Advice for effective remote working
With more businesses and employees working away from the office environment, ensure you’re getting the most out of your home working arrangements. Here we provide some tips on getting the right set-up, managing employees remotely and useful tools to facilitate collaboration.
NatWest MentorDigital has pulled together these hints, tips and useful links for managing employees at home.
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Tips for remote meetings
Designate a timekeeper and note taker
- Rotate this responsibility so this role is shared equally
Use video conferencing tools where possible
- Video conferencing replaces our face-to-face meetings, so encourage everyone to switch on their cameras
- Avoid background noise; remind people to mute themselves when they're not speaking and to use headphones to improve audio
- If Wi-Fi is spotty, call into the meeting or turn off video
Make sure everyone is heard
- Create pauses to give people an opportunity to speak up and share their thoughts
- Pay attention to non-verbal cues and follow up with people after the meeting who might be more comfortable sharing their thoughts one-on-one
Avoid side conversations
- Even on mute, these can be distracting and negatively impact collaboration
- Actively work to keep the team focused and engaged
Capture actions and owners
- Reserve a few minutes at the end of every meeting for a wrap up
- Increased accountability and clarity are particularly important for remote teams
After the meeting, put the notes on a shared drive or the team's collaboration site
- Notes saved by date of meeting allow for a running record of conversations and help keep everyone on the same page
- Be aware of the subtle ways people may feel left out
- Help bring people up to speed, pay special attention to people who are new to the team or conversation
- Bring the right people into conversations. Before you get started, pause to see if anyone is missing and invite them to participate
Be mindful of schedules and time zones
- Try to schedule meetings when people's preferred working hours overlap
- This can be hard with global teams - try to distribute inconvenience fairly
Avoid last-minute changes or cancellations
- Keep in mind that people often schedule breaks, work time and appointments around meeting time
- When your team is dispersed, they may rely on meetings for face-to-face interaction with each other
Make sure meetings have a clear goal and agenda
Tools to help your business work remotely
There are a wide range of online tools available to facilitate effective remote working. These include video conferencing, virtual whiteboards and collaborative planning tools. Research these tools online to see which ones are best suited to your needs.
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