Although business leaders may have mixed feelings about supporting virtual or remote teams, according to research by Gartner, organizations that embrace remote work will increase employee retention rates by 10%. This kind of flexibility is crucial to keeping employees happy and can benefit employers even more. Eighty-three percent of employees say they do not need an office to be productive, according to a report by Workforce Futures.

Statistics show that there is an increase in remote work, with a small percentage of the workforce in remote areas opting to telecommute. In fact, more than ‘two-thirds of people work away from the office at least once every week.’ With more and more companies adopting virtual teams, organizations are integrating technology to continuously support for a remote workforce and employee  productivity. For example, companies like JourneyLabs™ created a technology platform which improves communication within project management in remote areas utilizing its journey management platform. As companies and organizations move toward having a larger and more widely distributed remote workforce, it is essential to find ways to maintain constant communication with remote teams and distance workers while providing increased productivity.

In growing companies, well-managed, virtual teams can be up to 40% more productive than co-located teams. In fact, a 2015 Gallup survey reported 85% of people work in virtual teams at least part of the time. However, new technology may be required to help keep employees visible when working remotely, while delivering business results faster in this virtual and sometimes complex, environment. The JourneyLabs™ Journey Management Platform has tools that plug into any business system to aid and empower employers and remote teams alike. This supports managers when overseeing multiple teams and has an added benefit of striking a  balance between trust and control.

In 2016, technology giant Dell announced  its plans to further expand its telecommuting and remote work initiatives. It cited $12 million in annual savings from reduced office space costs. While cost saving is one thing, employee engagement is quite another. Here are some key challenges that software like the JourneyLabsTM Platform can solve for managers and companies alike when working in and leading virtual teams.

Project Management

Virtual and remote teams can benefit by creating custom adaptive feedback and response systems which can be integrated into an everyday business process. This is vital in supporting and/or augmenting work to complete a critical project. Technology platforms like the JourneyLabs™ Platform can provide tools that enable constant communication and create a sense of connection within a team. Technology can empower management and leadership collaboration across distances when face-to-face meetings are limited. This responsive engagement also lessens unnecessary delays, particularly when managing and organizing work around time zones. Managers can easily telecommute and have the ability to see what happens while working remotely.

Tracking progress as well as pitfalls can help team members understand how their work affects the company overall and indicates support-enablement areas for management and organizational leaders. By integrating a custom workflow and the ability to dashboard-manage data on-the-fly, organizations can break down complex tasks and objectives into adaptive, responsive and intuitively-driven feedback. In fact, not having clearly defined objectives and measured milestones could result in up to 37% of project failures.

Journey management platforms ensures dashboard tracking, processes, tasks and projects are all up to date keeping managers and team alike up to speed on potential pitfalls as well as  outcomes.

Employee Engagement

Companies with engaged employees generate 2.5 times more revenue compared to competitors with low engagement levels. – Hay Group

As technology helps companies stay in communication with their virtual teams by gauging their work and productivity, the JourneyLabs™ Platform can extend far beyond instant or text messaging as a reliable way to measure overall risk, engagement and satisfaction. An engaged employee is 87% less likely to leave a company in the first 12 months. Having this type of deeper, engaged communication among teams also fosters collaboration.

Using platform communication tools, virtual teams can quickly reach out to  leadership or other remote workers for answers. This is particularly useful for leaders who want to introduce or enhance agile employee engagement that reaches well beyond the typical employee survey. Similarly, organizations and departments can update and easily pass along company information as it occurs so communication is both immediate and team-wide.

Employee Onboarding

70% of new hires make the decision to stay or leave within their first six months.Gillespie Associates

With companies losing 25% of all new employees within one year, successful onboarding has proven crucial for new employees. Twenty percent of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days on the job. Employers are  successful, when they can provide supportive and sustained employee onboarding, particularly when supporting new members of virtual teams. This fosters positive relationships with leadership teams and management, thus fostering retention. This way of onboarding ensures the remote team member gets exposure to the company culture, communication norms and social requirements of the work.

Integrating  the JourneyLabs™ Platform, operationalizes an onboarding journey and personalizes and adapts it to every remote team member. This creates an effortless onboarding experience for remote team members and the management of employees and their ongoing progress. From the initial new hire journey of remote workers and teams, to ongoing employee engagement and retention, providing journeys for employees will foster good precedent and set the tone for them. As gaps of engagement for remote employees are filled, workforce retention and employee engagement will increase which can enable a better customer experience and bottom line.  

 

Dawn Raquel Jensen is Head of Creative Marketing at JourneyLabs. A Florida native, Dawn is a graduate of the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Defense Information School (DINFOS). She is a social business, digital media and marketing strategist for start-ups and first stage businesses, and has been known to travel some distance for good BBQ and iced tea. For more information about JourneyLabs or to set up a demo of the JourneyLabs platform, email us: info@journeylabs.io.

 

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