Managing remote employees can be a difficult task to navigate, especially as you transition from the traditional office model. As a leader, you have to ensure employees are engaged, productive, and thriving. There has been a rise in the need for remote working primarily because of the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis. It has seen many businesses adapt to the ‘work from home’ policy, and you also need to adjust to the new norm! Now, below are some tips to help you manage your remote team to keep your business running smoothly.
Establish Daily Check-Ins
Keeping your employees up to date and ensuring they are all on the same page is vital. To oversee your employee’s work progress, you can have a daily check-in with your team through a video conferencing, a team call, or one on one calls. Depending on how collaborative their work is. A regular check-in helps your employees understand what is expected of them each day. Daily check-ins also assure your employees that they can consult with you, and their concerns will be met. Listening to your team and leaving room for them to ask questions, raise concerns and update their work is vital
Create Personal Connections
We are still social creatures, and interactions are vital to our daily exchanges, including our workplaces. Positive relationships at work are a crucial factor in establishing and maintaining high employee engagement. Without team members and managers putting in the time and effort to nurture relationships with remote employees, they are likely to feel isolated and left out. As a leader, employing both indirect and direct conversations to get visibility into employees that you care about and support them is essential. Facilitate regular conversations between employees that touch on sensitive subjects in the workplace. It is vital to build connections with employees for them to avoid feeling isolated and disoriented in their work.
Use the Right Tools
Ensuring your employees have all the necessary tools they need is an essential aspect of successfully managing remote employees. Remote employees also need to access tools utilized by onsite employees, such as crucial software programs. Cybersecurity and data safety are fundamental when considering software and hardware employees may use to access central servers. Your employees will need to pass work products among themselves. It is crucial to provide the best secure file sharing solution to add a layer of security to your work documents and information. Invest in communication tools as well. Yes, communication is one of the most critical aspects that cannot be taken for granted when managing remote employees. Choose the type of communication that works best for your organization, depending on your needs. For instance, email and messaging programs like Slack can be used for quick collaboration. Zoom is also useful when dealing with complex or sensitive conversations as you work remotely.
Measure Performance and Compare Output
To get the most out of your remote employee, you need to measure their performance and productivity. Analyze how much time an employee spends on a specific task and monitor the quality of work output from each individual. Track the attendance and hours worked if you are paying based on the hours each person works. Understanding what’s going on and what your employees are working on when managing them remotely can be challenging, unlike in an office environment. While it is easy to get distracted, some people are incredibly disciplined and stay on their tasks. To monitor your team members, you can use a tool like the ‘Time Doctor’ software to see the specific tasks your employees are working on. A tool like ‘Sales Handy’ can also be used for streamlined communication and analytics for a remote sales team.
Define Work Clearly and Set Expectations
Set clear expectations and timelines for your remote employees, explaining what you want from them, and when you want it. Setting expectations helps your employees manage their workflow efficiently. It would also help in ensuring the right flow of communication, thus overcoming misunderstandings and boosting productivity. Make sure the process is straightforward and concise since you are not in a physical work environment.
Organization and Flexibility
To maintain consistency, allowing flexible hours is necessary when it comes to working with a remote team. A concrete plan, however, must be put in place. Many people are juggling between family commitments and work in their own homes, hence the need to enable employees to complete their work in ways that are the easiest and most productive for them. While maintaining flexibility, reinforce your organizational values, and remind your team of the channels for reporting misconduct and highlight punitive measures for non-compliance. This will significantly promote work well being.
Working remotely can be a win-win situation for the employer and employee. Remote employees can be just as productive as office employees and sometimes even better. The key is to find ways to manage your remote workforce properly for maximum productivity.