The Coronavirus outbreak has forced most businesses to shut down. Even businesses that are functioning are doing so with a minimal workforce. Most businesses that are working remotely are asking their employees to work from home. Your IT department is no exception to this rule. They are responsible for ensuring the continuous delivery of IT services.
This is especially important for maintaining the productivity of this organization as the IT department acts as a facilitator. If you’re remote IT team is not performing to its potential, then you can learn a thing or two from successful remote IT teams and mimic their success.
In this article, you will learn about seven success secrets behind successful IT remote teams and what you can learn from them.
They Have a Strong Leader
Depending on the organizational hierarchy, your remote IT team might have a single leader or multiple leaders. Allison St.John, who is the co-founder and chief learning officer at the Remote Leader Project has an opinion that you should never choose a leader solely based on his or her technical expertise.
He said, “It’s most important that the team leader has people skills so that the highly technical and most skilled people can continue to produce in their technical strength.” It is important for an IT leader to possess good social intelligence and strong communication and collaboration skills. These characteristics are even more important when your IT team is working remotely.
They Are Organized
In most cases, IT tasks can be handled remotely especially if it does not require hands-on interaction with IT assets. Meetings concerned with design and planning usually require in-person presence but even those meetings can now be automated, thanks to screen sharing and whiteboard tools. All you need is a strong standard operating procedure; you can easily create a solid remote IT team and stay organized.
Patrick Costa, Director of IT at OneShareHealth said, “The challenge of organizing a successful remote team is more a matter of leadership than technology. If you are an IT leader who has a good relationship with your staff, then you can assemble your remote staff as quickly as you can your on-site staff.”
They Have a Functional Strategy
Meetesh Karia, Chief Technology Officer at insurance company The Zebra is of the opinion that IT teams should be given full autonomy and authority to perform their tasks quickly and effectively. This allows you to hold yourself and your remote IT team accountable for their actions.
Sit along with your team members and decide the scope, time, and quality of IT tasks and make sure that you update your team lead on a weekly basis. The key to success is to identify which tasks require more collaboration and need to be done simultaneously and which tasks can be completed independently. Once you do that, it would be an easy road ahead for you and your team. Set clear goals and stick to them because there is little to no room for rectifying fuzzy goals when your team is working remotely.
They Communicate Frequently
Remote workers need support and supervision and you need to provide them with that. If you leave them on their own, there is a higher risk of misunderstandings, which can get out of your control very quickly if you are not careful. Unlike a traditional work environment where you have direct access to updates, insights, and more, remote workers do not enjoy this liberty. This increases the risk of missteps and miscalculations.
These misunderstandings can lead to mistakes that can derail your projects. Use live conference calls to squash rumors and clear misunderstandings if there are any and help your team members stay on top of the projects. If video conferencing is not your thing, you can use audio calls but make sure you communicate with your team members on a regular basis.
They Coordinate With One Another
Just like the traditional workforce, it is important to create a hierarchy for remote workers. This allows you to reduce the risk of disruption. It is important for remote teams to develop an in-depth understanding of the goals so they can play their role to achieve their goal.
If each team member has a different understanding of goals, it will give rise to conflicting goals. You want all the stakeholders to stay on the same page and work together to achieve the common objective. Teams that coordinate more are ones that are highly responsive and more productive. Focus on minimizing delays and speeding up the process.
They Use a Common Collaboration Platform
To keep all your IT team on the same page, it is imperative that you use a unified collaboration platform. This also makes it easy for managers to hold team members accountable and ensure transparency. When choosing a common communication platform, focus on team members’ needs and take input from team members. Each communication platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Since most businesses are already accustomed to using collaboration tools, you are less likely to run into problems when doing the same while working remotely.
They Never Take Security Lightly
Ensuring secure access to enterprise resources is a huge challenge in remote work. You need to make sure that you follow best security practices and procedures when accessing data from the cheap dedicated server, organization network, or database. You can start off by using a VPN and avoid connecting to unsecured wireless network protection.
Remote workers can also implement multi-factor authentication to add extra layers of security and prevent unauthorized access. Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware programs up to date so they can detect and prevent the latest malware and antivirus. Give your remote worker’s company devices instead of allowing them to bring their own devices.
Is your IT team working remotely? If yes, what rules do they follow? What is the secret to the success of your remote team? Let us know in the comments section below.