25 January 2021. Posted by Martin O'Neill
20% of remote workers struggled with effective communication last year and the same number suffered with loneliness in 2020.
Remote working was forced upon many of the UK’s workforce in 2020 and a large number of employees had no previous experience with working remotely.
A recent report published by Buffer of more than 3,500+ remote workers, highlighted how many employees were feeling and the findings should be a key concern for business owners and managers in 2021.
Isolation, lack of communication and the feeling of burnout were common traits. Field service professionals and mechanical engineering professionals are familiar with the benefits and challenges of working away from the office, but the recent mass adoption of remote working has highlighted some key issues.
Here are 5 tips on how to help your teams handle the challenges and thrive while working remotely:
1. Create a communication culture
Tackle the biggest issue of remote working head on by making sure your team has everything they need to communicate within your business and with your clients.
Having real-time updates available to your team is a great way of making sure they don’t feel in the dark. Use a system that links communication with your active jobs, an email isn’t enough and could be easily missed or misinterpreted.
However, tech isn’t everything. It’s important to make sure everyone feels they can share what’s happening with their teams, so encourage frequent and helpful communication whenever possible.
2. Introduce certainty through scheduling
For many businesses, planning has gone from quarterly to week by week. The situation is changing all the time and your team will benefit from consistency and clarity.
Use a smart scheduling tool to make sure your remote workers, especially those out in the field, know where they should be and ensure that information can be updated in real-time, to avoid any unnecessary journeys.
Keep your people in motion when they need to be and help them feel every journey is essential.
Try Klipboard out for 14 days for free and benefit from our scheduling tool within the platform: https://klipboard.io/feature/drag-drop-scheduling-dispatch/
3. Job progress tracking
Shake off that uneasy feeling of not really knowing if something has been done properly by tracking the progress of a job.
This could be as simple as creating a ‘pending-to-completed’ task planner.
If your business is a little more complicated with a lot of moving parts, use a system like Klipboard to monitor the progress of completed jobs. This helps you understand what’s happening.
Your team will then feel like they know what needs to be accomplished, and it benefits your clients who will get a smooth and reliable service.
Tracking the job history of each client location gives you the opportunity to produce reports for your customer, this can highlight the range of work you do for them and help them appreciate the value of the service you offer.
4. Listen to your team
You might already think you’re a good listener, but your team could be under more pressure than normal right now, even if they are used to remote working. When you ask for feedback from your team, show them that you’ve taken action with what they have said.
There’s plenty of good resources available to learn to be a better listener, but you can’t go wrong with a TED talk. (https://www.ted.com/playlists/92/listen_up)
5. Recognise burnout
If you’ve developed a culture that’s hard working, where everyone is in it together and you’ve got a team that gets the job done, then well done!
That’s great and will help you grow and achieve a lot.
However, there could be something lurking under the surface that needs your attention and that’s called burnout. There’s a breaking point for a lot of teams and recognising your team is under pressure, even if they are happy, is an excellent skill for a manager.
Spot burnout early by listening and reading between the lines. Stop it by easing off and creating diversity in your team’s work.
A good example of this is taking a moment to encourage cross team interactions, ask your engineers to spend more time with your sales people, give your sales people a project to understand the operations side of your business better. No pressure, a little learning and a lot of employee engagement.
Some of the best benefits of this is you get fresh perspective from trusted people within your team on different parts of your business. This could nurture new ways of working and improvements and above all else it gives allows the employee running at max to drop down a gear and still contribute to the business.
For some tips on managing mental health and ideas on how to look after your team try a trusted source such as Verywellmind https://www.verywellmind.com they produce articles and advice on handling stress, loneliness and burnout.
How Klipboard helps you manage your team when they are out of the office
We’ve created a single platform for your team out in the field and in the office.
We can help you communicate better within your team and your clients. With Klipboard you’ve got a single source of truth for your clients assets and locations. Give your team real-time information and focus on the important things, such as the wellbeing of your team and growing your business.