How to best organize remote working as an employer?

The Covid-19 crisis has considerably accelerated the use of digital in our daily lives. Telecommunications is one of them! For jobs that only require a computer (and a brain!), remote work proved to be very useful during a pandemic. More than a simple solution to respect distance measures, remote work has become a new way to shape work. But the question of social relations arises, as well as the new issues related to remote management. How to best manage a telecommuting team? This is what we will see in this article.

Remote working is becoming an integral part of our daily work life

Télétravail : comment l’organiser au mieux au sein de votre entreprise ?

Like it or not, remote work has become part of our daily lives. Obviously, telecommuting (or remote) was not invented during the Covid-19 crisis. But this event has strongly contributed to popularize it in companies since 2020. Since then, employees and employers have been generally seduced by this way of working.

Why is telework so important today? Simply because it meets society's needs: time saving, better work/life balance, more autonomy, motivational factors, savings on the cost of premises, reduced absenteeism... The list is long!

So much so that it has become necessary to mention it on your job offers. Because the home office is now a favorite among candidates looking for their next career opportunity.

Effective remote team management: communication is key 

The issue of remote work raises new issues and challenges for managers and HR teams in particular. The most important thing is to maintain the link and establish a climate of trust (reciprocity).

Good communication will prevent employees from feeling isolated at home. But this communication should not be too intrusive. It's a delicate balance to strike.

Moreover, it is clear that professional relationships are undeniably biased by distance. No matter what the 100% teleworkers say, a relationship via camera is not the same as a face-to-face discussion in the office. It is therefore important to be aware of this if you choose to remote work in your company (whether it is partial or total).

For example, the reactivity in information exchanges can be affected: it is faster to communicate face to face than to wait for the collaborator to see your Slack message.The issue also arises when you have to integrate a new employee remotely.

Remote management: more preparation before the meeting 

To effectively manage your remote teams, you must carefully prepare all your remote communications (department meetings, individual interviews, customer presentations, etc.). Even more than in person, make sure that you have transmitted all the necessary information:

  • Connection links
  • Duration of the exchange
  • Objectives of the meeting
  • Tutorials to present the tool used

This last point is still too often neglected. It is better to take the time to write a few lines to explain how to connect to the meeting (or to include a few screenshots or explanatory videos for the most complex software) than to find yourself all alone on the day. Your interlocutors must quickly understand how to connect and use the tool, without being blocked for technical reasons.

Another essential element is to anticipate the steps of the exchange so that the time allotted is optimized and respected. If you go past the end time, expect your collaborators to listen with one ear to the rest of the meeting. In other words, working remotely should be an opportunity to get to the point and avoid the "acute meeting syndrome".

Succeeding in creating a bond despite the distance 

We've said it before and we'll say it again: building trust is the biggest challenge for any manager managing a telecommuting team. More than ever, the social link is essential. So, spending 10 minutes of your time to talk informally with your employees is not a bad thing, quite the contrary.

Here are some ideas to easily create a social link with your remote team:

  • Break the ice with more personal questions (e.g., what is your favorite music to work to?)
  • Set up challenges between teams (goals to reach, events to organize, posts on social networks, etc.)
  • Create a dedicated channel for non-work related topics (#just-gifs)
  • Use videoconferencing (with cameras) as much as possible, whether for team exchanges or 1 to 1
  • Designate a dedicated sponsor for each new recruit to facilitate their integration.

This social connection is even more important if you have to deliver difficult or bad news from a distance. You can then opt for more formal processes (such as a coaching system specifically dedicated to employees who do not reach their goals). The idea is that the relationship, and more globally the productivity of your teams, is as qualitative as face to face.

What tools to best organize remote working?

Good remote communication requires effective telecommuting tools. Because telecommuting is only viable if your teams use the right communication and organizational tools. These include:

  • For collaborative work: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord, etc.
  • For email: Gmail, Outlook, etc.
  • For video conferencing: Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Teams, Hangout, etc.
  • For project management: Trello, Asana, Notion, etc.
  • For sharing large files: Dropbox, Google Drive, Smash

To manage a remote team, you need to adapt your communication to the new tools and uses. All with kindness! The result: happy and involved employees, despite the distance.

At Molitor International Conseil, our teams of recruiters have been used to working remotely for a long time (even before Covid!). From our offices or from their own homes, our Digital Talents Acquisition teams do everything possible to find your future collaborators. Click here to recruit efficiently..