The trend of remote work has gained significant momentum in recent years. What once was an outlier in terms of staffing practices, managing remote teams is now firmly established in the business landscape, with multiple benefits enjoyed by employees and workers alike.
For companies, one of the most meaningful benefits of enlisting a remote workforce is the access it gives to a wide talent pool. In the case of the SaaS industry, this is especially valuable as niche products require specialized skills. By casting the net wider, companies enjoy far greater success with the caliber of talent available. And not only considering the access to talent, but a remote workforce also saves considerable amounts on overheads, while allowing for greater flexibility and autonomy for teams.
However, it is understandable that building a positive work environment with the goal to retain this specialized remote talent is paramount. A happy, healthy remote team is also not built by magic but requires research, strategy, and careful implementation.
Keeping the well-being of your remote SaaS team in strong form requires ongoing nurturing, and while this can cause some challenges in managing remote teams, there are actually effective ways to achieve this desired result.
Here are 5 top ways to build a healthy, happy remote SaaS Team:
It’s all About Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is certainly the ideal, but also a concept that is more easily spoken about than put into practice. In short, work-life balance refers to the effort to achieve equal time, attention, and energy for both work and personal life. While work time should be busy and productive, time off should equal a complete break with undisturbed downtime.
Understandably, in a situation where your home is also your place of work, as in the case of most remote workers, the lines between being on and off duty invariably become blurred. This is also the case because, in these modern times, we are so digitally connected, with work email and notifications popping up on our phones any time of day or night. The temptation to attend to issues as they arise is strong – and in a competitive work environment, being attentive can go a far way in being extra valued.
However, it is up to management to change this mindset, and instead of expecting on-demand responses, should actually encourage the complete downtime that is actually needed to achieve work-life balance. Boundaries should therefore be encouraged, not seen as something problematic or negative.
Further measures that can help create a better work-life balance include apps that help with organization and focus, such as time-tracking and productivity apps. These too can easily be provided by management to assist remote employees in better managing (and protecting) their time.
Managing Remote Teams Requires Communication
A significant challenge the remote workplace presents is a lack of spontaneous communication. The option to congregate and converse around the office coffee machine simply does not exist.
But the impact of good, open communication can not be underestimated. Not only does communication assist with the task at hand, but in general, it also is extremely necessary for the prevention of distrust and frustration growing within a team. In fact, as much as 86% of employees cite a lack of collaboration being the main culprit in workplace failures.
In the absence of a physical space to share, a certain ingenuity is needed to put in place online measures that make communication easy – without the need to schedule a formal meeting each time. This can be achieved by implementing software and apps that allow for team collaboration and virtual ‘meeting rooms’ that are always open – making communication more spontaneous and less rigid and prescribed.
Encouraging two-way communication with remote workers also does wonders in boosting team positivity. This is because effective two-way communication makes an employee feel safe, valued, and supported – and as a result of this, greater trust between team members and management will grow.
Importantly, open communication also instills a sense of community and belonging in a remote team – all factors which do ultimately contribute to overall happiness.
Provide Access to Training and Skills
The opportunity to upskill or fine-tune existing skills will always be an attractive option for employees. In fact, a survey has shown that 76% of employees expressed that companies that offer additional skills training are all that much more appealing.
Importantly, it is another benefit that works for the company and its employees. For the company, employees will be enabled to do their jobs even better – leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
For the team member, the skills training will actually work as a morale booster too. Not only will they feel more motivated and empowered, but they will also feel more valued by the company. It is also highly motivating from the point of view that learning new skills or improving on current skills means more work opportunities, chances for new roles, and promotions.
In addition, keeping staff trained and up-to-date with all current skills means a company will have the edge over competitors. Understandably, it is motivating to be working for a forward-thinking, successful company.
Cultivate a Positive Workplace Culture
A positive workplace culture refers to more than just Friday beers and bingo. Workplace culture actually refers to the values, beliefs, behaviors, and customs that shape the social and psychological environment of an organization.
Cultivating a positive workplace culture is essential for team morale. Not only does it create a sense of belonging, purpose, and positive energy, but it also leads to increased motivation, job satisfaction, and engagement.
But one might now be wondering how to build a strong culture with a remote team? It actually is a construction based on several key pillars, each as important as the other. These pillars include workplace collaboration, inclusions, well-being, rewards, clear goals, and lastly, showing appreciation. In essence, following the tips in this article will also go a far way in ensuring a solid foundation of a positive workplace culture.
Promote Health and Well-being
As we know, remote work is particularly sedentary and isolated. Neither of these is good for one’s health. Therefore, increasing the focus on mental and physical health for a remote team can have a significant impact.
Notably, remote workers often experience an increased level of stress and burnout due to a lack of separation between work and home life. Also, the lack of spontaneous collaboration and team camaraderie is proven to be detrimental to mental health. In fact, one survey has shown that 60% of employees have expressed interest in making use of mental health programs.
So how can a company help with this? The answer lies in providing access to employee assistance programs, counseling services, and mental health support groups. Managers can also be trained on how to recognize and support employees who may be experiencing mental health challenges – also through organizing regular one-to-one check-ins. After all, they are the people who regularly deal with all members of the team.
Companies can also help encourage health and well-being by providing access to fitness classes, wellness programs (such as mindfulness or meditation apps), and healthy food options.
Additionally, further creative ways that not only help build team spirit and collaboration (vital for mental well-being) are to host remote team building activities. Whether these be hosting walking meetings, game sessions, setting the team individual challenges (such as walking 10 miles in a week, etc.), setting goals, and hosting sessions like this are fun and motivating and a welcome distraction too from ongoing work matters.
Nurturing Future Success
There is no doubt that building a happy, healthy remote team requires ongoing commitment and care, but it is ultimately essential for the success of a business. This is especially true with health and well-being being such important elements to have in place to achieve good productivity.
Well-being factors that were ignored in previous decades can now no longer be. Simply speaking, you can’t afford to be that company that is not focused on building a strong culture and happy, healthy remote team.
When specific skills in the SaaS industry are so much in demand, fine-tuning a company’s focus toward nurturing its people is a dependable way to retain valuable talent.