Remote staff benefit from the flexibility and self-direction they have in their jobs; but they can also be at a distinct disadvantage if they feel disconnected.
It's important to make sure that your remote workers are not only equipped, but engaged and aware, fully part of the team.
1. Hold regular team meetings with all staff.
A regular meeting offers all the staff, both on-location and remote, a chance to stay connected with each other and with the team leader. If you want your team to work together well, this is not an optional exercise. Use the time to review goals, explain areas of focus, set agendas and timelines, get input and reports, and discuss any issues or ideas.
Choose a regular time: weekly, bimonthly, or monthly could work. Set it as a recurring event so that everyone can put it on their calendars.
Limit the meeting time: there's nothing wrong with a bit of socializing (in fact, that's kind of the point) but if you let the meeting eat up more than 60 - 90 minutes, people will start to resent the loss of valuable work time. Respect everyone's time by setting a clear starting and ending point, and sticking to them.
2. Set up virtual break rooms and command centers.
What remote staff tend to miss out on are the "unofficial" interactions that take place, daily, in an office environment. Help them find a meaningful way to interact by setting up a virtual “break room,” such as an instant message service used by all team members.
Being productive in a mobile environment gives us a great set of tools for getting work done on the go, but it also creates a unique set of challenges for dealing with customer issues.
Is it okay to call a customer from a noisy airport terminal?
What if you can't get consistent wifi to handle customer needs?
How do you solve a customer issue when you don't have all the documentation or details at your fingertips?
DO get in touch with your unhappy customer as quickly as possible.
Don't use your mobile environment or travel plans as an excuse to avoid handling a sticky customer issue. Even if the best you can do is a quick email, take the time to let your customer know you are doing all that you can to solve the problem and come up with the right solution.
Holidays bring a general air of festivity and a whole list of traditions, from office parties to tree-trimming to gift exchanges, fundraisers, and community service opportunities. Then there are more vacation days than usual, plus, for many businesses, a huge rush in work orders and customer service needs. All the festivity can cause a lot of disruption to work getting done.
You don't want to be a Scrooge, but none of us can afford to be unproductive for weeks even for the holidays. Try these tips to stay festive and stay productive.
1. Stick to your daily routines as much as possible.
When our schedules change, we tend to react to those changes by changing our routines. Sometimes that's appropriate, but often those routines can help us find our place even in the midst of chaos. When you find your daily schedule getting crowded or interrupted, do your best to stick to your routines, even if you have to adjust them a bit.
Social media is all about connection and networking, but it's also distraction and procrastination in their finest, pixelated forms.
Help your team use social media productively with these tips.
Define the End Goals for Social Media Use
Who's doing what, and why?
Social media professionals know that without clear goals, social media use becomes a chaotic mess of button-clicking and key-tapping. You have to know what you're attempting in order to know if you're getting close.
Futurist-in-residence is certainly an unusual job description (they did not seem to have that major when I went to university). So which past predictions are you most proud of and what are the some that totally bombed?
My best and worst predictions are related. As soon as the commercial Internet came along in the early Nineties I said that it would be be the most effective advertising medium ever invented. That was right, although we’re still building it. What I got wrong was that I thought it would provide enough revenue to let newspapers and magazines deliver online content for free. I didn’t see that the ad revenue, while huge, would be distributed among literally million of sites—not to mention places like search engines and video games.
Please note that Bitrix HelpDesk and Bitrix24 Cloud HelpDesk will be offering limited support during the national holidays on November 03-04, 2014. Our HelpDesk will be offering technical support on a 'full business hours' basis on Wednesday, November 05, 2014.
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Bruce Tulgan us the author of It's Okay to Manage Your Boss (2010), Not Everyone Gets a Trophy (2009), It's Okay to be the Boss (2007), and Managing Generation X (1995). He founded the management training firm RainmakerThinking, Inc. in 1993.
You write about an epidemic of undermanagement. How can owners and managers automate businesses and set up business processes so that the job gets done and gets done right, without having to micromanage and control everything?
Business leaders often say to me privately that they hope to solve the management problem with technology: “Computers don’t argue, complain, or make demands!” It is a huge mistake to think that by implementing a new process/system/protocol/workflow you can obviate the need for leaders and managers to be highly engaged with their direct-reports.
Good systems are definitely a huge advantage for everyone involved in the business. It is always a good thing to implement technologies that streamline operations. It is always a good thing to set up standard operating procedures (and even standardized points of deviation when appropriate). It is always a good thing to set up systems that monitor, measure, and document KPIs as much as possible.