Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of the workforce is still working remotely. Even after the restrictions are lifted, most companies have more workers working from outside the office than those that work in it.
Many people consider the ability to work from anywhere as a perk of a remote job, and many employers are beginning to realize how valuable a flexible workforce can be.
This article will explore some important tips and tricks on how you can successfully manage your remote employees effectively.
1. Keep Them Engaged
One of the biggest concerns about hiring remote employees is that they may not feel as connected as those who come into the office every day. However, this does not need to be an issue if you’re willing to take some time and effort.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your remote employees feel as much a part of the team as those that work in the office. Create a collaborative, open environment where ideas flow freely, and information is readily available. You can set up forums or chat rooms for your team members, which will allow them to communicate with each other as well as with you.
2. Communicate Regularly
Some people may be tempted to use instant messages or email chains to keep everyone updated, but this can be incredibly cumbersome — it’s easy for messages to get lost or delivered out of order, and no one wants their entire inbox flooded because someone sent a message to the wrong address!
Tailor what works best for your team — video conferences are great for those who work remotely but can’t make it to meetings in the office, and daily or weekly reports will keep all your employees up-to-date on what’s going on.
3. Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities
It’s easier for remote workers to feel disengaged when they’re not entirely sure what their role is within a company — especially if their tasks aren’t clearly defined. Make sure you have an organizational structure that defines how employees are related to one another, as well as individual roles and responsibilities so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them.
If there are some skills that are necessary for certain tasks, consider using technology that allows training online or via video conference so employees have the tools they need to perform their job.
4. Use Collaboration Tools Effectively
There are plenty of collaboration tools for distributed teams available that help you manage your remote workforce effectively. So take advantage of the ones that fit your needs!
If your workers already have a favorite online tool they use outside of work hours then try implementing it during the workday. This will help improve communication between team members, as well as encourage them to be productive during their work hours.
5. Motivate Your Workers
Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on your remote workforce being intrinsically motivated to do a good job. You need to make sure they are getting the recognition they deserve by letting them know how much their contributions matter and what projects or tasks they’ve completed that deserve praise.
Consider using some motivational techniques for team building — whether it’s virtual bowling outings or rewards for those who meet deadlines. Acknowledging outstanding performance is one of the best ways to motivate any worker, and it goes double when there aren’t frequent face-to-face meetings!
6. Don’t Micromanage
A common complaint among managers of remote workers is feeling like they aren’t quite able to connect with their employees. This can make the manager feel like the only way to keep track of work progress is to micromanage every little detail, which can be stifling for team members and make them resentful toward their boss.
Make sure you’re not making this mistake, and give your employees some free reign when it comes actually to performing tasks. After all, people tend to feel more motivated if they’re trusted to get a job done without too much oversight.
7. Create a Fun Work Environment
Even if you have to start out with some less expensive options like doing video conferences or using phone calls more frequently, try to make your remote employees feel like they’re on the same level as office workers by creating an environment that is fun and engaging.
Delegate tasks in such a way that team members get to interact with each other, send warmer emails and instant messages, and create some incentives for team-building activities.
Managing a remote workforce can be tricky, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to keep everyone on track successfully. Communication is key, so make sure you are using the tools that work best for your team.