Four Simple Rules For Successful Remote Teams

How many times have you heard the phrase: Remote working is the new normal.

Do you know what the new normal actually is? 

The New Normal is knowing that we could have to adapt our work practices very suddenly, at any given moment. The New Normal is the realization that we can’t predict disruption and the realization that we have to be ready for disruption. 

So whether or not you are bringing employees back to the office, having a structure for working remotely means you won’t face interruption next time a crisis occurs.

Keep to the following four rules and you will be able to switch from office- to remote-work without any difficulty, whenever you want to. 

Stop using email

Social banter can not happen in emails. 

Knowledge transfer is not effective in email. 

Work plans and ideas don’t take shape in email. 

Business Management

Information storage is not functional in email. 

“To do” lists must not live in email. 

There is, in the end, no reason to use email for internal communication. 

Stop using email, and start using the right tools for the job. (What are the right tools for the job? Stay tuned for next week’s post). 

Make sure people know what to do

Do people know what they should be doing? Are they doing what you think they are doing? 

If you have an employee who is responsible for “marketing”, can you tell me what they are doing without using the word “marketing”? And more importantly, if I asked that employee the same question, would I get the same answer?

Your team probably know what their work is, what their tasks are. You have to make sure they also know what is expected of them. You have to make sure they know what role they are supposed to play in your company. 

This is what gives them autonomy to get things done, solve problems, and generally bring value to the business. 

Have daily meetings

A ten-minute meeting to start the day. 

This is the chance for everybody to see everybody else (use video for these meetings) and remember that they are part of a team. 

This is also when people share a quick update on what they are working on. And this is where new ideas can start to take shape. 

The length of the meeting can be determined by the frequency: if you can do these every day, 10 minutes should be enough. If you have them three times a week, expect 15 minutes. If this can only happen once a week, you will need an hour. 

Lead by example

It starts with you. 

You can’t tell your employees to stop using email, and then send them twenty emails a day. 

You can’t tell your employees to share quick updates in a chat channel, and then never participate. 

You can’t tell your employees that you expect them to share information, and then not share information. 

Be explicit about what you want to see and hear, and then be the first to do those things. Continue to model behavior. And if you are not willing to do the things, ask yourself why you expect your employees to do them. 

Let’s talk about how you create Dedicated Employees