how to manage remote employees

Thanks in part to the internet and social media; many companies are beginning to understand the potential of a remote workforce.

It is because it saves money on office overhead, reduces employee turnover, saves up on office space and expands the number of hands on board to enhance productivity.

However, one of the biggest struggles in this matter is effectively managing this kind of workforce.

It should not be just about on-site management; a manager’s job is to nurture, guide and support these employees as you would for the one’s in your office. To get the best out of remote workers, here’s what you should do:

Effective Ways to Manage Remote Employees

1. Strategically Use Different Communication Methods

It can be quite difficult to manage a team that you can’t see with your own eyes. That is why we have the internet and social media.

You can easily assign and stay in the loop of your remote employees with the help of emails, phone, social network platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Skype and live chat.

Emails usually take long, but with the recent upgrade of thread messaging, it acts in almost the same way as live chat.

Chat platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger and the like are what the kids of these days prefer the most. If you prefer a longer and personal conversation, you can always use Skype.

2. Focus On Productivity

You can’t measure the success of remote employees by focusing on “face time” or how they walk into the office, dress up and so on.

Instead, you must focus on their work product, no matter how many hours they put into it. Managers have to consistently monitor the status, goals, and timelines of company projects.

3. Check In Regularly

Whether by phone, live chat or video conferencing, a manager must always check in regular on all of their employees, even the ones outside office walls.

During these call-ins, you must limit the agenda to topics that as a result affects three or more people on calls, just to lessen oversharing.

Managers must focus on productivity, collaboration, and efficiency, which make it worthwhile for everyone. They can also use roll call at the beginning of every meeting to greet each of their workers and build strong bonds.

We would suggest managers use a private social network tool by the name of Yammer for better engagement.

4. Set Clear Expectations

Remote work is far less structured than that of on-site work. Although it has its advantages, it also means that managers have to provide better-structured expectations. You should have the first in-depth discussion during the onboarding process.

But it would be wise to continue these discussions throughout the rest of the employees’ tenure, like one a week or month. In the end, a team member should have no doubts about:

  • What they must accomplish by next week
  • Whom they should address their issues to
  • The tasks and projects that they own
  • How many hours they are expected to work for
  • A manager’s level of availability (whenever employees can reach them)

5. Make Opportunities For Face Time

To help remote workers stay connected, you as the manager have to encourage them to work on-site a few times for a month, if it is possible.

You also have to motivate them to attend important meetings and events in person. You can also use video-conferencing tools to have virtual face-to-face interaction with them.

6. Keep Track Of Progress

Just as managers keep track of their on-site workers, they should do the same for their off-site workers as well.

There is something known as a remote worker software, which helps managers automate a large portion of the process and focuses on getting things done.

You can also ask your remote employees to send you a three-bullet summary of their daily tasks. It can be done with the help of software IDoneThis.

Over to You

Managing remote employees is a challenging task. Unlike the in-house workers, it requires a better management and communication skills to effectively run a team of remote workers.

Apart from delegating work and reporting performance of remote workers to the higher authority, you also need to mediate between the upper management and the remote workers. This article throws light on how you can effectively run a team of remote workers with success.”


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