Remote work is here to stay in the corporate world.
However, if you are taking your first steps toward managing remote employees, you could be faced with the challenge of treading uncharted waters. The last thing you want to do is mismanage that amazing talent you hired.
The good news is that we’ve compiled a list of six can’t-miss tips to overcome challenges for managing remote employees—follow them and you’re sure to succeed!
Unlike in a traditional office, a remote setting doesn’t give you eyes on your team the entire time. With your team working from home, you will need to refrain from micromanaging while still finding ways to hold employees accountable.
The keyword is trust. You hired a stellar team, and the first step toward managing remote employees is to believe in their skills and work ethic. We know, we know… your inner perfectionist wants to micromanage, but don’t give in!
Remember the golden rule: a watched pot never boils!
The great thing about remote work is that technology makes the experience pretty similar to any in-person work collaboration. While some standards may be uniform across the organization, others may be elastic to change depending on the situation.
To streamline your productivity standards, have your team members document or check off tasks on collaborative platforms like Asana, Slack, Trello, Monday.com, and Chatwork. These give you a bird’s eye view of everyone’s output without needing to micromanage, as well as spot when employees may not be pulling their weight.
The key to helping people meet expectations is to communicate. If you don’t properly communicate your standards, no one can reach them.
One of the challenges for managing remote employees is providing access to necessary work tools. A transition to a remote work environment cannot be completed without all the equipment you would have access to in an onsite workspace.
Some of what they may need could include:
When it comes to equipping remote team members for the job, treat them as you would your in-person hires. Everyone should have access to the same resources!
Putting further emphasis on the significance of communication, you will find immense value in scheduling regular meetings with your remote team. One of the biggest challenges for managing remote employees is keeping them connected, after all.
Of course, if there aren’t any pressing updates to discuss, there is no need to hop on a video conference every day. That just takes precious time away from the tasks that could be completed (plus, it could just add unnecessary stress into the mix).
Instead, try opting for weekly or monthly meetings. Aside from checking in on the workflow, providing workshops, offering feedback, and asking for feedback, this is also your opportunity to build friendly professional relationships. Distance shouldn’t stand in the way of employee engagement, but it’s a two-way street.
Offer them an open platform to throw in suggestions and air out any concerns they may have. In short, keep in touch when needed; show your employees that they are a valuable part of the company. As a leader, remember to listen as much as you speak. It’s a vital component of improving employee retention rates.
Moreover, encourage team members to attend as much as possible. They may be working outside of a traditional office, but being present at meetings is a must!
It’s easy to feel isolated when you work remotely—alleviating this feeling is one of the biggest challenges for managing remote employees.
In case an employee has a question or a concern, they can’t just walk down the hall to ask someone to shed some light on a topic. Remote teams may have access to flexibility, but they lack face-to-face interaction. So, it’s the manager’s job to step up to the plate to optimize their availability to instill a sense of solidarity.
Be attentive and responsive toward messages. You never know when someone meets a fork in the road and needs answers before they can complete their work. Provide positive feedback to motivate the team to keep up the good work. Perhaps you can even lighten things up a little by creating a group chat channel for all things fun and non-work-related. Your team may be working on their own, but they don’t have to be alone.
People typically work 9-to-5 in an office, but that isn’t always best at home. Rather than forcing them to follow a rigid schedule, accommodating something more flexible can go a long way to help remote employees feel appreciated.
The benefits of flexible work hours are plentiful—some people are more productive at different times of the day! If the nature of your business permits it (of course, it depends), allow flexible work hours to maintain (or even boost) consistency and quality. As long as it doesn’t negatively impact productivity standards, you’ll benefit largely from letting your employees work flexible work hours.
Whether they like to check off tasks in a coffee shop early in the morning or in their pajamas at midnight, it shouldn’t matter. What you want is high-quality output that meets your expectations. If flexible hours can give you that, why not go for it?
There you have it: six tips for managing remote employees. However, more than anything, you need to make sure you hire great talent—remote or otherwise!
Ad Culture is here to help you do exactly that. We’re a top-notch recruitment agency that specializes in connecting fantastic talent with companies like yours. We can even help with the onboarding process to help them get off to a great start!
Contact us today to get started!
Let’s Find The Right Combination Of Talent And Personality For Your Company.