Remote work has become a viable option for both employers and employees these days, thanks to the latest technological advancements which have made it possible to conduct business from anywhere in the world. The rising number of telecommuters and distant employees poses unprecedented challenges for organizations.
A fully-engaged and productive remote workforce can be a crucial factor in differentiating a company from its competitors, but only if it’s managed effectively. Every firm comes up with its own sets of rules for overseeing a remote team. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to handling remote workers from different industries.
However, some basic guidelines need to be followed in this regard. Now, we will present you with some of the essential dos and don’ts of managing remote employees:
Do Communicate Properly
Those working from a remote location need to overcome the hurdles of time and distance to communicate effectively with their coworkers throughout their shift. Failing to address such issues can foster feelings of frustration and isolation in your distant employees, increasing the likelihood of costly mistakes.
A useful team communication tool such as Google Hangouts can offer an easy to administer communication solution. Sending direct messages to your remote workers will allow you to keep them up-to-date on various office activities and keep everyone connected throughout the working day.
Do Set Explicit Goals
Ensure your staff members working from home or in the field doesn’t interpret goals or objectives differently from their in-house counterparts. Remote team managers need to be direct about tasks and expectations when dealing with their remote virtual assistants. Your distant workers should be able to not only know their role in a team but also understand what they can do to contribute towards overall team success.
Do Utilize The Right Tools
Most of the obstacles arising during remote work can be countered effectively using the right technology. From the remote employees’ point of view, tools that reduce the need for performing menial tasks like manual filling of paper forms, and increase integration with current systems are an excellent option for fieldwork. Doing so will not increase your field employees’ productivity by being entirely focused on customer service.
Choosing the right app with scheduling and GPS tracking option will also help supervisors and managers successfully track their subordinates from head office, communicate with them properly, and analyze data from the field in real-time.
Optimizing your remote team’s productivity with the appropriate technology is worthless unless you also empower your distant workers with their autonomous decision-making power. Micromanaging your remote team members can leave them feeling undervalued, untrusted, and stifled at work. Instead, managers should establish two-way trust with their subordinates to foster a positive remote work environment in which distant workers can feel internally motivated to perform tasks.
Don’t Schedule Extra Meetings
The majority of the first-time remote team managers put many meetings on the calendar just because they don’t see their team members in person every day. The key is not to overcompensate for limited face-to-face time with unnecessary meetings as they’re the least productive use of your remote team’s time. For this reason, make sure that every scheduled meeting is a good use of everybody’s time.