Summary: Overseeing remote and/or hybrid teams is a new way of working for most company leaders. Learn five tips to do it effectively, from a veteran leader of a Work From Anywhere workforce.
Technology has created a world in which we don’t need to go into work in order to actually get work done. This means that overseeing team members that work remote is a new reality for most leaders.
According to online employment marketplace Upwork Inc.’s Future of Workforce Pulse Report, it’s estimated that one in four Americans are working remotely in 2021. Before the pandemic, only 12.3% of Americans had the option to work fully remote, with 8.9% as a hybrid workplace option. Five years from now, those percentages are expected to double (22.9%, 14.6% respectively). Not only is this growth a significant shift for traditional workplace environments, it also is creating opportunity for teams to expand more easily, tapping into freelancers and fresh talent beyond historically limited, office-based geographic constraints. In other words, companies can likely grow faster and with more flexibility by making the jump to a Work From Anywhere™ approach.
So the question becomes, how do you lay the foundation for creating an effective Work From Anywhere environment for your company? I share my insights into the benefits of working remotely in-depth with Matt Cabrey of the Growing Greater Podcast in an episode called “Virtual Assistance: Delegate Solutions.” Listen to it here.
How Work from Anywhere Can Work for You
At Delegate, we intentionally built our company to Work from Anywhere. We operate 100% virtually, with over 14 years of experience leading a national team of not-in-the-office employees.
During those 14 years, we’ve learned a lot. Below are five tips that we can share as you consider this new way of working.
1. Communication is Key
Effective Communication – People who oversee remote workers must be proactive communicators. This includes investing in technology that allows your team to remain connected to their work and their teammates. For example, we utilize tools like Skype and Zoom so we are always face-to-face for our meetings.
We require our teams to enable their video setting when joining every single meeting. This allows us to create a cohesive team environment, even though we are physically spread across the U.S. Tools like Slack and Google Groups allow teams to quickly communicate via chat. Our favorite tool Asana allows our team to simply run projects through streamlined communication.
2. Always be Goals-Focused
Set Clear and Attainable Goals for Work – In order to be successful, remote workers must operate as self-starters and will thrive with goals-focused direction that’s clearly communicated. Provide SMART metrics around the stated goals, Rocks and milestones for projects, offering clarity around how team members are contributing in relation to each goal. If your team is collectively working towards a shared goal, provide an online portal or hub like Ninety.io® where they can view the team’s overall progress against the goal and encourage one another. And remember, it’s always critical to provide context around how each person’s contribution fits into the overall company or team goal, no matter where their work is performed. [Editor’s note: This additional context can come from sharing your vision and upcoming goals for each quarter with your teams, reinforced with quarterly “State of the Company” meetings where leaders can provide the overall context of everything that's going on.]