We are now in the third quarter of 2020. So far, it has been a rollercoaster ride for companies and businesses worldwide who were forced to abruptly adapt a work-from-home setup to follow quarantine protocols. While some have already been freelancing and working remotely, there are those who still have no idea how to transition to this new normal. Their digital transformation may have been affected by the pandemic as well.
Here are the steps on how you can prepare or make sure that you have a digitally-ready remote team that can continue with business as usual despite the current crisis.
1. Rethink the workforce
At a time like this, think about the most crucial roles you need. You might only be needing freelancers, project-based employees, or consultants. The pandemic has taught companies and businesses about the importance of a blended workforce for a remote team where they strategically have a mix of full-time workers for long-term tasks, and freelancers or project-based employees for other tasks. This formation of a team increases the operational flexibility and agility while keeping up with the digital needs of today’s world.
2. Redesign work styles
As what we saw in the past 6 months, a drastic change happened to the office environment brought about by the pandemic. Work styles shifted from in-person to purely virtual. The challenge has been to maintain effective communication with the team even through video conferencing platforms. Superiors and managers will have to change how they lead in terms of having flexible and autonomous subordinates. Note how freelancers have built the foundation of trust just by means of online communication. The key to this fruitful virtual collaboration is having clear goals and objectives. Teach your remote team about the importance of being proactive and transparent while making use of online tools for work.
The changes in the working environment and work style also affected how we see the importance of skills. Right now, soft skills are what you should be aiming for and improving. Since you are preparing to work remotely, skills in communication and collaboration will come in handy. The versatility of being able to transition smoothly from office work to remote work is something that we should adapt to. Let go of what you have been used to in the office. Adjust to the needs of a virtual and remote collaboration with the team.
3. Develop agility
Of course, you cannot adjust and adapt if you are not agile. If you want to be digitally-ready, your team should be able to handle abrupt changes. In these times of uncertainty, we’ll never know what’s coming for us. Agility, flexibility, and the willingness to learn should already be embedded in our core. There are a lot of challenges and risks when it comes to creating a remote team. Instead of being afraid of changes, why not embrace them, stay curious, and have the initiative to explore on your own.
One way to know if a person is agile if he or she is comfortable with change and ready to adapt. Your team should learn how to handle the uncertainties of remote working and just keep on improving their skills even without the physical presence of colleagues. Embracing the new normal is already displaying agility in itself.
4. Continue learning
What is noticeable with freelancers is that they keep on developing their skills and widening their knowledge. In this way, they could provide all-around services for their teams. For remote workers aiming to be digitally-ready, technical skills are also something that you can explore. You can provide yourself or your team with access to online courses, mentoring, coaching, and interactive learning. To prepare for a digitally-ready team, you can learn more about online collaboration and productivity tools that you can use when you work remotely. As they say, learning never stops. The best way is to learn from each other as you all go through the journey of embracing the new normal and the future of work.
In order to prepare for a digitally-ready team, it is important to assess each member. Knowing their skills, whether technical or soft skills, can help a lot in determining what else you need to focus on and improve. Building a digitally-ready remote team is not a one man’s job. It is a collaborative effort into creating a team that is individually ready.
The new normal sets new standards for working. If one is not agile enough or flexible enough to adjust and adapt, the company or business will not be able to keep up with the rest of the world. Even though going digital means doing things virtually and online, the human touch through communication and our emotional intelligence will never be more superior than any technology.