Training and learning – The challenge of remote teams

COVID and Working From Home (WFH) have brought on a lot of challenges for people who are not used to working remotely.

We can all attest to how much the Internet has made significant changes and improvements to our daily lives. We now have the concept of telecommuting, which is basically working from the comfort of your own home (WFH). It can be an interesting experiment for some start-ups or small companies, and it has its merits. All factors considered, the fact that the employee is at home reduces the cost of maintaining an office. This includes paying for a lease, network management, janitorial services, and miscellaneous items like supplies of toiletries and drinking water for the pantry. When it comes to the technical stuff, they can offer to provide the computer hardware and shoulder the Internet billing of the worker.

Looking far into the future, if they need to conduct personal development programs there are tools or applications that can be used for that. There would be no problem running a virtual leadership training if an employee is a candidate for a promotion. For the leaders though, there could be the challenge of managing their teams remotely. Here are some things to consider in overcoming that.

Project Management Tools

Managing a group of people remotely may seem daunting at first, but there are tools out there that can help you manage them. There are applications out there that focus on project management. These can help you track the progress of each person’s assigned tasks. Some allow you to communicate within the app itself, which can be useful if you want to send out a reminder if a deadline has lapsed.

You can create comprehensive and structured information on your major initiatives and the tasks under them. This should allow you to quantify how things are moving along. For example, you can assign 10 tasks under a section. Every task that is completed would then represent 10% of the overall progress. If there are people who are holding things up, you can easily let those responsible know that they are accountable for that.

Overall, a project management tool helps you organize and track what is happening with your team. It lets you find out the gaps or pauses in the process so that you can act on them.


The proper communication avenues should be established with the team from the beginning. You should have access to email and chatting tools and establish rules and regulations around them. For example, you can set a window in which they need to respond when someone sends them a message. They need to acknowledge that to let you know that they are paying attention. There are no other ways to communicate in a real-time fashion except through the chat, so it would defeat the purpose if people start ignoring it.

When it comes to emails, uniformity is key to show professionalism. You do not want to see those outside your organization to receive emails from different team members that have an inconsistent look. Let everyone know on which font and size should be used, and also send out a template of the company signature. This is an area where one can make an impression, so you better aim for the positive side.

Team meetings can be handled by programs that can handle conference calls. You can ask them to have them turn on their video turned on during a meeting just so you know that no one is skipping it.


The team should also have access to their own calendars, and this is where they can check how their schedules would look like for the day. If you need to send them invites to team meetings, it should show up on their end too. It would be hard for anyone to miss their tasks or targets for the day. They should be responsible for possible repercussions in case there are lapses. You can use this along with the data that you have with your project management tool if you need to write up an action plan for an employee. They should know that there are consequences that await them if they fail to comply repeatedly.

This should drive home the idea of accountability. It is all too easy to get distracted when you are working from home. If one keeps falling into that trap, they need a wake-up call.

To get people to a level where they can be the best version of themselves, there should be harmony at work. If you and your team are just starting out with a remote setup, give it some time to develop first. People need to adjust to new environments, so it is just natural for you to see people stumbling as they work. Keep your communication lines open so you can help out those in need. Once you all work in sync together, you can expect to hit your major goals in no time.

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