According to the Global Workplace Analytics, 80-90 % of the employees say that they would like to work remotely at least part of the time. It seems like the remote opportunity is an attractive way to keep your workforce productive. Of course, as an employee, you would have to work on managing the time and attendance of your remote workers to make sure they don’t slack off.
Working remotely is great for the employees but for managers, it can get a little difficult to get a hold of the situation. Some managers feel like they don’t have control over the situation at all. If you feel the same, here is some help for you. With these tips, you will be able to manage your remote workforce in a better way:
- Set clear expectations
First things first, set clear expectations. You and your remote employees must be on the same page. For instance, everyone has a different idea of what getting something done “quickly” means. Make sure you have everything set straight if you want things to roll in a flow.
- Treat remote employees just like local employees
You must give remote people as much access you have given to the locals. Remote employees can’t see you in the hall, have lunch with you or stop by your office. That could make them feel distant. A good way to show your remote employees that you value them just as much as you value the locals is to respond to them quickly.
- Engage with them regularly
There must be some kind of communication between you and your remote workers. To develop and maintain a connection, use multiple channels for communicating. There should be a face-to-face meeting every week, month or as per the demands of the project. Constant interaction and engagement will make your remote workers feel they are included in the organization. Along with that, it will also help you keep track of the project’s progress.
- Use gifs and emoticons to convey feelings and emotions
Since you will be using instant messaging tools and emails to converse, it is hard to convey what you feel about something. Often, words come across aggressive. To prevent that, use gifs and emoticons as much as you can in your daily conversations.
You might already know the reaction of a good job email. Emoticons produce a similar effect. It tells the other person you are not serious or aggressive. This will help you in building a connection with your remote employees and hence, they will feel free to express themselves and even share valuable opinions.
- Don’t ignore their professional development
When your remote employees are living in another country, it’s easy to forget about their professional development needs. Yes, it is a little hard to send your remote workers to a training event but we have the e-learning opportunities, right? So why not provide them with such valuable opportunities to learn. Come across ways to help them achieve their career goals.
- Don’t bombard them with chats and emails
In order to make sure everyone is communicating enough, some managers end up overloading their remote employees with chats and emails. This can be distracting and overwhelming. To avoid that, you have to find the right balance. Make sure your team is not subscribed in too many channels. They should only receive the messages they need to see.
- Use screen sharing tools
Screen sharing tools allow you to share and see what the other person is doing. Some of these tools also let you control another PC remotely. You can use them to accommodate for work too.
- Use a project management systems
Smaller teams usually like to handle everything via emails but this can dangerous. You can lose track very easily. The best approach is to use a project management system. They help in managing virtual teams very effectively. Using a project management system, you can organize and store shared files, documents and conversations into a project. Finding them, later on, is easier too. Everything will be available and organized for not just you but your remote employees too.
- Meet in person
Video conferencing is not enough. You must get familiar with the personality of your remote employee too and what can be a better way of doing that than meeting in person. It is recommended to meet in person at least 4 times a year. This will create a strong bond within your company.
Long story short, regular communication is a successful way to manage your relationship with remote employees.