The surge of remote labor has seized the post-pandemic globe by storm. Working from home is no longer a novelty; it has become a staple of many businesses.
In general, 89% of businesses have either implemented or are seriously considering a remote work policy. However, it comes with its own set of obstacles which, if addressed appropriately, can enable a smooth shift to remote or hybrid working culture.
Since more and more work is done remotely, managers face new obstacles when trying to motivate their workers. If given the correct tools and resources, successfully managing remote employees can be tremendously gratifying and result in a happy workforce.
Below is a list of several key remote work tips for managing remote workers to help supervisors ensure their teams are productive and engaged.
Make Accountability and Openness a Priority
Step one in managing your remote workforce is to make the working process transparent. Every employee should have access to a digital work log that details their daily activities and overall performance.
This generates a feeling of responsibility because workers and their supervisors have insight into activities during work hours and whether they were able to fulfill their objectives.
Managers that have access to data on their employee’s productivity and work habits may allocate duties more effectively and fairly. Having all the information you need to better manage your employees can help you maintain and even achieve better productivity and customer overall satisfaction.
For instance, implementing a time-tracking tool is a great solution for managing a remote workforce because it will help you keep track of work-related activities and reveal precisely how they employed the time to fulfill their responsibilities.
Establish Defined Productivity Criteria for Remote Work
Setting clear expectations for your remote team’s productivity is essential. Certain productivity criteria will vary depending on the position, while others may be consistent throughout the company. Even if just informally, each norm has to be examined and recorded.
For instance, you and your teleworking team may establish that each developer assigned to a project must provide code suitable for testing within five working days and that any deadline that cannot be met must be communicated within 48 hours.
Similarly, a contact center representative may need to handle 10 customer calls each hour while making sure there are no screaming kids in the background.
While tracking productivity standards may seem like too much additional work, it may assist uncover problems that need to be corrected. It might help you identify burnout or the need to give further training to overcome a bottleneck that affects production.
Identify and Provide the Appropriate Tools
Making all relevant tools conveniently available is an essential component of effectively managing remote employees. In most cases, all you need for remote work is a computer, an internet connection, a phone, and a headset.
However, there may be other resources you may use to keep workers productive, such as:
- Access to online tools for communication and files;
- A simple printer or a membership at a local copy shop or postal services center;
- Work laptops;
- High-quality, constant online connectivity or shared co-working space;
- Tools for digital video conferencing such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Employ the Right People
Although remote work is becoming more and more popular, not everyone finds it to be enjoyable. Hence, while conducting interviews or assessing team members, it is important to ascertain whether or not they like this method of work, how they prefer to work, and how collaborative they are.
Employees that are not satisfied with their position or do not feel like they are contributing to the success of the team may not be the best match for your company. That’s why it’s important to invest extra time in the recruiting process while working remotely.
Finding the proper individuals may make a world of difference when it comes to managing a virtual team.
Enable Your Staff to Work Flexible Hours
There is greater leeway in scheduling meetings and other matters while working from home than in an office. Offering remote workers the opportunity to choose their schedules is a great incentive that will help keep them happy and committed to the team.
Work gets done equally as well, if not better, and workers are happy if they are given some freedom in how and when they complete tasks. Employees who have the option to choose their schedules enjoy additional benefits, including improved mental health and a healthier work-life balance.
To ensure that deadlines are met and that teamwork is not disrupted, encourage workers to keep each other updated through email about their work schedules and planned offline times.
In the end, keep in mind that each employee is unique and has certain needs to perform at their highest level. For this reason, it’s important to strike a balance between the requirements of the company and the needs of the workers and to make sure that everyone involved feels like their opinions matter.
Take the time to get to know each employee on a personal level and tailor your approach to maximize their productivity.