WorkTime - Remote team building for distributed teams

January 29, 2024

10 min read

Remote team building for distributed teams

Work processes have changed a lot in recent years. Regardless of the industry, employees can work with colleagues from any country. Since 2005, remote workers worldwide have grown by 159%. Research shows that 71% of businesses struggle to adjust to remote team building, especially regarding productivity. Even Google (the GOOGLE) said their engineers struggled to balance the workload when working from home. Let’s explore how entrepreneurs remedy the issues arising from “total remote,” distributed teams, and hybrid work mode adoption. Dive into our collection of ideas for leveraging employee monitoring software to enhance virtual team building activities.

What does it take to build a successful remote team?

Entrepreneurs are increasingly taking advantage of the “telecommuting” and employee monitoring combination, which gives the employer almost unlimited access to talented employees worldwide. Today it is possible to create a team of high-class professionals while reducing costs, avoiding the complexities of organizing work in the office, and keeping up the efficiency standards. There are many benefits to employees and employers working remotely, but it also comes with several challenges. If employees are in different places, the corporate culture will not develop by itself - it will have to be worked on. Here are some critical aspects of building a successful remote team: 1. Hire the right people, wherever they are. 2. Create an environment in which employees trust colleagues. 3. Implement a monitoring system that ensures employees work towards personal and company goals. Using these simple tricks, we can get to a step-by-step system allowing seamless remote team building wherever your teammates are. Here's how it works:

WorkTime helps remote teams to keep up with the "big picture" and eases management's approach to remote team building activities.

Step one: hiring

Employees are the heart of your company, which is why it's so important to take the recruitment process seriously. It is important to hire people who can work effectively, whether they are at home or in the office. Post-Covid research of the future world of work recommends that you adhere to the following principles: • Live conversation. Try to interview candidates. This will allow you to assess candidates' communication skills, behavior, and body language. If the candidate lives near the office or other suitable place, arrange an interview using Skype, Zoom, or another video conferencing tool. • Smart assessment. A strategic approach is important for a managerial or technical position. To get started, take a look at online skills assessment tools. Job sites sometimes offer tests to assess candidates' skills. Personal recommendations and reviews on LinkedIn are great. • Intrinsic motivation. Your virtual team members will have a limited range of colleagues to help them focus on the task. That is why providing your team with easy-to-use and transparent monitoring software is important. This will allow both the managers and the teams a birds-eye view of the progress. This will play a pivotal role in keeping a potential employee motivated. You can also ask candidates questions to ensure they can work without distractions.

Remote team building activities reinforced by software monitoring data are what professionals do!

Step two: creating a culture

Nothing contributes to building a corporate culture like non-invasive employee monitoring. Having a tool to help managers analyze teams' working habits and individual employee work behavior allows for unparalleled transparency and data-based accountability within your team. Plus, quality time spent in personal communication benefits team spirit greatly. Ultimately, the success of a remote team will depend on your ability to create a coherent work culture that is enjoyable and rewarding to be a part of. When built into the corporate culture from the start, software monitoring software gives the workforce and the management the “productivity baseline” to compare further indicator fluctuations. Let's look at some additional tricks to utilize within your corporate culture: • Let colleagues join via video call when hosting daily or weekly project meetings. Of course, this will not replace personal communication, but it will help your employees feel like part of a large friendly team. Many video conferencing services allow you to create multi-conferences. • Regular team meetings. We arrange meetings at least once every three months. The program includes a photo session and more. • If professional events and conferences are on the budget, invite remote colleagues to join them. Conferences are a source of inspiration and a place to exchange experiences.

WorkTime software meets the criteria; it has all the features and tools needed for a productive remote team building & can be built into the working culture, regardless of the company size.

Step three: monitoring

Trust is important, and adopting non-invasive software monitoring to keep up with changes to the workflow dynamics and promote transparency and accountability is the “go to” trick for successful remote team building. • Set clear goals: Set clear and attainable goals (short & long-term) and get your team on board. They need to understand these goals and what is expected of them to work correctly. It'll be an excellent time to add incentives to boost morale and encourage your team to work hard to achieve collective goals. Setting clear and attainable goals (short & long-term) helps get your team on board. • Distribute tasks fairly: To keep your team productive, burnout should be avoided at all costs. When the workload overwhelms employees, they procrastinate and lose efficiency and productivity. Be rational about the workload and time allotted to complete tasks (due dates). It's also essential to prioritize and categorize each task to organize the work process and stay focused and productive. It is essential to prioritize the tasks to help organize the work process so everyone stays focused and productive. • Establish realistic expectations: The success of your business depends on how achievable your expectations are. Unattainable expectations will kill productivity and progress and leave room for stress, anxiety, and low motivation. Set realistic expectations that will encourage employees to work towards achieving them. • Daily check-ins: It could be a ten-minute stand-up meeting to review what the team did during the day, what challenges they faced, the next course of action, and what they look forward to doing the next day. • Occasional long meetings: (at least once a month) to review the projects completed, the results achieved during the month, and to plan for the coming month. This ensures the entire team is on the same page and information is shared accurately and on time. Effective communication is a great way of maintaining productivity. • Implement the best technology: Invest in technology that can consistently monitor employee performance and, at the same time, automate time-consuming manual processes. WorkTime monitoring software offers features that monitor employee productivity and automate work processes. • Be transparent and build trust: Building a transparent and trust-filled environment where everyone can be their best at work without feeling micromanaged is crucial for productivity and the business's overall health. Remote team building & software combination is the best way to maintain high productivity when working remotely. It helps to replicate an in-office environment when working remotely. As monitoring software providers and experts with 20+ years of experience, we advise that this process be carried out properly. We recommend non-invasive goal/business-oriented software.

