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In these uncertain times, how can you boost the positivity of your remote working team members to drive productivity and profitability?
In this article, we are going to explore several practical ways to foster a positive remote working environment. This will help your team to quickly adapt to the recent changes, limiting operational disruption and enabling you to continue delivering for your customers.
Just a few weeks ago, we were writing blog content about the potential growth of remote working in 2020. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people who are working remotely. According to Global Workplace Analytics, between 2005 and 2017, there was a 158% increase in remote work.
When we were writing this blog content, we had no idea that a global pandemic was fast-approaching, a crisis that would change how millions of workplaces are operating on a day-by-day basis. It’s safe to say that in just a few weeks, remote working has become rather popular, as measures of social distancing come into full effect.
The short-term economic fallout of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has left businesses of all sizes in survival mode. It is now their duty to be doing everything they can to deliver exceptional levels of customer service. However, the sudden shift move from physical workspaces to multiple remote locations has proven to disruptive for many businesses.
Under normal circumstances, we recommend that businesses slowly transition into a remote working environment. Moving too quickly can be detrimental to your workplace culture. Highly-engaged teams show 21% greater profitability and changing your operational structure without thorough planning can lead to short-term damage.
Many businesses have had to rush into remote working during this crisis. They were unlikely to have had the time - or headspace - to consider how this may impact the team’s productivity in the short term. Remote working teams can often be more productive than those in a physical workplace, but building this culture takes time.
As leaders look to ensure that their team members are maintaining high levels of productively during this uncertain time, they are going to need to develop strategies to keep the team highly engaged, focused and motivated. We believe, despite the distance, human connection can play an important role in driving positivity and productivity in remote working teams.
We have been excited to see many remote working teams embrace the use of video conferencing applications, such as Zoom, to hold team meetings, increasing the amount of face-to-face communication that employees are having on a daily basis. You should never underestimate the power of face-to-face digital communication.
Face-to-face communication is the perfect opportunity for you to uplift the spirits of your team members. It’s a chance for you to make sure that every single person feels valued and appreciated, knowing they have a role to play as the business confronts the challenges of an economy in freefall.
However, it isn’t very practical for your team to be spending the entire days on video conferencing calls. For this reason, you are going to need to find other ways to keep them motivated during the working day. The most immediate line of communication is likely to be via your Slack channel - so you should start to think about ways to promote a positive work environment from this application.
Praising Team Members
Using Karma, our intuitive workplace culture tool for Slack, you can give praise to specific employees whilst telling the rest of the virtual office at the same time. This can be done by simply typing in a few words in the Slack group chat about the performance of a certain individual and the results they have achieved.
When a team leader has done this a few times, it can lead to a reciprocal effect, where multiple team members might begin to praise each other for their efforts throughout the week. This is a fantastic way to lift morale through positive reinforcement.
Praise is addictive and when you incentivize it, this can result in workplace gamification. People are motivated by competition. When they see someone else doing well and achieving results, they instinctively want to be able to hit that level and strive for success. It all comes down to positive reinforcement, anchoring positive behaviour and promoting it to the rest of the team.
In the same way that you would praise team members in the physical workspace, this virtual alternative can help to mimic the positive workplace culture that you put so much effort into building. When you’re apart, human connection is more important than ever and the simple act of praising team members can bring everyone together.
Rewarding Team Members
Team leaders can use Karma in Slack to reward employees for positive behaviour, such as completing a task ahead of schedule or doing something that is in-line with company values. At just the click of a button, your company values can be reinforced within your Slack channel, as a clearly defined list of behavioural objectives.
For instance, if you are leading the customer support team, when they’re not hitting your targets, you can add the company values into the group chat to remind team members of what is expected of them.
In a points-based system, you can incentivize team members to be productive with a range of different rewards. This can make team members feel as though they are working towards something. Whether it’s an Amazon voucher or cinema tickets, you can make a list of rewards that can be displayed inside of Slack using Karma.
Through positive reinforcement, team leaders can give points to individual employees. Eventually, once enough points have been earned, team members will be able to choose from the range of rewards that you have outlined.
Rewarding remote working team members is vital because it helps them to feel as though they are being appreciated, despite the distance. Establishing a clear line of positive communication is key to have a highly-productive remote working team and Karma can help to facilitate this.
Karma is the perfect tool for building high-performing remote teams. A strong line of communication is essential to remote working. Karma can help to facilitate this with a variety of features to promote cross-team communication.