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Recharge your remote team

All signs point to the need for many companies to continue remote work in 2021—at least for a while. Now that most of us have been working at home or in other socially distanced locations for much of 2020, it’s time to re-energize and keep those productivity levels high. Try these tips to keep your remote team engaged and productive:

Do an IT equipment and needs survey.

Does your team have everything they need to work efficiently at home or other remote workstations? Consider both the office supplies and technical tools—internet, software and especially hardware—your team needs to get the work done. 

Create a FAQ document to help your team navigate the applications you use to work remotely.

Don’t forget to include common IT challenges. This will give your team confidence and reduce the number of questions you field on these topics. 

Plan out your troubleshooting processes in advance to minimize downtime for your team in case of technical difficulties.

Nothing kills motivation faster than ongoing IT issues. Know who to call and what to do if the team experiences connectivity or application issues. Also, have each team member think of activities they can do to keep moving forward if they can’t connect to the internet. 

Build in daily engagement opportunities for all your team members.

Ask questions—have a trivia challenge or a quick round robin at the beginning of the day to keep people motivated. 

Celebrate successes.

Even when your team is remote, they still contribute and make progress. When goals are met, be sure to reward them with praise or even little perks like extra time off. 

If your budget allows, plan for a remote lunch date for your team.

Send GrubHub or DoorDash vouchers electronically and have everyone order and eat together while you discuss how remote work is going. You’ll be surprised what you can learn with a little bit of casual conversation. 

While you want to keep things as positive as possible, don’t hesitate to remind your team of the basic rules of etiquette for taking remote calls and participating in online meetings.

For example, while it’s fine to be casual to a certain degree, proper attire, not eating while on remote calls and keeping the background noise level down are all important reminders that keep your team professional.

Even though you may be at a distance physically, it’s vital to keep your team engaged and connected so they feel valued and you can all work toward common goals. While many people value the flexibility of working at home, it can also be isolating for some, so be sure to keep the unique needs of each team member in mind. 

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