According to WorkTime experience, non-invasive employee monitoring is one of the best tools for remote team building.

How WorkTime benefits remote team building activities?

Each team member has a special role, but only those who work together can achieve maximum results in business. To improve the climate in the team, HR professionals need to work on creating a favorable environment in which people communicate “without barriers” and can turn to colleagues for help and share their ideas without fear. Remote team building activities help to achieve this result. WorkTime reports provide managers with work habits and efficiency flow. Used for long-term analysis, WorkTime reports allow managers to learn more about their remote team members. For example, they can learn about personal qualities that do not show up in work, increase their openness and courage, share their interests and find like-minded people.

WorkTime reports can identify bottlenecks and lack of training in employees, thereby helping to solve the problem and improve the efficiency of the remote team.

In addition, non-invasive employee monitoring can help managers pinpoint weak spots in the process and bottlenecks. Which in turn allows for more precise remote team building activities. WorkTime reports are also a great solution for data collection and leveling-up onboarding efforts for new remote employees. The fact that all the report data is accessible by the teams and the management blurs the boundaries between managers and line employees. Therefore, incorporating employee monitoring reports into work processes is a fast way to reduce staff turnover and minimize hiring and training costs.

Best practices of using employee monitoring for remote team building activities with WorkTime

Employees for remote teams save time and money without compromising performance quality. And with the list of practices we introduce, you can elevate the employee monitoring experience of your team to a new level. How to track productivity for a big team? Is it different from tracking for small remote teams? What do you do with a remote team? How to make the best of the data you collect so your team gets relevant feedback? What metrics do WorkTime reports provide relevant to remote team building activities? WorkTime helps detect idle time. Instead of deducting breaks and idle productivity at the end of the day, choose a software monitoring software that detects inactivity. WorkTime reports go further, dividing average logged time into active, productive, idle, and unproductive categories. As a bonus, you can create custom lists of apps and to be logged as “productive or otherwize.” For example, a generic categorization would put any social network into the “idle” category. But what if you are a brand manager? Who should be looking into social media? When juxtaposing reports from different periods, you can pinpoint the need for remote team building activities, some managerial help, or even early burnout signs.

WorkTime idle time detection will not only help you save money, but also help your remote team be more productive.

WorkTime is easier to announce and explain to the team. When launching the project, big or small, the management must outline the employee monitoring basics they want the team to adhere to. WorkTime is easier to explain because of its multiple benefits for the workforce. The team will be able to keep up with one another. By accessing the reports, employees can determine the bottlenecks. It is much easier to reason about the need for remote team building activities using reports and solid data. Elaborating on the importance of tracking productivity will bring benefits as you ensure the team's understanding of productivity management both for specific projects and internal activities, like remote team building activities. WorkTime provides live-feed on-productivity data. Nowadays, employee monitoring software is an all-in-one product with high storage capacity. You are late to the party if you need to encourage your team to manually enter the data related to all the performed tasks and projects to get productivity reports. WorkTime employee monitoring software gives you access to an “all-in-one dashboard” that shows you all the pitfalls of your current workflow. Thus providing you with detail-rich internal stats on your remote teams’ spirits and work capacity and signals that some remote workers' team building activities are due. This way, your team will get the best out of their productivity data.

WorkTime productivity data will provide employers with a wider range of data on the real productivity of employees, based on which it is possible to plan the workload of employees, understand who works better and who works worse, and much more.

