leader can monitor performances and assign new tasks to teams and can also set deadlines, which automates a lot of tasks for you.
Misunderstandings In Translation
Have you ever taken a text message out of context because of a lack of expression? Too often, with written communication, there is a chance of misunderstanding and misinterpretations between teams. Hence it is advised that the team leaders ensure seamless communication. You must hold meetings frequently where you update the team about the progress and upcoming tasks or plans.
Communication is the key to success, and while working remotely, it is even more important. It is also recommended that you verbally convey your message to avoid any miscommunication and disturbance. A phone call of 5 minutes is way better than a written conversation of an hour. Voice-on-voice interaction should be preferred over written interaction while working with remote teams.
Lack Of Involvement
Another thing that becomes a huge challenge for people working remotely is the lack of engagement and involvement of teams. In a normal atmosphere, people interact on a daily basis and get to know scenarios in a better way as compared to a virtual experience.
If an employee isn’t feeling well in a physical environment, you can see it for yourself and empathize.
However, in a virtual environment, it is difficult to experience things the same way.
Working from home can also become boring at times because all you do is work on a laptop, with no time for coffee breaks or a chatting session with coworkers. To avoid this, it is encouraged to involve teams virtually as well; for example, ask them to come on video conferences, organize an informal discussion session virtually so that people feel more involved.
Unclear Training Techniques
Before starting a new project, it is essential to brief the employees and team members about what they are heading to, but it is challenging to do so virtually. The training and briefing that is required before starting a project define the employee performance throughout the project, and with weak training and briefing, you can expect delayed responses and a lack of enthusiasm.
Before starting a new project or new phase of rejection, you must ensure that you brief the employees as thoroughly as possible and allow them to take their time in understanding the whole outline. They must be provided an opportunity to ask as many questions as they like to ensure you get the message across.
To Sum It Up
Working from home isn’t entirely a win-win situation for everybody as the management has to be vigilant about the modes of communication and keep the teams involved. However, with best practices and following the right techniques, you can still yield better results with remote teams. The key lies in the management of the teams; if the leader has qualities required for team building and can brief them well, then it is not a big problem to work with virtual teams.