- October 20, 2020
- Posted by: Dan Trudeau
- Category: Remote Work Management
Connectedness – The Key to Remote Work Success
The Covid crisis has reconfigured the global workplace in ways no one could’ve predicted beforehand. The biggest, and most discussed, change has been in remote work. A shift to more work-from-home positions was already underway before the pandemic hit. The quarantines that came down forced organizations to move positions they’d never considered remote roles in that direction. Now companies have discovered it’s possible to manage more positions off-site, and a larger percentage of employees now prefer to work this way, even after Covid is no longer a threat.
We’ve kept in touch with organizations as they make this transition, discussing their mistakes, successes, and lessons learned. We’ve also followed trends to understand how this has changed the workforce going forward.
One point has stood out:
Connectivity is a common factor in remote work success.
In order for a work team to stay productive, positive, and meet goals, they need to stay connected. This goes far beyond a project plan, management tools, or clear objectives. It means regular, virtual team meetings, impromptu video chats, and phone calls.
Being connected keeps you invested in the team, and its success. You cannot do this with emails and texts.
Here are some real-life examples from our outreach:
- A woman found more success working from home than she’d had at the office. It forced her to develop new ways to keep plugged in with her team and customers. She developed a “reach-out” system and followed it to the letter. The end result was faster problem solving, and troubleshooting issues before they become big problems.
- A manager got overconfident with early telecommuting successes and backed off his efforts to keep face-to-face meetings with his team. He assumed it would run on autopilot going forward. Unfortunately, most team members didn’t keep up the practice. As they became more isolated, the work suffered. Fast-forward three months: he had to fire a team member, and scramble to make up for the lost time. He was able to do it by reinstating their face-to-face meetings, along with using team feedback to further improve their connectedness.
- Seeing what was coming, a manager decided to put serious effort into formulating a detailed plan for a remote work transition. By the time the quarantine came down, he had something in place for metrics, goals, and a regular schedule of video meetings. He also encouraged team members to talk live instead of working via email. They surpassed the company’s expectations and were able to keep going without missing a beat.
We may have found new efficiencies through remote work, but disconnection can cancel those out. Successful teams collaborate to develop a connectedness plan, resulting in benefits they’d never imagined, as long as they stay disciplined.
These strategies go beyond the Covid era. Remote work will continue to grow, and a successful company must be able to manage employees who work from home.
PRA USA has 30+ years of experience in recruiting, career planning, and employment trends. Contact us to see how we can put that experience to work for you. After 20 years of managing remote workers and three countries, we’ve learned a thing or two.