A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers

0
643
A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers

Managing your employees is already difficult by itself. Remote worker management, however, has additional challenges that can make life much harder. Of course, there are many benefits of remote teams that make it all worthwhile. With this article, we want to help you overcome these challenges, and maximize the benefits of getting remote teams.

Below we will present to you some hardships that come with remote management and will provide adequate solutions. Let’s dive in.

Supervision and consistency

Supervision should, of course, never include micromanaging. Team leaders acting like helicopter parents or slave drivers destroys the morale and productivity of an employee. But, nevertheless, a level of supervision must still be present at an office, remote or otherwise.

It’s much harder to keep track of what people are doing remotely. You need to have at least some idea of how your projects are doing, or how effective your people are. Perhaps you need to intervene because an employee is slacking, or falling behind with their work. Or you might want to reward especially effective people.

The solution to the above issue should include two things: a list of ground rules, and appropriate apps.

As far as tools are concerned, get a good employee app as a central communications hub. Find something that allows you to contact your people at all times, as well as having the option of creating multiple channels and group chats. A time tracking app, like Hubstaff for example, can also boost people’s productivity and keep them sharp.

Moreover, having a list of ground rules is very important as well. You can set daily check-in times, expected milestones for certain projects, specific goals, and results you want to see achieved. OKR Software helps in monitoring and managing remote workers.

Information and employee resources

A lot of important information can be lost in the chaos of remote work (but only if you let it). Speaking with multiple people, organizing everything, training them, all of it can be a handful. Remote work comes with a serious issue – people not getting the information they need to do their jobs.

A remote employee runs the risk of not being able to talk to your or a colleague and ask for advice or clarification. You can circumvent these issues in a couple of ways.

First of all, try to get some kind of unified communication app for all of your employees (we talked about this earlier).

Next, you want to have a complete centralized hub that contains all information necessary for as many aspects of your work as you can muster. Furthermore, all of your employees need to have access to said hub.

This hub should contain pdf files, word documents, videos, PowerPoint presentations – basically anything that can improve workflow and help your company run more smoothly. How to send out invoices, a checklist for assignments, FAQ repositories, how-to videos, all of this needs to be accessible to all of your employees at all times.

If you have frequent office calls, take notes, organize them, and share them with all of your employees. Think of a template your workers can use when making reports, and essentially try to answer all of their questions in advance.

Motivation and isolation

Another common issue is isolation and the subsequent loss of motivation your remote employees might face when working. Feeling lonely, not having a sense of camaraderie with their fellow employees, just not sensing they are part of a team – it all leads to low morale. If you want your new employees to really feel at home, you need to work on this.

First of all, communicate regularly. We are not saying you should force things. We are saying, however, that you should give your best to actually connect with this person. Don’t just talk about work, get to know them, see if you can bond over shared interests, introduce them (digitally) to other members of the team.

Next, we suggest you create a casual channel, just for fun. This might not always be possible, but certain employee apps do have this feature. Create a casual group chat group, share it with everybody, and make it a space for fun. Share memes, videos, funny posts, keep it light and casual.

Whenever you have office calls, add another extra 30 minutes to just chat. Once your work is done, implement water cooler talk, ask people what they plan to do over the weekend (or what they did during the previous one).

Distractions and Foucs

Working from home means dealing with a lot of distractions. A new remote employee might especially have trouble with this issue, especially if they are inexperienced with remote work in general.

One of the things you can do to get this issue under control is getting time tracker apps for your employees, like Hubstaff. Apps like these record when people start working, and for how long. Many record keyboard and mouse activity, as well as take random screenshots of your employees’ screen, giving them that extra little pressure to focus on work.

Setting clear goals for the month, week, and even day can help people zone in on their tasks.

Conclusion

Managing any team isn’t easy, and not having face-to-face contact makes things that much harder. Providing them with access to vital information at all times, learning how to communicate, thinking of a way to keep people up to date and informed, and finding apps that help with supervision and consistency are all important parts of helping new remote employees be as efficient as possible.