Happy Remote Workers

Approximately 22 million individuals over the age of 18 work remotely in the United States. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 35% of virtual workers who have the choice to work completely from home choose to do so. These numbers are trending upward, meaning more employees might work remotely in the future.

A remote workforce has its benefits. You can pull talent from anywhere in the world without worrying about having a physical office space for them to work. 

However, remote workers and virtual assistants (VA) come with challenges, too. Two of the bigger challenges with a workforce scattered in various locations are keeping everyone on task and fostering a sense of teamwork within the group.

If you are in charge of a remote team, keeping them motivated and ensuring they remain productive does not require overhauling your operations. Instead, some quick fixes to your policies and procedures can bring immense benefits to you and your workers.

Three Tips for Making Your Team Accountable and Productive

As a manager, you have an obvious interest in making sure your virtual workforce is making good use of their time. However, constantly checking in with your team via Zoom meetings can feel stifling to your team members and can rob you of time you need to focus on other matters.

Here are three tips for enhancing your team’s accountability without taking too much time out of your day:

1. Set Clear Deadlines and Expectations

First, be certain that when you assign tasks, you are clear about what the task is and when you need it. Vague requirements and uncertain deadlines can lead some VAs to believe they have more time to complete the assignment than they actually do. 

It may be a good idea to communicate requirements and deadlines in writing so there is no confusion later over these essential terms.

2. Employ Apps to Track Progress

There is no shortage of project management apps that can assist virtual managers in keeping tabs on their team members’ work. Asana, ClickUp, and Trello are just some of the more popular apps available on the market, and each allows you to quickly see what individual team members have done and what they are working on. 

Some apps even allow you to see which team members are encountering problems. This enables you to contact these team members to resolve their issues quickly. Moreover, many of these apps allow you to see how much time your team members are spending on specific tasks, helping you stay on top of unproductive members.

3. Have Regular and Productive Meetings

You do not need meetings every day with your team and team members, but we have found that checking in with them via videoconferencing or telephone regularly can be helpful. 

Quick 30-minute phone calls once a week can be useful for checking in with individual team members. During these calls, you can go over deadlines and assignments, discuss obstacles they are running into, and give the employee constructive feedback.

You will also want to have regular virtual team meetings as well. These are best accomplished using a videoconference service so that you can verify every team member’s attendance and participation. 

During these meetings, you can cast long-term plans for the team, address common issues that numerous team members are encountering, and promote team cohesion.

Keeping Your Team Happy and Motivated

Virtual assistants are people, too. Just because you do not physically work alongside them does not mean they do not need to feel connected to their team members. Motivated team members are productive team members, so it is in your best interests to make efforts to foster a sense of community and belonging for your VAs.

Three easy ways you can do this include:

Send Handwritten Notes

One effective and inexpensive way to make your team members feel valued and motivated to stay with your operation is to write handwritten notes and cards. 

When a team member has a birthday, consider sending them a birthday card that you have signed. If they have done a good job or something praiseworthy, a handwritten thank-you note can speak volumes to them.

Follow Up on Personal Details

Not all virtual workers will feel comfortable sharing personal details about their lives with you, and you should not force them to do so. However, take note of what VAs do share with you and follow up when appropriate. For example, if a team member shares that they are going to an upcoming concert, follow up later by asking that team member how their experience was.

Remembering these personal details will communicate to your team members that you value them beyond mere workers. In turn, your workers will be more inclined to remain with your team, knowing that you care about them as individuals.

Develop a Positive Workplace Atmosphere 

Finally, take opportunities to build cohesion amongst your team. When team members feel connected to others and feel they belong to something bigger than themselves, they are more committed to that organization and its success.

Through the use of messaging apps or programs like Microsoft Teams, you can foster teamwork and cohesion by creating weekly problems or riddles for the team to solve. When a team member or several members solve the puzzle, you can reward and praise them and how they worked to find the answer.

The Benefits of a Happy, Productive Team Are Worth the Investment

No matter how you choose to implement changes to motivate your workers, there will be a cost in terms of time and other resources. However, having a team of workers committed to your firm or business will more than compensate you for these investments. 

At Woven Legal, we are your trusted partner, here to assist you in connecting with qualified and talented virtual professionals like paralegals, legal assistants, and other support personnel. Book a discovery call with us today, and we will show you how you can begin building a virtual team that will assist you in growing your business.


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