Working remotely from home, or anywhere with good Wi-Fi, was a dream of many workers. When COVID-19 hit, remote work became a reality whether it was wanted or not. David Highbloom, a 25-year entrepreneur with extensive experience is scaling business models, points out that many American workers found that working from home wasn’t the dream people thought it would be. Many workers found it difficult to find a ‘workspace’ in the house and that sharing the dining room table with their significant other was difficult.

However, as time marched on, working from home proved beneficial and more productive. According to new research by Pennsylvania State University, employees who work remotely are more productive and have a better work-life balance than those who do not, according to a new study by Pennsylvania State University. At the same time, 56 percent of businesses believe that remote working improves productivity. In particular, for customer service teams, remote working allows staff to get through 13 percent more requests each day, according to a study by the Quarterly Journal of Economics. This is a respectable jump in productivity, and many companies are focusing on providing more support for remote customer service teams.

One of the first steps to take is to let go of the reliance on email communications. While email is an instant and easy way to communicate, it’s not an ideal platform for managing projects when managing a remote team. An endless stream of email communications can quickly become messy and overwhelming. Information and communication need to be centralized and easily accessible, commented Highbloom. A cloud-based project management tool fulfills this need and will help streamline communications and information on a project basis. This is particularly beneficial with customer service teams working across multiple customer accounts.

The next area is creating a customer support team that can share information through a knowledge base system. According to the American Express Customer Service Barometer, 99% of customers say getting a satisfactory response or talking to someone knowledgeable is essential for a great customer experience. A proper knowledge base system and transfer plan acts as a repository that helps customer service teams access crucial information quickly and efficiently. Managing an active knowledge base system is like having a team member sitting next to you in the next cubicle who knows all customer service issues and the best resolutions for those issues.

One of the most critical steps to managing a remote team is to unite that team. Even though your staff may be located on opposite sides of the country, take the time to schedule one-on-one check-in calls, or schedule a weekly Zoom call with the entire team to collaborate, brainstorm, or simply unwind together. Make these calls fun, informative, and stress-free. Getting to know your team members will result in better communication and higher staff retention rates and will ensure they feel included and “in the know.”