With the number of remote workers on the rise due to new technologies, more companies are beginning to offer remote opportunities as a means of promoting talent acquisition, retention, work flexibility and above all, less operational cost. But some companies are still skeptical about this style of workforce management, mostly those without ideas on how to manage remote employees. The mention of an effort to manage remote workers sends a chill down the spines of management in fear of losing productivity. In the real context, remote working requires one to be disciplined and some efforts from the employer to keep some balances for maximum efficiency. This article will provide a brief guide on how to manage remote employees and what makes remote working efficient.
Managing remote employees requires every employer to communicate clearly since remote workers are out of sight. It is a very good idea to use visual communication if possible, depending on the task you are delegating. Screenshots or screen sharing and the use of diagrams will be useful in your communication and often spend a few minutes to chat with them after meetings.
Set clear expectations – make their goals clear
There is a need to have meetings with your remote employees at least weekly to recite established goals for them and remind them of what your expectations are. Develop a timeline and provide feedback on their progress. As an employer, formally reviewing their performance is a crucial part of managing remote workers. It helps to motivate them and to key into new standards to perform better.
Enable work collaboration
Relying on emails to share files would not be ideal. You need to set up advanced tools for file sharing such as Dropbox or Google Drive which will represent a document management system for everyone on the team. Members can easily track the new changes made on the projects they are working on from anywhere. Provide them with the necessary tools they need to work efficiently and ensure that every member is on board.
Track the work of your remote workers
A tracking system is important while managing remote employees. This does not suggest you should micromanage them. While they need a flexible work life, don’t leave them entirely to work on their own. You may require them to register their work hours if their payment system is tracked by time. This will help you to ascertain if they spend the time working or surfing on the internet.
Make them feel part of the team
Beyond the official relationship level, it’s important to establish a rapport with your remote employees, know them personally and help them to feel what’s going on within the company. This could be done by sending newsletters, gifts during holidays, and by showing that you care about them. You can also invite them to the main office, if possible once in a year.
Managing remote employees could be a lot easier once you make them feel part of the team; communication, collaboration, and setting of goals will fit in effortlessly. Through a rapport with them, tracking their work hours becomes fun and challenges the employees to meet your expectations. Also, to effectively manage remote employees, you must help them to know about their progress and discuss areas they need to perfect.