Office culture is crucial to productivity in a business. But, for a remote team, what practices can help maintain good culture & optimise productivity?
When it comes to managing a remote team, it is important to acknowledge the inherent challenges of remote working. Although the overwhelming consensus in the business community has been that remote working is not only viable, but preferred by many, it does not come without its compromises. The good news is that there are practices that can help remote teams work just as productively (if not more so) than if they were in the office. We discussed this with TechQuarters, a London-based managed IT services company that has been remote since 2020, and has helped many clients go remote in that time, too. Based on their experience with remote working, and their position as a service provider that has helped business implement it, they provided some examples of practices to help remote teams operate more productively.
Managing a Remote Team
The success of a remote team is largely down to how it is managed. If you are managed a remote team, the most important thing to remember is to lead by example. Establishing best practices as a leader will help the rest of the team adhere to those practices. When we asked TechQuarters about this, they confirmed it; as an IT support provider London businesses rely on – and one that operates entirely remotely – they rely on efficient teamwork. Here are five of the most important practices that remote teams need to remember to do…
1. Block out Personal Time in the Schedule
A common occurrence with remote working is the tendency for hours to bleed together, and for people to spend more time at their desk that they would have in the office. In an office environment, people typically get up to make teas or coffees, or get a glass of water, to get lunch, or simply stretch their legs. Those moments in the workday are more important than it may seem, because those breaks allow one’s brain to pause and re-focus. Thus, in a remote work environment, teams need to engineer those breaks if they do not happen naturally.
2. Minimize Distractions
Remote working has also lead to a increase in communication – but this is not always for the best. Perhaps due to anxieties around not knowing what one’s colleagues are up to, the number of meetings, messages and emails being send back and forth have increased considerably. Sometimes constant communication stops individuals from entering rhythms of work where productivity is elevated. Therefore, another good practice is to minimize distractions – at least for parts of the day. This can be done by ensuring that most meetings are pre-arranged, and also by blocking out focus sessions where you set your contact status to Do Not Disturb.
3. Utilize the Cloud
There are so many excellent benefits to using the cloud in business – TechQuarters has been providing IT support for Accountants and many other types of businesses since 2010, and in that time have helped countless businesses adopt the cloud – the common ground has always been that cloud computing and cloud storage is beneficial no matter what sector an organisation is in. For remote teams, the benefits of using the cloud comes from having a centralise, shared storage space for all resources – namely documents and other types of files. This eliminates the need to send versions of documents back and forth, and makes it easier to track changes remotely.
4. Record Meetings
One hugely useful tip that many businesses attest to is recording meetings. The number of meetings per day has increased for businesses that have gone remote. Back-to-back meetings are not always necessary; and some team members may get more out of meetings than others. The solution to this is to record important meetings so that they can be reviewed by relevant parties after the fact; this can allow some team members to focus on time-sensitive work, or simply cultivate higher levels of productivity through focus sessions.