Growth / Productivity

5 ways to help remote teams be more productive than office-based teams

Matt Shealy

Jun 08, 2020 · 5 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

working remotely

Remote teams can be exponentially more productive than teams working from an office. This may not sound possible, but it's something you can achieve!

How can you take your remote team’s productivity to the next level? What are the steps you need to take and some tips you should follow? Let's examine five strategies:

1. Take advantage of no commute

When your team is working remotely, none of the members are commuting to the office. Hence, you can bank on team meetings starting on time, schedules being more predictable, etc.

The fact that no one has to commute should allow team members to bring more energy to what they're doing each day as they take advantage of the lack of an early rise to fight traffic or to catch a bus or train.

Studies show that being overworked affects work performance. Even if you just sit on a train as you commute to work every day, doing so requires energy. Harness that unused energy and turn it into more on-the-job production.



2. Use technology to connect in new ways

When you're in an office, you often walk to the desk of a team member to talk with him or her. When you're working remotely, how do you accomplish the same thing? Well, you can use tools to help you get there. There's plenty of technology in the market that features software that enables people to share screens, stay in a state of connection with instant messaging, chat, and more.

Technology is something that can bring a remote team together in a way that's even better than being together in an office. If you hop on a phone call, use video, and share your screens, you can do more than just walking over to the desk of someone to have a chat—you can bring all of your work with you so the team can brainstorm a problem together on the spot.

3. Craft a team backlog to maintain

When you have a remote team, you want everyone to march toward the same goal. A great way to do this is to work off a team backlog that has prioritization.

As a team, work together with your leader so you know what the highest priority item is to execute. When you know the item, the team should all be marching toward the completion of it. Divide the work necessary into chunks that you can then crank out one day to the next.

As you do this, you'll begin to achieve the goal much quicker. Once you complete a task, you then move to the next highest priority item.

4. Hold recurring meetings

Every remote team needs to have recurring meetings that will hold steady on the calendar from one week or even one day to the next.

A common one that you see agile squads adopt when working remotely is the daily stand-up. This is an everyday meeting that lasts just a few minutes, in which everyone reports what they did yesterday, what they'll do today, and how they may need assistance.

Staging regular meetings helps to build consistency and accountability for the team as a whole.



5. Set team norms and revise often

The team needs to determine how it wants to function as a remote unit. Dictating to a team how it's going to work is certainly going to lead to failure. You want the team to draft how it's going to work daily, and what's going to make sense for the personalities and working styles of the team members.

As you go through this process, refine the norms often. The more you review them and make sure everyone is accountable to them and following them, the better you'll be able to revise them going forward.

Final thought

Your remote team can reach a level of productivity you never thought possible. When you work as a unit, in remote fashion, you can use it to your advantage across the board. Following some of these tips and continuing to refine your approach can allow your team to achieve remote greatness. You may even wonder why you ever bothered to come to the office as a group at all.

Before you go ...

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