At Teamdeck, we regularly talk with people working at different software development companies. When demoing our resource management app and onboarding new clients, we learn about their typical processes and issues. We've noticed that many software houses...
Remote work has recently become a necessity for many teams across the world. In the USA alone, two-thirds of employees went at least partially remote during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them are expected to keep working remotely.
With this prospect in mind, it’s not surprising that organizations are looking for ways to foster a work environment where remote workers can thrive.
What about you? Perhaps leading a distributed team has been your bread and butter for years. Or maybe you’ve been put into this role only recently, due to the global pandemic and office teams switching to remote work.
Either way, you likely want to make sure that your remote team members are happy and productive. We’ve got your back! In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at ways in which you can increase your employees’ sense of happiness. We’ll also present three apps that can help you achieve that goal. Let’s dive in!
How to build a happy remote team that’s also productive?
In order to understand how to bring happiness to distributed teams, it’s important to investigate what makes remote teams unhappy.
Remote work may cause several communication and collaboration challenges, especially for inexperienced remote employees. As a result, work effectiveness is likely to suffer. 31% of newly remote workers surveyed by Slack admit that remote work is worse when it comes to productivity.
It’s not surprising, given the fact that many companies aren’t prepared for remote collaboration. Without tools that help to organize work and increase projects’ transparency, employees may waste a lot of time trying to figure out what to do and how to do it.
As your company switches to remote work, your team members may also struggle with their sense of belonging and connectedness. Such feelings will understandably take their toll on people’s happiness. To prevent it, you should pay attention to strengthening relationships between your coworkers and encourage continuous feedback.
Remote work is not an excuse to forget about team building. In fact, you should make sure that your employees have plenty of chances to interact with each other for pure fun. While face-to-face gatherings might be off the table for many companies, virtual hangouts can also be effective and boost employee engagement.
Yet another factor that may contribute to your workers’ unhappiness is the feeling of being invisible to the managers. When you’re working remotely, you may easily get a sense that your work is not acknowledged or appreciated. It may be especially frustrating when you’re putting in a lot of extra work. When you’re staying late in an office, your team will probably notice it. Remote employees often don’t have a way to communicate their workload easily. As a manager, you should make every effort to keep your finger on your team’s current status in terms of workload, capacity, availability, etc.
What if your organization has made only a temporary switch to remote work? Even if that’s the case, not paying attention to your team’s well-being because “we just need to hang on, we’ll soon go back to normal” is not a great strategy. With people working remotely, it’s challenging to spot burnout signs or lower employee engagement, so you’re likely to miss important signals from your remote team. Make sure that the remote work period, even if it’s temporary, doesn’t negatively affect your team.
Of course, this is not easy to achieve, especially if your organization’s company culture is not remote-friendly. You need the right tools, both in terms of proven tactics or processes, and in terms of apps that help you maintain team happiness. We’ve handpicked three apps that can help you create a remote-friendly company culture and increase employee satisfaction. Each of these tools focuses on a different aspect of work relationships and collaboration.
Apps that will help you make your team happier and more effective
Camaradly is an employee growth platform that can help you with something remote teams often find challenging: human connections. It provides a dedicated, safe, and secure space that helps each person untangle and iron out their issues with others and the environment. As a result, leaders can ensure that everyone has a great time and feels valued, whether they are on-site or remote.
Camaradly facilitates employee happiness in a couple of ways. One of its main features is a check-in—an opportunity for every remote employee to connect with their manager and have a continuous feedback conversation. They’re very important, yet they don’t have to be time-consuming. In fact, filling out a Camaradly check-in takes less than 1 minute. Based on the feedback from the check-in surveys, managers can identify common problems and improvement areas. It may lead to valuable individual conversations, but also key strategic changes on an organizational level.
This app will also give your remote workers a chance to celebrate each other using shoutouts. Company-wide recognition will increase people’s happiness and boost their team spirit.
While we continue to work in a remote arrangement, it is imperative for organisational leaders to build a spirit of camaraderie among their teams. Manager-employee conversations should be facilitated, employees should be regularly checked-in on, and a culture of radical transparency should be encouraged.
Sarah Anwar, Product Evangelist at Camaradly
ProofHub is an all-in-one project management tool, storing all of your team’s tasks, milestones, or schedules under one roof. It allows remote workers to communicate and collaborate effortlessly. With all their work organized and visible within the app, employees can focus, be more productive, and, ultimately, happier.
Imagine that your team is working on a creative project: they want to design a new website for your brand. In an office setting, they would probably organize a series of team meetings to brainstorm ideas and critique first drafts. When you’re working remotely, collaborating over creative projects can be much more complicated. With ProofHub, remote workers can easily share feedback, review files, or even carry out virtual discussions. Work gets done faster and more effectively, so your team can enjoy some confidence boosts. Plus, your employees are in touch with each other, so their sense of belonging may stay intact.
ProofHub will also bring some much-needed clarity into the workflow of every single employee. Having access to clearly assigned tasks and deadlines can be a way to boost employee productivity and happiness when working remotely.
When employees have a clear picture of what they are expected to achieve with their efforts, and how they fit in the overall goal that the organization is trying to achieve, they get a sense of belonging – which can prove to be the biggest motivating factor for an employee.
Vartika Kashyap, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Teamdeck is a resource management solution—it’s all about high-level management of your team’s work. It helps you to monitor people’s availability and workload, which are very hard to track for remote team leaders. At the same time, disregarding these two factors may quickly lead to employees being unhappy. How is that the case?
As an employee, you want your managers to respect your time and effort. When you take a day off, you don’t want to be bothered with work calls. When you already have a lot on your plate work-wise, you won’t be content to see even more assignments in your pipeline. Unfortunately, in a remote working environment, managers may quickly lose track of who’s available, who’s on vacation, who’s working on what, etc. That’s where Teamdeck steps in.
With Teamdeck you can see everyone’s big picture including:
- when they’re available to work and when they have planned some time off,
- what projects they should work on and for how long,
- how much time they’ve spent on each project (timesheets).
Teamdeck brings a sense of visibility to all of the employees and makes it significantly easier to plan new projects or manage people’s absences. It’s also very convenient to use for employees—they can check upcoming assignments or track their time using a mobile app.
Remote teams often struggle with tracking who’s working on what, who’s available to join a new project, who’s been logging a lot of overtime, and so on. With Teamdeck, you’re sure to spot people who are overworked but also talents that, up to this point, have been underutilized. It’s important for remote employees to know that they’re visible for the managers, even if they’re working from home.
Adrianna Radzikowska, Growth Manager at Teamdeck
Ready to build a well-performing distributed team?
Remote workers face a unique set of challenges that could easily lead to disengagement or even burnout. Luckily, as a project manager or a team leader, you can make things easier for your remote workforce. Gathering feedback from your employees, organizing their work, and making sure that they’re visible within the organization are important steps to ensure remote team happiness.
We hope that this blog post inspires you to use tools that support a happy and productive work environment. Your remote team members will certainly appreciate it! Plus, you’re also likely to see tangible business benefits of building a remote-friendly team culture. After all, studies suggest that happy employees are indeed more productive.