Remote is gradually becoming a routine part of the modern workplace. What used to be an odd occurrence is the norm for many companies, thanks to advanced collaboration tools. Since 2005, the number of regular remote workers has increased over 140%, which is x10 greater than the number of self-employed people.
Although it’s exciting to welcome remote employees to your team, managing those employees is more challenging than one may assume. Remote management does not have the same kind of efficiency as in-house management, which makes your job much harder.
Today, I will guide you through this challenge, whether you are managing remote employees or just hired you first remote worker. In this article, we will discuss 3 useful tips for managing emote workers effectively.
Create Clear Communication Guidelines
In remote management, it’s common for managers to let communication fall lax, making their team operate independently. However, letting this happen can harm your existing workflow significantly. In the absence of a good, open communication channels, remote workers tend to feel remote and forgotten, which affects their ability to deliver work on time.
In larger companies, this can get even more complicated, since many teams work remote while others don’t. In these situations, it’s your duty as a manager, to maintain the flow of information and ensure that everyone’s contribution is visible and transparent.
For this, you need to establish clear communication guidelines when you start remote work. It’s necessary to spell out how your team prefers to communicate, which can be through calls, emails, video conferencing, text messages or communication tools such as Slack.
Similarly, it’s equally important to let workers know when they are expected to communicate. You can even set expected email turnaround time to prompt workers to maintain open lines of communication.
Make Sure Everyone Understands the Process
Lacking documented processes can harm your team even when you are working in-house. So understandably, the lack of such guidelines can create even greater problems when managing remote workers.
When you are not in the same location, it’s difficult for workers to seek your guidance instantly. Instead, they have top email you or post questions on the communication platform and then wait for your response before moving on with their work. These small things can create significant bottlenecks in the workflow that escalate to greater problems.
To prevent such problems from ever happening, you can create training programs for critical guidelines so new workers are familiar with the basics. Maintaining documentation can also be useful in such situations since workers can always refer to them to clear any doubts.
Don’t Rule Out One-On-Ones
Team comradery is an essential part of remote management, so taking out the time to talk to your employees one-on-one goes a long way. These meetings allow team members to share any problems they are facing.
Many times, remote workers are facing problems they can’t bring up in group meetings, or are afraid of being misunderstood in emails. Having a one-on-one with workers can help air issues that are not discussed elsewhere. These meetings help team members to be clear about their role and how they can align it with their overall career goals. Remember that mentoring your employees closely goes a long way in increasing employee retention.
It’s true that remote management is challenging, but by following the tips give here, you can improve as a manager and handle remote employees more effectively. To learn more about topics similar topics, feel free to follow my blog.