skip to main content
  • Business Intelligence
  • Growth
  • Customers
  • Productivity
  • Business IQ
  • Trends
  • Success Stories
  • Tech
  • Awards
  • Business Tools
  • Subscribe
  • Tech Enquiry
  • Productivity

    Five ways to create a great remote working team

    Smarter Writer
    Smarter Team

    A team of business and technology journalists and editors who write to help Australia’s community of small and medium businesses access the technology and know-how that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

    Smarter Writer
    Smarter Team

    A team of business and technology journalists and editors who write to help Australia’s community of small and medium businesses access the technology and know-how that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

    Driving the performance of remote teams requires much more than simply handing out computers and collaboration tools. The key is to empower your remote staff to work effectively as a team.

    Woman remote working from a cafe

    Set up tools and tasks

    Workplace dynamics change in a virtual workplace where staff can’t just pop into the next cubicle to ask a question or have a chat with colleagues in the hallway.

    Simply handing out Office 365 logins is not enough, you need to teach your remote workers how to make the most of collaboration tools so they can work together productively. This involves establishing optimised workflows and procedures and communicating them to the team. These should also be documented and stored centrally.

    Don’t just decree that your people must use collaboration tools, show them how and why they’re the best tools for the job. Otherwise your team will fall back on old habits that hamper productivity, such as playing phone tag or dragging everyone into long and cumbersome email chains.

    Communicate clearly

    Once your remote workers have mastered collaboration tools, it’s important to create clear lines of communication.

    Corporate instant-messaging tools offer the ability to create sub-groups and channels dedicated to different departments and topics. Likewise, shared calendars and project-management tools help remote workers coordinate their time and tasks.

    Using these tools effectively ensures people always have the information they need at their fingertips, without bombarding the entire team with irrelevant information. Discourage the use of text messaging when sharing information that would be useful to others in the team.

    Hold virtual meetings

    Despite the efficiency of collaboration tools, there’s still a place for meetings – such as work-in-progress updates and project status reports.

    Virtual meetings via voice or video conferencing allow remote workers to raise issues, express concerns and explore ideas. Once again, teach your staff how to make the most of meeting tools. Make time for one-on-one virtual meetings, as remote workers can’t just stop by your office for a private chat.

    Cultivate camaraderie

    As you strive to improve performance and efficiency, don’t forget your remote workers are real people.

    It’s important to build community and make people feel like they’re part of a team, especially if they’re struggling with the isolation of working remotely. Make time for small talk at the beginning or end of meetings and create a “virtual water-cooler” channel on instant messaging platforms to allow for casual chat and camaraderie.

    Trust your team

    Resist the urge to micromanage remote workers because they’re out of sight. Instead, establish clear expectations and develop KPIs that focus more on goals than day-to-day activities.

    Everyone responds differently to the challenges of working remotely, especially if they’re working from home, so rather than worrying about what any employee is doing at any given time, focus on what they’re accomplishing.

    This includes respecting set work hours and downtime, as it can be difficult for people who work from home to wind down at the end of day.

    Productivity will suffer if your remote workers burn out because they never get a chance to switch off.

    Contact your Telstra Client Executive today to discover how we can help you with business continuity planning.

    Looking for a remote working solution?

    Telstra Mobile Worksuite can help you work on the go.

    Find out moreLooking for a remote working solution?

    Tech
    Tech
    Tips from former con-artist Frank Abagnale on how to fix your cyber security

    It’s a question that plagues the technological age: how can small businesses protect themselves from internet fraud? Former conman turned cyber expert Frank Abagnale reveals ho...

    Customer Experience
    Customer Experience
    Digital tools that will help you create loyal customers

    Creating loyal customers is essential to the success of any business. Digital tools can improve the way customers experience your brand - whether it’s helping you interact with...

    Tech
    Tech
    BYOD security in the age of remote work

    The rise of remote working has thrown a spotlight on bring your own device (BYOD) security issues and challenges. BYOD is more popular now than ever – but with more devices in...

    Business IQ
    Business IQ
    The year ahead: 5 key opportunities for small businesses

    In the second article from Telstra’s partnership series with Small Business Australia, Executive Director Bill Lang shares his take on the key opportunities for small businesse...