7 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Workers | The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to shut their doors, in the best case, to restructure their organization and come up with new ways to stay alive. All businesses no matter their size and power have been impacted by the pandemic, not just startups and small businesses. Since many places in the world still have restrictions in place without any notice when they will be abolished, managers have to work overtime to build a strong team while working remotely. For managers without experience in remote workforce management, this might seem like mission impossible, but with the following tips, this task too will go smoothly and successfully.
Open up communication channels
When working from home, all the meetings, colleague conversations, project talk and other communication needs to be moved to our home offices. So how do your employees communicate when they are miles away? The best thing a manager can do is pick one communication channel that will keep your employees in the loop and inform them of the goals and objectives of the company. This channel can also be used for dividing tasks, setting schedules and giving out responsibilities. Luckily, there are many great tools out there that provide smooth and safe communication, but Slack has been a business favorite for quite some time. However, other tools also allow clear communication in every way and across different departments.
Create clarity with objectives
If you give it enough time, role definitions will start to fall apart when people are not managed well, leaving teams unsure of what to do during their work hours. So as a manager, make sure to focus on tasks that should be accomplished and emphasize objectives over processes—this will boost clarity and improve engagement. One of the best ways to improve motivation and productivity is to show employees how their work helps the company reach its goals. This will give them confidence, show how important their work is and reduce anxiety about job security and stability.
While many companies are looking to downsize, if business is good for you, you must consider hiring some help for your full-time employees who are still getting used to remote work. In case you notice that your regular team is struggling with output without access to their normal offices and tools, consider consulting a Global PEO agency that will help you hire employees anywhere in the world without establishing their own legal entity. This way, you’ll get access to a global pool of talent and be able to employ people not as contractors, but as fully legal employees and gain all the benefits this entails.
Focus on results
When working remotely, people need to juggle family and work, so make sure to make their lives easier by allowing them to complete their tasks in the easiest and fastest way possible for them. For instance, you might need to eliminate a few points from your daily meeting or ditch a lengthy approval process. If collaborations need to be done, allow the parties to set the time that fits both sides. With this flexibility, you will show employees that they should focus on the results. Right now, processes should come second and accomplishments should come first.
Hold a daily meeting
Many workers and managers find it helpful and comforting to have a short daily meeting. Since work is remote, this allows people to still get guidance and set their daily priorities. These daily meetings are also a great chance for the company leader to say a few words about the company’s goals. If you have a chatty team, have a round-table discussion where each team member uses their five minutes to discuss their projects, share the challenges they face and seek out the solutions.
Watch out for the signs of stress
Stress has never been higher for employees, so managers have to use both direct and indirect observations to see whether their remote employees are facing stress or have concerns. Highlight after every meeting that you support and care for them and provide other managers with guidance on how to approach sensitive subjects that sprung due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider discussing subjects like alternative work models, job security, the impact of the pandemic on staff and how to clear tensions if there are any.
Trust your employees
Right now, one of the smartest things you can do as a manager is put a ton of trust in your employees and be confident that they will do the right thing for the company. And in most cases, especially if provided with support, they will do the right thing! As a manager, you’re probably used to having constant visibility of your employees and losing that power might be frustrating, but leave micromanaging in the past and let your employees do their job.
If you manage your remote workers with these tips in mind, you will notice that remote staff can be just as productive as in-office workers, if not more so. Set them up for success and your employees won’t let you down.