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Tips for Managing First-Time Remote Workers
Due to the Corona Virus pandemic, large-scale corporate firms, medium and small businesses, and even the self-employed have taken to remote work. According to a prediction by BlueFace, working from home will compete with in-office work by the year 2025. According to the survey carried out by the body, as mentioned earlier, 55% of the respondents indicated that they now work remotely 100% of the time.
However, as the rate of telecommuting continues to increase, not every leader or manager will find it easy to supervise a completely remote team. It is a challenging responsibility, especially if you haven't had any prior experience in managing first-time remote workers.
The pointers presented below will help you to organise your employees better and channel your efforts towards success:
Develop a strategy for effective communication
Communication is essential when working in a productive environment, and it is even more so for remote teams. To keep abreast of how your employees are coping with work, it will help to organise a weekly formal report where the team can talk about their challenges and accomplishments. Since first-time remote workers are still getting used to performing their duties from home or while travelling, providing them with the opportunity to share their experiences can help motivate them and create an atmosphere for improvement.
Make expectations clear
Remote employees are more prepared to deliver and do things to your satisfaction when they have a precise idea of what's required of them. It is vital to establish clear standards and expectations. This could mean indicating working hours and deadlines for tasks, making sure they understand how their duties are evaluated and your parameters for measuring success, defining the urgency of a project or providing feedback while making sure to commend the worker's effort and commitment.
Encourage a community mindset
Cultivate a corporate culture that helps develop a sense of community. Make use of video conferencing to celebrate accomplishments and special occasions (including birthdays), or even schedule happy hours. Such interactions can give your team a sense of belonging, inspire communication, and subsequently boost productivity.
Make use of the right tools
To make collaboration and communication possible, you have to invest in the essential tools. These include:
- Video conferencing - Zoom Meetings
- File management service - Dropbox
- Communication tools - Slack
- Time tracking - Traqq
Focus on accomplishments
It isn't easy and energy-draining to try and monitor how your remote employees perform their duties. It is better, instead, to focus on whether or not set goals are being achieved. If expectations are met at the end of the day, then things are going well. Otherwise, you can intervene and find out what caused the failure to deliver. In the latter case, tracking the amount of time, remote employees spend on their projects often becomes necessary.
Support employee goals
Gone are the days when employees cared much about keeping the same job for several decades. They are now more interested in opportunities that enable them to improve their knowledge and skills. If their current employer does not provide them with the capacity to learn and advance their skills, they quickly move on to the next best thing. As a manager, you would like to keep high-performing employees. And a sure way to do so is to find a way to merge their interests with the company goals.
Allow some flexibility
One thing is for sure – remote work dynamics are far removed from what is obtainable in the traditional office setting. Employees have to joggle home activities and completing their work tasks. Therefore, they might not be able to follow a strict work schedule. Work hours should be made more flexible. Allow your team to make the best use of their time in a way that suits their unique circumstances, as long as they meet your expectations and deadlines.
Most people would like to grab some of the top jobs for remote work. However, they might not be ready to navigate the challenges that come with it effectively. It is, therefore, your responsibility as a manager to keep your team motivated and productive.
Whether you plan to hire a remote personal assistant or you have the responsibility of managing a sizeable work-from-home team, even the most inexperienced employee can cope with the challenges of remote work when expectations are well-defined, communication is consistent, and you invest in the right tools to facilitate collaboration.
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If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is remote work.
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- 12 Times You When Should You Consider Micromanagement
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