How to keep your remote workforce motivated with hosted unified communications
Finally, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s hoped that, thanks to the emergence of three effective vaccines, life could start returning to something approaching normal from next spring.
Until then, many of us will continue to work from home, and it’s likely that even after the pandemic ends, remote work arrangements will continue to play a much bigger role in our working lives than it did before.
COVID has changed a lot of things, and how, where and when we work is certainly one of them. Hybrid work, which combines time in the office with time working from home, is likely to become the working model of choice for many businesses and many employees.
Making temporary communications solutions permanent
But moving to a model of permanent semi-remote working isn’t without challenges. When teams aren’t together in the office all the time, how do you protect the company culture? How can they share ideas and collaborate on projects? If employees run into problems or lack inspiration, how do you ensure a good work/life balance and keep them motivated?
Motivation and employee engagement are crucial to productive work. It’s known that a motivated workforce takes fewer days off sick, and works both more diligently and to a higher standard.
But a lack of motivation has the opposite effect, and according to the Harvard Business Review, employees lose motivation when they don’t think they can do something, when they try something that goes wrong and can’t work out why, and when they feel too upset to complete a task. It’s far easier for workers to fall into these productivity traps when they’re working remotely and colleagues aren’t on hand to help them out.
Communications systems are key
It’s obvious from all this that real-time communication and collaboration tools are key to keeping remote workers motivated. The easier it is for colleagues to chat, ask questions and bounce ideas off each other, the less chance there is of them hitting the kind of motivational brick walls described above.
But that means the communications solutions many businesses implemented for remote teams back in March are unlikely to be good enough. Keeping remote teams motivated every day requires more than telephone calls, email and a bolted-on video conferencing tool.
Hosted unified communications is the answer. That’s because, firstly, these cloud-based unified communications services let remote workers communicate from anywhere, on any device, and in the way they want. Multiple communications channels help keep employees connected, and that helps them to stay motivated.
For example, team leaders might choose video conferencing for remote check-ins and team meetings, because the combination of verbal and visual cues can help them identify struggling employees.
At the same time, colleagues can use instant messaging (IM) for quick, problem-busting Q&A sessions and the kind of informal chats that help strengthen team bonds. Email is still the go-to channel for more formal message trails and external communications to customers and clients.
Collaboration tools make the difference
By offering multiple communications channels, you give remote team members the means to ask questions and bring up issues in a way that suits them best. It also helps keep individuals connected to the rest of their team, ensuring that a sense of isolation isn’t allowed to undermine morale and motivation.
And hosted unified communications have another great advantage over more ad hoc systems. Good ones include a range of powerful collaboration tools that allow remote teams to work together more easily, like the ability to share screens, transfer files and put heads together in virtual workspaces. Unified messaging keeps all relevant information together in one place – and at everyone’s fingertips.
That’s important, because as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. Share it with the whole team and it might not be a problem at all.
Hosted unified communications from TalkTalk Business
Hosted unified communications from TalkTalk Business is a feature-rich and cost-effective cloud-based service powered by Mitel, a global leader in unified communications. Mitel business phone systems are used by more than 60 million users worldwide, and TalkTalk Business is one of only four Mitel Platinum partners in the UK.
By partnering with Mitel, we’ve created a hosted communications solution that gives you everything you need to nurture highly-motivated teams, regardless of where members happen to be. It includes access to Mitel’s powerful MiCollab service, a single application for voice, video, messaging, presence, audio conferencing, mobility and team collaboration.
There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing, and that managing remote teams is a challenge that is not about to disappear. But motivating them is one worry you don’t need to have. Hosted unified communications from TalkTalk Business gives employees the agile collaboration tools they need to remain connected, inspired and working at the top of their game.
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