How technology can help engage your remote teams

Laptop and notebook

For many, this has been the first test of an entire team working from home, all of the time. And at the end of this crisis it is likely that businesses will consider changing the way they work in the future, to include more remote and flexible working.

One of the challenges you may have already come across managing a remote team is engaging your employees. Have your team been less productive or unmotivated since lockdown began? This may not be the lack of interest from your team but could be a communication barrier.

Keeping the team spirit up and regular contact is essential for ensuring that work keeps happening – and technology plays a key role in this. Here are some of the ways IT can help you engage your teams.

‘Face-to-face’ meetings

Regular ‘meetings’ are vital when your teams are working from home, to allow people to talk about how they are coping and raise any issues that are bothering them. A platform like Zoom allows your employees to chat face-to-face, during a work meeting or personal catch-up. You may wish to schedule meetings, daily or weekly to ensure your team doesn’t feel isolated working from home and has something to look forward to.

Collaborate on projects

Team collaboration is one of the main ways technology can help boost employee engagement. In a platform like Microsoft Teams, it easier to share projects and documents you are working on, to keep everybody updated and get the input you would normally receive in the office.

You can access the app from your mobile and easily switch between your phone and your desktop. Targeted communication also means that your employees can receive notifications around a file or piece of work – by distributing messages through relevant ‘teams’ and ‘channels’ your communication won’t be lost in someone’s email inbox.

Start a group ‘chat’

If your team are used to working together, they will be missing out on the day-to-day interactions that come as part of being a team. You may think that a work ‘chat’ would be a distraction, but they’re often faster and a more casual way to communicate than email. Whether you use, Slack or WhatsApp, you can keep in touch with your team and it is ideal if you need an instant response. Regular communication ensures your remote workers feel valued as team members.

Create a fun workplace

Working from home is often just as stressful as being in the workplace, sometimes more. As an employer, you have the opportunity to create a fun, engaging environment for your team that doesn’t focus on being at your desk every day. It could be an online quiz, zoom cooking class, or coffee and catch-up, for people to share experiences and connect outside the nine-to-five. These social connections will help increase engagement during the workweek.

Encourage online learning

You might find that some employees lack confidence or are unsure of how to perform well in their job – this will only be increased by working away from their colleagues and usual routine. There are so many ways you can encourage personal growth among employees – holding webinars or using an online training platform. Allocating time in the week to allow your team to develop their skills and knowledge will help them feel more confident and engaged in their role.

Keeping remote staff and those working from home, engaged, and happy comes down to communication. This requires you having the right tools, so investing in your business’ technology is vital in overcoming any barriers. While working from home, you should be making it as easy as possible for employees to keep up with the latest company updates and have all the information they need.

If you’d like more information about the tools you can use to manage your remote workforce, contact us.