Telecommuting | Work From Home | Virtual Teams
We are in the process of looking at workplace flexibility options. Does anyone have any processes/resources for developing employees to work in this setting or processes/resources for managers to manage teams that are not always together?
Thanks for your help and wonderful ideas!
I'm currently part of a remote team and while I may work in the office (I live near by) most of my teammates do not and neither is our fearless leader.
>>Leadership: In an effort to help keep us connected, our manager has regularly scheduled team calls which take only 30 mins that include important updates, a snippet surrounding the organization's culture shaping initiatives and a team round table discussion where each teammate has the opportunity to contribute.
Our manager is now based out of NJ, so she does travel approximately every 2 months to visit the team and schedules a team building activity for all of us to engage one another and feel connected. She is also very diligent about scheduling one on one meetings and interim reviews to help us meet our required metrics. The teammate has the option of monthly or bi-weekly, I prefer bi-weekly, it helps me stay connected w/my manager and gives me an opportunity to discuss highlights/successes that she may not be exposed to otherwise. Additionally, our manager is available and never makes you feel as nuisance or inconvenience. She is respectful of our time, she often says "time is a premium" so she tries to keep to time commitments. She also adds a bit of levity to the nature of our work!
>>Teammates: there is going to be some disconnect amongst the team and it's normal especially if this is new for your team, it will take some adjustment for all. Employees should be flexible and patient as the kinks are worked out and there should be a "champion" or "change agent" that can help the get buy in from the team. Employees should also be resourceful, they may not have access to the company assets they would have in the traditional brick and mortar environment. Employees can still find ways to stay engaged with the team by sharing important information or procedures that they've incorporated to assist with effectiveness and efficiency. It will shift their way of thinking and help them be more in control of their career since the manager/leader is not within reach to witness all that they're doing. Lastly, you'll find that some of the team will buddy up with one another, almost like a mini clique, it happens!
>>Organization: a remote workforce offers a lot of unchartered territory for many business. Security of company proprietary information should be high priority for the organization. Any company related assets, even BYOD, should have comprehensive security breach prevention features to prevent theft. The remote work environment should be safe as employers are still liable for worker's compensation claims even if the employee is working from home. The organization IT & safety departments should have tips to offer and means in place to determine if the remote environment is safe and secure. to mitigate exposure to the employee, team and organization!