During this time of uncertainty, the need to be cautious is ever growing. With so many companies switching to remote work it can be incredibly hard to maintain morale and keep your employees feeling connected. Here at C&D Advertising, we have tried to create a work environment that is flexible and adaptive. While we will always choose face-to-face first, we have the ability in our field to work with clients remotely and allow our team to work from home when the need arises. We also have remote staff who have been able to continue to be a part of our team in the face of life changes (moving out of state, having a baby, etc.). Working as a remote employee can be a challenge and working with remote employees takes more thought and care than one might expect. Here are some of our tips for how to handle this new working relationship that so many business owners and managers are facing right now.
Stay in contact. One of the worst feelings as a remote employee is to believe you are not part of the team. It’s easy for that out of sight out of mind concept to seep in, so it’s important for employers to check in even when there isn’t anything to talk about. Just a ‘hello and how are you doing?’ will go a long way.
Get good at conference calls. It can be a hassle to set up Zoom or a three-way call. Maybe your instinct is just to say you can handle the meeting instead of making it more complicated. Trust us, that’s not the case. Our clients are our top priority and including the staff who’s working on their project during meetings is always our preferred method. Sure, it’s easier in person, but technology has made it very easy remotely as well!
Team Meetings are a must. Currently, we have Monday meetings and even our remote staff members dial in. We want them to be a part of the team! If you’re switching to completely remote right now, consider still having these meetings. Even if the workload is low while we work through these changes, you can still check in on your team or do some over the phone strategizing or team building. Your team’s morale needs this!
Maintain structure. Programs like Asana and Harvest keep us on track no matter where we are: client meetings, in the office, or working remotely. They help our remote staff stay on track when a check-in can’t always happen. They also help all members of our team feel like they are interacting in real-time.
Don’t forget infrastructure. Making sure your remote staff have the tools that they need to be successful is very important. This means computer equipment and programs, logins, VPN access, etc. Some of our staff is happy to work on their own personal computers (especially the ones that prefer…eh hm…Apple products), but that doesn't mean you shouldn’t offer company technology, if possible. Likewise, for Microsoft programs. Remote staff should have the same equipment as other staff so they can give the same quality of work.
In general, a happy employee is a productive employee and treating your remote staff the same way is key to both of your success. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves and your staff as you are all working from home right now. Encourage fresh air, lunch breaks and all of the same positivity and support that you would be offering your team if you were in the office!