Managing Remote Teams

Working remotely over the past few months was a smooth transition for NetRate. As a tech company with a business continuity plan in place, our employees can easily work from home. Tech-savvy teams don’t face the same challenges other companies may have dealt with to move their workforce out-of-office. We know many businesses needed to quickly source equipment and faced learning curves as employees adapted to new ways to work.

As the business environment shifts again with the careful re-opening of the country, many businesses are choosing to keep portions of their workforce out of the office. Here are some keys to success for working from home from a tech company – and most have to do with people, not technology!

Daily check-in with employees and small groups to keep connected

At NetRate, we have daily standups for our two development and QA teams. We go on camera for a video call, so we can discuss “face to face” any blockers to getting work done.

Weekly check-in with the entire staff to be sure we’re all moving in the same direction

Our CEO has a weekly all-hands meeting. He reviews our accomplishments for the past week, provides details on any challenges we’re facing and shares plans for our future during and after the pandemic.

It’s also a time for all to turn on their cameras, see friends and have a light moment together even though we are physically separated.

Overcommunicate

At NetRate, we use a chat application for quick group conversations or one-on-one messages. We also use a videoconferencing app for our internal meetings, that allows us to share screens while working on a project together. But not all communication should be tech. In an age when everyone tends to email or text, an old-fashioned telephone call is often the best way to get on the same page about a pressing issue. And without those informal hallway conversations, engaging by voice brings a human touch to work and helps teams stay connected.

Managers have one-on-one calls with staff at least once every 2 weeks

Group video conferences are great, but employees need one-on-one time with managers to discuss any challenges, frustrations, or accomplishments. Especially during this pandemic, it’s important for managers to ensure their team members are doing well professionally as well as personally. Do not allow working remotely to allow you to get too disconnected.

Use project management tools

We keep track of our development work and all of our customer interactions with project management software. Even though we’re not in the office together, we communicate through a ticketing system with our customers and through a Kanban board for our development/testing efforts. Since staff members have access to these tools, it helps us work together to keep track of all of our projects in flight, even though we’re not in the same office location.

All of these methodologies for work have allowed the NetRate team to offer uninterrupted access to our rating and policy issuance software during this challenging time. We encourage our clients to reach out to us if we can help in any way with your efforts to work remotely, or with any new initiatives you may be considering.  Please give us a call at (877) 790-1114 or contact us here to find out how NetRate can assist you.

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