The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many companies operate – many have had to put in place remote working policies, putting these companies' capacity to adapt quickly to the test. Like most companies, business owners had to respond quickly to a remote work surge by providing flexible working hours and appropriate tools to their teams, starting with reliable enterprise audio and video communication tools.
While it isn't easy to keep a weary team engaged and productive when working from home in such uncertain times, there are ways to maintain a good team dynamic. With a few adjustments to leadership style and the way you collaborate with your team, you can be there for everyone and keep your employees motivated and focused to support better distance management. [For the best video conferencing service, read our full review of 8x8.]
Don't try to control everything
As a manager, you have a key role in leading your team members to embrace the changes brought by the coronavirus while remaining motivated and committed to their work.
Everything starts with you. Look at yourself and the way you do things to make the necessary changes to become a better leader. Focus on providing solutions rather than focusing on issues. Use a positive forward-thinking approach to show a more understanding, effective and flexible solution to any challenges your company might face. This will help you build positive relationships with your co-workers. Such an attitude fosters creativity and encourages transparency and inclusion, which, in turn, supports motivation and productivity.
Focus on your employees' well-being
To work with engaged and motivated people, you need to show them that you care about them and their well-being at work. The first thing is to let them know that you are here for them if they need anything to help deal with this unusual situation.
They may not talk to you, but knowing you can provide a well-being support program for them helps them feel more comfortable and supported. Also, you should be ready to give your team members the freedom and flexibility they need to better deal with these uncertain times. Finally, try to facilitate informal socializing and connection between team members and encourage teamwork.
Provide an efficient virtual working environment
For your team to remain engaged, motivated and productive at work, they need to know they can rely on a structured virtual workplace with all the tools they need. From communication to task management, provide professional and comprehensive tools for your team with which to collaborate and communicate efficiently.
The rise of remote working due to the coronavirus pushed many companies to start using conference call services, but turning to just any conferencing solution is not ideal, as you need to find the right one for your business size and requirements.
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From all of the advanced conference call tools for business on the market, try to choose one that also provides collaborative tools, as well as screen-sharing and instant messaging options, as communication isn't just about work, it is also for team cohesion. Selecting the right conference call option is essential to assuring that your business communications are reliable, stable and cost-effective. Start by making a list of everything you need, considering the following elements:
Confidentiality, privacy and security
One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a conference call service is security. Make sure that the security features are robust enough to ensure maximum protection and privacy for your virtual meetings.
There is nothing worse than having to face poor audio and video quality when you're in the middle of an important meeting. Being able to hear and see each other perfectly without a problem is essential for effective meetings, so be sure you're using a reliable call vendor with high-quality audio and video. [Check out Ooma Office, our choice as the best phone system for remote teams.]
Number of participants accepted
The number of participants allowed in a single call or meeting is an important feature to consider, based on the size of your business. Do not only consider your current needs but think about what you might need when your business grows, so then you are not constrained by your software when you are adding new members to your team.
Call management options
It is important to know what you're able to do when it comes to managing your calls. Can you host the call yourself? Do you have to run an operator-assisted call? Are you able to manage the technical side of the meeting? Are the participants able to add feedback and comments? What about recording? Recording capabilities, as well as automatic transcriptions of your calls, are great options for those who need them, especially when it comes to compliance and regulations.
Ease of use
Choosing a simple, user-friendly, and effective conference call service that everyone in your team will find easy to connect with online and use for meetings is crucial. Give the platforms on your short-list a test run with your team. That way, you will be able to test the software and pick one that gets the highest marks from your team for its ease of use and simplicity.
To be sure your staff is on board to use meeting software, you must provide an option that is flexible and customized. You also need to have a conference calling system that can grow with your business. Think about your capacity limit; your need to reach an employee on the phone on the other side of the world, and team members using their smartphones.
Customer service availability
Long wait times to reach customer service by phone is a nightmare. Top-rated brands usually have top-rate customer service, so you need to be sure the conference calling provider you're thinking about using can easily and quickly be reached if you need support. Find out how you can reach the support team, and test how quickly they can provide an answer to your issue.
Reward the work done
Be sure your team knows how grateful you are for the work being done. Always think about showing gratitude to your team members for all the effort they put into their work, with genuine compliments and recognition. You can also offer them a day off or a voucher to use in their favorite shop to thank them. Another way to show appreciation will be to value even more their inputs and feedback on important projects and tasks. Your employees will feel valued if they can participate in the decision-making process by using their skills for the benefit of the company.
The tips mentioned above are remote management tips to apply when you want your team to stay motivated when working from home during these uncertain times, but there are countless things you can do and implement to improve their engagement and productivity. As a manager, it is up to you to adopt your own leadership style.