Ricardo Jorge Pereira De Sousa Coelho Shares 4 Tips To Keep Team Efficient Whilst Working Remotely

While the work from home decree has completely changed the working life of many companies and their teams, companies that always operated remotely are just hitting their stride. Many of the common concerns about working remotely include holding the team members accountable, creating a sense of company culture, and the lack of ease of communication. But, there are ways to circumvent all of those concerns and create a thriving company that hits on all the major deliverables: great performance, teamwork, transparent communication, honesty, and trust. 

Ricardo Jorge Pereira De Sousa Coelho runs a successful e-commerce company with a completely virtual and remote team of engineers and technicians, and from his experiences, recently offered tips to companies globally grappling with the shift to remote work. 

1. Incentivize the employees with a Christmas or end of the year bonus. 

If your budget permits it, see how you can incentivize employees with end of the year bonuses. The reason for this rests partly in accountability. Because remote work provides a great deal of flexibility, this works as an incentive to encourage each team member to give their best work, even though they aren’t physically present with management at the office. De Sousa Coelho’s team  structures the bonuses differently based on how long the team member has been with them. If the employee has only worked for them for a month, the team will give a 10% bonus for Christmas. If the employee has been with his team for a while, they give up to as much as they earned in the month of November. 

2. Implement strategies for accountability. 

Accountability can be hard to track, and is a common concern amongst companies that have transitioned to remote, because of lack of clarity around when the team is logged on and working. Freelance platforms have their own tracking tools for this, with Sousa Coelho’s team recommending Hubstaff.com, which is a time tracker that shows businesses everything they need to know about how long each of their team members was online and when they logged in. Show each employee how to use the platform during onboarding, then check in frequently at the beginning. Transparency about key deliverables is also paramount.

3. Host yearly get-togethers.

Team building is usually overlooked on solely virtual teams, but De Sousa Coelho knows the power of relationships and getting to know one another. Strong relationships at work actually motivate team members to work a company longer, even if they have a better offer elsewhere. His team hosts yearly get-togethers as trips in the south of Europe, and pay for all accomodations for the team members to join them – their flight tickets and lodging. Then, they host a team dinner and some other activities for the whole team, but also give them time to explore the location on their own. 

“This is recommended as an ideal time for new team members to feel like they’re part of the family, and to strengthen relationships with long time employees, too. There’s something different about being together in-person as opposed to relying on video calls. And, when the trip is over, everyone feels rejuvenated and more excited about working together moving forward- even though everyone works remotely,” commented De Sousa Coelho. 

4. Prioritize transparent communication.

Finally, De Sousa Coelho’s team stresses the prioritization of constant communication. Without it, the lines can easily get crossed, accountability can weaken, and goals can become confusing. They rely on two main tools for this: messaging app Slack and goal tracker app Trello. Slack is the easiest way to communicate with the team and small sub-teams without checking your phone or opening your email, so you can stay on track. And, Trello is another great way to check on progress and make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them day to day and week to week. 

“We tell our team members to use the Trello cards as their “white boards” to brainstorm ideas, get feedback, and keep the team in the loop on what they’re working on. The combination of these two tools with Hubstaff keeps accountability and transparency relatively easy to manage even remotely, and I recommend them to everyone,” De Sousa Coelho added.

Working remotely is a big shift in many ways, but luckily, there are many technologies that make it easier.

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