WorkTime gives access to “Bigger Picture” to both the managers and the workforce. So there may be no need to hold the meeting to discuss the need for team building for remote workers - both you and the workers can notice the changes and recent productivity fluctuations in your employee monitoring reports. We pay more attention to productivity when we lack control. To enhance your team's productivity, you can go for remote team building activities, plus it will assist in avoiding project resource overruns. WorkTime lets you know your productivity peaks. Non-invasive employee monitoring records not only the productivity but activity level as well. The stored data can be used to identify the personal productivity peaks of your team members. Knowing the peak performance time, you can allocate additional time and resources to achieve better results, implement some remote team building activities, focus on your high-priority project, and achieve the desired results effortlessly. WorkTime helps organize the feedback. Software employee monitoring reports can be more than helpful in supporting the mechanism of reciprocal feedback in remote work team building. Plus, detailed, customizable data-based reports can be an important element of team collaboration. WorkTime reports visualize each team member's progress and help managers see the successes and pitfalls of teamwork in retrospect. WorkTime provides insights with unparalleled precision. We often need to pay more attention to our productivity on certain tasks. With employee monitoring, every team member gains insights into workflow and work capacity detail, enhancing professional skills and acquiring forecast skills for remote team building activities. When quantifying remote team productivity via WorkTime reports, you can spot “weak spots” and determine the need for remote team building. Therefore, applying monitoring software from the initial stages (planning, brainstorming, research) helps translate productivity into numbers and eliminates second-guessing regarding the need for remote team building activities. WorkTime helps remote teams build trust. Team trust and internal transparency are the first and the second side effects of adopting e. Coincidentally, trust exercises are the first and the most sought-after remote team building activities. Implementing employee monitoring policies (especially with broad explanations and additional guidance) is a great trust exercise within remote team building activities. Plus, there is nothing more empowering than trustworthy relations: they are the foundation to turn a team's ideas into successful remote team building activities/

How can employee monitoring be an effective tool for remote teams?

By providing managers with real-time insights into employee activities and productivity patterns, WorkTime bridges the gap between remote work challenges and optimal performance. It's not just about tracking; it's about understanding workforce dynamics in a virtual environment. WorkTime robust features include detailed reports, activity tracking, and productivity analysis, all of which contribute to a transparent, trust-based remote working culture. By highlighting areas of strength and pinpointing efficiency gaps, it enables teams to fine-tune their workflows, fostering a more productive and engaged remote workforce. Importantly, WorkTime respects employee privacy, balancing monitoring with discretion, thus maintaining a harmonious and productive remote work environment. This thoughtful approach solidifies WorkTime position as an invaluable ally in navigating the complexities of remote team management.

5 tips to improve your remote team

Morning meetings

Analyst company YouGov surveyed 4,000 people, which showed that for 58% of respondents, Monday is the least favorite day of the week. Most respondents shared that they have "Sunday fears" that cause insomnia, loss of appetite, and disturbing thoughts. This problem and a decrease in motivation, in general, can be solved with the help of online morning meetings, which can be held not only on Mondays. You can think over the required frequency only by trying different options - it will differ for each team. Why are online meetings useful? Firstly, colleagues will regularly see each other and communicate not only through correspondence - this improves team communication and sets all participants on the same wavelength. Secondly, you can quickly agree on solving problems and tasks at meetings. For example, assign responsibilities, set deadlines, discuss comfort and working conditions, and watch a presentation together. Where are the morning meetings? Choose virtual rooms in which you can communicate. The most popular are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. The gadgets of all participants support the service.

Monitoring online meetings by WorkTime can help you optimize them, make them more efficient and useful for your remote team.

The task for the week

You can do a common task or distribute tasks for a week among employees. At a video meeting, you can discuss plans and plan a day, week, or month so that everyone is comfortable and interested. This will increase engagement and take care of employees to not overload someone from the team. The task can also be indirectly related to work. For example, offer a competition for the best letter idea to promote a new product to all marketing staff. In this way, you will bring a competitive element to the work and encourage colleagues to be creative. An excellent gift for the winner will be an award or corporate merch.

Educational lunch

Let's say all your remote team members live far away from each other. Organizing a full lunch, in this case, will not work. But you can always have a virtual "Learning Lunch" session. To prevent the event from going like a regular meeting, invite interesting speakers and experts who can share their experiences with your colleagues. Add game mechanics to the conference, organize a Q&A section, and hold a final briefing or brainstorm - this way, employees learn new information and immediately apply knowledge in practice.

Meetings with CEO

Today, large companies are working to ensure that employees can communicate directly with the leaders and owners of the company. This is also possible in the case of remote work. For example, organize video conferences with management every few months. For their part, top managers can share the plans and successes of the company, and employees will be able to ask questions of interest to them. By the way, interesting ideas for business development are often voiced at such meetings. If one of the employees offers a new perspective on business problems that will be useful, he is rewarded and noted in front of his colleagues.

Intranet

Online remote team building can be done regularly if the company has a corporate portal. Employees can write personal blogs, participate in discussions, solve problems, and earn bonus points, which they can spend in the company's online store. What activities can be launched on the corporate portal? For example, invite colleagues to share their favorite recipes and create a corporate healthy food book. From ideas closer to work, together with colleagues, compile a dictionary of professional terms or a knowledge base. This will be useful for both regular employees' and beginners' onboarding.

What’s next