Remote working. It’s a lifestyle now with the raging pandemic still upon us. However, even with the small slowing of Covid-19, remote working is gaining popularity now more than ever, so it seems that this will be the future of the workforce for many more years to come. As new as remote working is, that means more managers are having to learn new ways to manage a remote workforce to keep all systems flowing the right way and get the job done.
Here we will look at seven ways to seamlessly manage your remote workforce. Things that will make a difference now to keep everything running smoothly today and in the future.
Understanding your employees is key to running a smooth remote system. Once you understand their needs and communicate accordingly, things can start to flow. This time is great for that employee who enjoys working at home or in a quiet space of their own. These folks will thrive. However, an employee needs the movement and everyday bustle of the office to get going.
Make sure you are sensitive to everyone’s needs in their new environment. It’s your job to make sure your employees feel supported and guided. Open communication is key. Let them know that they can talk to you directly if they should have any thoughts, ideas, or issues that will affect their abilities to work.
This time is vital to be engaged. You need to implement a workforce that feels comfortable in this new type of work. Employ things such as video conferencing solutions. Managing virtual video conferencing helps everyone to understand the work and what needs to be done. Check out some solutions like Live 360, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom, which are all great options. Other engagement tools like Slack for chatting and the old standby phone conferences are all good options too.
Fun ways to engage
You also want to make sure that your team is having fun while working. There’s a difference between coffee breaks and water cooler chats when you’re not actually in the office. What about virtual coffee breaks? Ask your team members to brew their favourite coffee and talk about it. What about introducing them to your in-house employees? Perhaps your child or dog would be a fun ice breaker for employees who otherwise would not see these things at the office.
Having clear policies in place
Everyone needs to know what their rights and responsibilities are. When these are met, it’s easier to know how to delegate tasks and get deadlines met. Employees must know how often they’re expected to check in, their duties, and how their performances will be measured. This is about keeping track of efficiency and how things are handled.
Understand your technical infrastructure
Not everyone is going to have state-of-the-art computers or the right software. These are things you may have to offer or purchase the right tools for – just as if you were in the office, for any barriers to be closed. Bandwidth and people connecting outside of firewalls could be an issue too. Use programs in the cloud, such as Office 365 or G Suite, to help utilize these needs and make sure everyone is connecting as securely as possible.
Gather feedback from your team
It can be difficult sometimes to understand tone when working remotely. Understanding another person’s intent, even when they agree – isn’t a given when gathering items in writing. You’ll want to ask for raw feedback from your team on a very regular basis. Invite your workers to share what they like and dislike about a certain project or topic that needs validation. Use tools such as surveys or polls to help keep it private if need be. This way, everyone in your group is feeling heard, and the lines of communication can stay more open.
Ensure a work-life balance
It’s been proven that workers who are working remotely tend to do more work than if they were in the office. This could be for many reasons; maybe the quiet and space positively enhance what they could be doing. No water cooler chat means more productivity time, and less commuting means time spent on projects rather than driving. Make sure that your workers aren’t wearing themselves out.
Stick to a clock in and out method and make sure workers are adhering to a normal workday. There are many ways to track working hours, and it’s beneficial to everyone. Make sure also to offer productivity and wellness tips so that they can balance the two.
There are so many advantages now to having a remote workforce that they almost outweigh the disadvantages. Employers gain autonomy and trust, but you have to take your efforts very seriously to be successful. With the right balance in place, you can be assured that your team will thrive in a remote environment and that this wave of the future will get easier to navigate as time goes on.