Investing in technology makes a major impact on your employees’ productivity, mental health, and engagement. In fact, Future Forum found that companies that led the charge in tech investment scored higher in areas like sense of belonging and stress management—in addition to focus and productivity.
Below, we identified the five areas where tech can support remote teams—and how you can focus your investments to unlock your team’s potential.
For remote or distributed teams, asynchronous communication is the way to go. Tools like Slack, email, and Zoom help your team communicate—no matter what time zone they’re working in.
Communication is directly tied to employee belonging and wellbeing. Future Forum found that employees who are on teams that communicate throughout the day are 3x more likely to feel a sense of belonging and 5x more likely to feel they are managing their stress and anxiety effectively. These same employees also reported 50% higher rates of focus and productivity.
While communication tools are crucial for staying in touch, they should also be used with intention. Don’t assume that every team member can—or should—be available at every moment of the work day. Create synchronous communication hours for your company, so everyone knows when to log on—and when they can schedule time for deep work.
Setting clear priorities, deadlines, and availability hours can also cut down on the deluge of notifications and meetings that have accompanied remote work. A new study from Asana found that remote workers are dealing with more emails and notifications than ever. They’re also sitting in more meetings about work—rather than getting important work done.
Rather than adding to an overwhelming calendar, set meetings only when you need to discuss something important or make decisions. And encourage your team to turn off notifications, too—especially when they’re not at work. That way, they can feel like their work day is really over. And they’ll be excited about coming back to work again tomorrow!
For remote teams, it’s even more important to think beyond the virtual check-in or team meeting. Remote workers are more likely to feel disconnected and isolated, which can lead to disengagement and loss of productivity.
That’s why it’s up to company leaders to find the right technical solutions for creating community and building company culture. Employee event platforms like Welcome provide a virtual auditorium so you can connect with your team through high-quality experiences.
From team building activities to virtual experiences, quality time together helps your team work more effectively. In fact, research from Gallup shows that employees who develop meaningful relationships at work are more productive, profitable, and creative. Plus, the virtual events you hold will only make your existing communication channels, like Slack or Zoom, feel more personal.
Whether you establish company time dedicated to social conversations or a special place for employee resource groups, event software helps you do more than just meet. It helps you stay connected, focused, and motivated.
We’re used to thinking of the physical office as the place where we collaborate, but new technology makes it easier than ever to collaborate synchronously and asynchronously with distributed teams, too.
Brainstorm together using Google Docs or invest in visual whiteboards like Miro or Mural. Whether you’re conducting a workshop in real time or collecting ideas to discuss later, these tools help teams collect ideas and problem solve both off- and online.
This level of flexibility is key. Even though more than 80% of knowledge workers say that they still see the office as a potential place for in-person collaboration or client meetings, there are just as many remote workers who value flexibility above all—and hesitate to return to the office full-time. For these team members, virtual whiteboards can provide a taste of the in-person office experience—all while providing them the flexibility to contribute from anywhere.
Ultimately, great collaboration tools give managers and leaders the flexibility to work with teams in the office or remotely. By investing intentionally in flexible technology, you can move seamlessly between remote and in-person meetings. This gives you the most bang for your buck while supporting your remote workers with more equitable approaches to meetings and collaborations.
Remote teams are bombarded with notifications and meeting requests. Over the pandemic, software company Asana discovered that “work about work” had increased. About 60% of a knowledge worker’s time is shaped by “communicating about work, searching for information, switching between apps, managing shifting priorities, and chasing status updates,” the productivity experts found.
That means workers who are already stretched thin are participating in more touch-bases and one-on-ones—just to clarify key details like roles, responsibilities, and deadlines. With all this “work about work” standing in the way, it’s harder than ever for distributed teams to tackle projects head on or find time to really “flow.”
Eliminate confusion and clear up your team’s day-to-day by using project management software. Tools like Asana, Trello, and Jira can support your team as you create tasks, assign responsibility, manage a pipeline of work, and push projects over the finish line. Ideally without scheduling extra meetings along the way!
Making it easier for remote teams to find and access the right information for their jobs isn’t just a productivity issue—it’s an equity one, too. Early on in the pandemic, McKinsey found that companies that were good at sharing information were healthier, more transparent, and more attuned to issues of equity in the workplace.
Give your teams the tools they need to find and share information crucial to their work. That includes storage options like Dropbox and Google Drive, as well as hybrid organizational tools like Notion.
Remember, the value of sharing information and increasing transparency is important for leadership to model, too. Tools like Welcome help you take company-wide polls and share employee feedback in real time. By continually taking the temperature of the room—and increasing transparency about what you find—you can build a culture of accountability that extends from the top down.
Investing in the right tools for remote work makes all the difference. Remote teams don’t just need ways to communicate—they need ways to connect, collaborate, and share synchronously and asynchronously.
Because your team depends on you to build a better remote work culture, choose tools like Welcome that help you support a distributed workforce. As your virtual auditorium, Welcome powers the key events that build remote culture, improve transparency, and spark meaningful connections. From employee onboarding to virtual team building, Welcome is a powerful solution for remote teams that want more from their work.