During the past year, many companies were forced to send their workers home due to the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this shift to remote working allowed many businesses to carry on working, some teams were not ready for such a drastic change.
This new dynamic has directly affected how business owners and team managers supervise their remote workers. In many cases, supervisors make the crucial mistake of micromanaging their remote workers. A better alternative to managing remote teams is using effective and balanced overcommunication techniques.
We understand that mastering the art of monitoring productivity without micromanaging can be particularly challenging. Nevertheless, when done correctly, overcommunication is a simple yet effective way of keeping everybody in the loop.
Both your company and your remote workers can benefit from a healthy back and forth. However, we know that balancing overcommunication can be tricky. Luckily, we have crafted this list of five key tips to manage overcommunication with your remote team.
Feedback & Communication
The best way to make sure that you don’t overwhelm your remote workers with constant update demands and unnecessary calls is by encouraging them to be forthcoming and contact you. In order to do so you should focus on how to nurture a feedback culture.
You can get your remote workers involved and avoid any negative overcommunication issues by asking them to fill out a feedback survey. This long-distance update method is perfect to establish a balanced flow of communication between managers and workers.
Feedback surveys should definitely help you get overcommunication right, without overwhelming your remote workers with constant calls, emails, and meetings.
In terms of collaboration, teamwork, and overcommunication, it is essential to nurture a truly collaborative remote working environment. Using collaborative tools like shared calendars to check on deadlines and manage your projects’ progress can help you avoid having to ask for unnecessary updates.
In this regard, using collaborative tools that enable team members to share information instantly can accidentally contribute to overcommunication. To avoid this, set boundaries with your teams and set-up other virtual workspaces like a project management board or set-up a separate group chat where employees can socialize freely without accidentally clogging your work chats.
It’s also important to note that these UCaaS systems include safety protocols like VPC (Virtual Private Clouds) cybersecurity measures. These clouds offer users a unique private IP subnet, as well as the possibility to run code, store data, and host websites in a private cloud that is contained in a bigger public cloud.
Train Remote Workers
Having a well-prepared remote workforce will reduce the need to keep a constant eye on projects, ask for continuous updates, and micromanage every single task. Put simply, the best way to balance overcommunication is by training remote workers so that they are self-dependent.
This will not only free your schedule as a team manager, but it will also make your staff members feel trusted and be more reliable. If you want to achieve such goals, you should start by systematically and thoughtfully onboarding new employees.
Training new workers is essential if you want them to learn new skills like using the NATO alphabet, following cloud cybersecurity protocols, or mastering automated marketing.
The best way to balance overcommunication is to create an effective training video for employees. Using onboarding videos and tutorials is an excellent way of avoiding having to explain the same things over and over again. Just create the video and send it when necessary. That way, you can avoid approaching overcommunication wrong.
Focus on The Product, Not The Workers
As we have previously mentioned, remote employees do not like it when their supervisors micromanage their work. Sometimes, managers obsess with the idea of overcommunication when they should be worrying about their product instead of their workforce.
The best way to ensure high quality products, especially when it comes to digital products, is implementing QA testing. You can ensure that your product is the best it can be if you implement automated continuous integration during all stages of the production process, from design to sales and marketing.
This way you eliminate any possible chances of human error and streamline the production process, boosting efficiency, and reducing friction with your remote employees.
Keep it Casual
The past year has been incredibly challenging for all of us. During 2020, anxiety and stress levels have skyrocketed. According to a survey conducted by Statista, over half of remote workers in the US stated that they felt more stressed in June of 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This sudden rise in anxiety levels can affect your workers, which has a direct effect on their ability to manage tasks, meet deadlines, and, most importantly, communicate with one another. For this reason, it is essential to keep morale high during these challenging times.
If you want to nurture collaboration and build a strong team of remote workers, you should consider motivating your teams to participate in virtual team building activities such as virtual escape rooms, non-work-related quizzes, and karaoke nights.
These activities are an excellent way of keeping your remote employees connected and communicating, whilst taking work off their minds. Remember: A happy worker is a productive worker! If you follow these and all our previous tips you will be able to balance overcommunication like a true leader, keeping everybody in the loop without micromanaging.
Invest in Remote Management Tools
You can avoid micromanaging, too, by simply investing in high quality remote employee productivity monitoring software. These software solutions can help you track your employees’ efficiency and progress without having to ask for constant updates. These types of tools can be very useful for tracking the progress of web designers, marketers, and sales representatives, for example.
However, keeping a distant eye on other departments’ progress can be a little trickier. In the case of customer service remote employees, for example, you can check their call records in order to see how many calls they take or how long their calls are. Having a look at their call history is a good way of managing them without having to communicate with them directly.
Using these tools is an excellent way of balancing overcommunication, since both parties (the supervisor and the employees) are indirectly communicating without any uncomfortable micromanaging.