According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22% of Americans work from home, while nearly 50% are involved with remote teams, but currently, COVID-19 has forced companies to move from an office space to a virtual one, making remote work the reality of most employees.
Let’s get this clear! Remote teams are the future of work and the Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update estimates that 1.87 billion employees -- over 40% of the world’s working population -- will be mobile by 2022.
Those insights suggest that a new kind of leadership and management approach is required as communicating with remote teams will represent a unique challenge such as coordinating across time zones or even overcoming language and cultural barriers for larger companies/organizations.
Distance, language and time zones are a barrier, and for remote teams, it will harder for them to feel they’re part of a team, but an intranet web portal is that tool that will make communication and collaboration happen in a daily basis.
Managing and communicating with remote teams through an intranet web portal
An intranet web portal is a trend that is allowing companies across the globe to offer the flexibility of working remotely, and during this pandemic crisis, it’s more often to hear conversations related to people who are getting work done through collaboration tools.
Recently, a study by Zogby Analytics reported that 41% of remote teams are communicating via text, Skype and Facebook Messenger, instead of being given portals or collaboration tools that are specifically designed for remote teams.
Communication is at risk; files and confidential documents will get lost as remote teams are sharing and collaborating through platforms that are not secure, trusted, or designed for remote project management and communication.
An intranet web portal represents a chance to evolve and offer modern tools to facilitate the work of remote teams; think of it as the core of your company; the centralized virtual space that will unify your workforce, allowing them to find the support and resources to accomplish their daily tasks.
To perform at the highest levels, remote teams need to have the perfect tool to communicate and operate better.
These are our best practices on how to communicate with remote teams through an intranet web portal:
1. Virtual Meetings through your Intranet Web Portal
In a worst-case scenario, remote teams will feel that they’re collaborating with strangers on the same project, but regular virtual meetings have the power to unleash creative synergy that can make work exceptional and emotionally fulfilling.
Trust is vital on remote teams. Interactions through virtual meetings will allow positive feedback, brainstorming, management, and follow up on daily tasks.
2. Connect, Engage & Recognize
An intranet web portal will be also a tool not only to build cohesive remote teams, but it will also serve as a place where managers can inspire, motivate, and nurture a positive relationship.
Use your intranet web portal to share updates about current projects, news related to work culture, growth, and also as a place to recognize those who are going beyond the expected.
These will be connection points that will make a difference in the way companies can manage and communicate. You’ll see an increase in productivity, happiness and general well-being of remote teams.
3. Establish your own Communication Guidelines
Communication guidelines will be fundamental during the process of adoption/usage of your intranet web portal.
Remote teams and departments need to be aware of these communication guidelines in order to deliver messages efficiently and effectively.
Consider that guidelines can also exist on an individual level, such as people’s preferred response time, writing style, and tone. For example; some individuals prefer short and quick messages, while others favor lengthy and detailed responses; people will also prefer to use an emoticon or a GIF to personalize their message while they keep it on a casual tone.
Additionally, it’s counterproductive to send project notifications on chat: team members get distracted by constant notifications, and they’re more likely to lose important information in a long thread. Even if emails are good for sending information, they’re not for collaboration -- if the topic requires clarity and sensitivity, or benefits from an energetic exchange of ideas, then schedule a call or virtual meetings.
4. Goals & Objectives
Forget about micromanaging because is a complete waste of time as it is, but it’s even worse in remote teams where you can’t see the team and where communication is inherently slower.
The problem with many remote teams is that objectives are unclear. On-Boarding is often overlooked. Create processes that make this as comprehensible as possible. Set up goals and give your employees tasks to achieve during a project or even on a daily basis.
5. Get Creative with your Intranet Web Portal
An intranet web portal is a virtual space where it lays the foundation for building stronger relationships with remote teams.
Find ways to shorten the affinity distance between you and your remote teams. Create a personal emoji to celebrate birthdays, rewards or recognitions. It’s a great way to create a space that allows social connection even if teams are located in different time zones.
Setting the New Rules of Communication and Management
We know that communication is difficult in a traditional workplace, but it is more difficult and more critical when employees work in different places and time zones, but it all depends on how you set up goals and manage remote teams.
As more and more of our interactions happen digitally, we will continue to experience new ways of collaborating. As the concept of modern workplace evolves, employees and companies will demand better ways to communicate and tools that enable them to work better, and the solution will not come from new technologies, instead, the solution is in understanding and building a communication skill set that reflects the demands of our evolved concept of workplace.
We can provide your company with the perfect intranet web portal to handle your communication and manage remote teams. We’re ready to enhance all your communications and adapt it to a virtual team setting.