There is no doubt that the landscape of employment is changing. More companies are choosing to go hybrid or fully remote with their workforce. Remote work offers many benefits to both the employee and the employer. It can save the company money by saving overhead costs such as rent and electricity.
Remote work usually results in increased productivity and fewer sick days. Plus, it allows a workplace to give its employees greater flexibility and control of their schedules. Effective management of these employees is essential to success.
There are strategies that can help any leader or supervisor successfully manage remote employees. Check out the five best tips for managing a remote workforce:
Tip for Managing a Remote Workforce: Set expectations
Managing any team requires setting clear expectations; this is even more important for a remote workforce. Make sure that all your employees know what you expect from them. Expectations could include how often they should be available for one-to-one meetings, tracking their hours, and whether they need to check in at the beginning and end of each day.
Every manager will have their style, whether daily check-ins or informal weekly meetings. You will all be on the same page by letting your team know what you want from the outset.
Tip for Managing a Remote Workforce: Provide the right tools and technology
Group collaboration and organized project management are crucial aspects of remote work and require the right tools. Investing in the right skills and equipment is vital to a successful work-from-home operation. Some tools that may be necessary include a cell phone and a laptop with a camera.
Providing access to essential digital workplace platform is also critical. Ensure each remote employee has the technology required to do their job efficiently, and ensure you train them in their use. Also, it is a good idea to keep in mind that technology overload is a real thing. Choosing one project management software that can accomplish many tasks is better than relying on multiple systems.
Tip for Managing a Remote Workforce: Communicate frequently and solicit feedback
Communicating and engaging with your remote team members at least once a day is important. You can accomplish this easily with an email, a text message, a phone call or a video call. The longer you go without checking in, the more you risk your employees feeling disengaged.
Disengagement can lead to poor work outcomes and contribute to higher turnover. Be sure to make every employee feel valued. It is easy for team members to feel isolated when working remotely. Regular team meetings and live virtual events will foster a sense of community by allowing team members to build connections and get to know each other.
It is also imperative to be available for your employees. Make sure that everyone knows how to contact you. Be open to discussing issues with your team and actively solicit feedback. Regular feedback can help you identify problems early, allowing you to adjust things for maximum success.
Tip for Managing a Remote Workforce: Promote work-life balance
A good work-life balance is essential to overall well-being. It can increase productivity and creativity and reduce stress levels and the risk of burnout. However, employees working from home may find it challenging to find this balance. They may have a hard time setting boundaries or find it difficult to transition to being off the clock.
As an employer, you can help by respecting the working hours of your remote workers. Don’t send them messages outside of their expected work hours. While it may seem difficult to keep track of your employees’ well-being, promoting a healthy work-life balance within your team is one of the best things you can do to support your team.
Tip for Managing a Remote Workforce: Trust Your Employees
Remote workforces can’t operate without trust. The autonomy that is working from home provides is part of the appeal for many. But, when you can’t see an employee’s every move, it’s easy to assume that they aren’t doing their jobs. This can ultimately lead to micro-managing, where supervisors continuously ask for progress reports or other proof of work. It’s better to focus on outcomes and goals rather than worrying about the constant activity. Trust allows your employees to decide for themselves how to meet their goals. When it comes down to it, as long as the work is completed on time and is up to standard, the work style of each employee should not be relevant. Prioritizing results over hours worked most often results in more motivated employees.
New technology and ever-changing corporate policies make remote work more common than ever. No question that leading a remote workforce can be challenging. The best way to start is by building a sound support system for your remote workers and prioritizing communication. Being equipped with the right resources, tools, and best practices for managing from home will ensure you can build remote teams that thrive.