It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since Malta’s business were pushed (in some cases kicking and screaming) into remote working by COVID-19. A year on, many employees are still working from home, meetings are done virtually, and entire recruitment drives are carried out online.

A year on, many of us have warmed to the idea of remote working, with some business leaders vowing to stay that way, even when the threat of COVID-19 becomes a mere memory. If you’re considering adopting a virtual-first culture in your business, here are some tips on how to make the most of it – leaving inefficient processes behind and maintaining a strong company culture at the same time.

Recognise employees’ needs

Managing a team remotely need not be difficult if you know your employees’ needs. Each employee has his or her own working style, so listening to what they need as you proceed is essential. Discover what motivates them and what sort of management they need – remember that this may differ to the approach you took in the office.

Stay connected

Some team members may feel isolated or cut off when working remotely for a long period of time, resulting in lack of motivation. Combat this by taking the time to give regular feedback and updates about how the business is faring. It’s also important to give them praise for a job well done.

Trust your team

An essential ingredient to remote working success is a trust-based results-oriented approach. If you are flexible with your team’s needs, particularly if they’re new to the arrangement, you’ll reap the rewards. Measuring performance by output is key to a virtual-first environment.

Give employees a chance to grow

Learning and career growth are excellent motivators that attract and retain talent, and the opportunities available to remote workers should be no different. Set out a clear performance-management process which will enable you align company goals with your employees’ aspirations.

Finally, in the absence of impromptu in-person chats and meetings around the water cooler (or coffee pot), keeping in touch with your team is integral to successfully going virtual-first. Determine which communication tools work best for you and find the right balance to keep in touch about schedules, deadlines and resources without overdoing it.

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