By all indications, remote working is more than a trend now. Nearly 60% of the American workforce is now working from home part or all of the time. For managers, this has created new challenges that have nothing to do with productivity. Studies tell us remote workers are more productive (by more than 10%) than office employees. But there are cultural and communication challenges as well as work-life balance issues that managers need to tend to. Here are five important tips for managing your remote workforce.
How To Manage a Remote Team
Challenges and Solutions for Managing Remote Teams
There are plenty of challenges related to working remotely, including:
- You must have the right technology to communicate and track activity.
- You must establish rules that allow for work/life balance.
- Communication can be harder.
- Keeping culture going can be problematic.
Five ways to tackle these challenges include:
Make sure your remote employees have the right tools to do their job
Do you have a project management tool that serves as a hub for all relevant information? Do your teams have secure computer equipment and software to do their job? What communication tools are in place to keep people talking?
Are your meetings efficient?
Collaboration is key when workers are dispersed. Your managers should be trained to set agendas and run meetings effectively even via a computer screen. A lack of coordination between dispersed teams or even the inefficiency of project leads can cause remote work to take a left turn. But this is highly fixable!
How transparent is your communication?
Are your projects set up properly with clear roles and responsibilities? What are the goals of each activity that your team is undertaking? The truth is, if you are disorganized on-site, it’s going to be even harder in a remote environment to keep everyone accountable and on track.
Culture can suffer when employees are remote.
It’s typically because the connections that are naturally forged by seeing each other every day simply don’t occur. Your supervisory teams must work a little harder to keep people connected. One way to do this is through one-on-one meetings with team members. You can also use ice breakers and other activities even during remote meetings to foster a better sense of connectedness with your team. Work on team building and team bonding by having a once-a-year on-site retreat. Or, if that isn’t possible, use communication tools like Slack to share information that you normally would during a “watercooler chat.”
Set boundaries with managers and remote workers.
Your goal is to help establish some work/life balance to build more positive relationships between your team members. Encourage your managers to never ping an employee after hours and expect an answer after the eight-hour shift is over. You do not want to create a culture where disturbing family time is appropriate. Encourage your employees to take their time off, as well. This will keep your teams from burning out.
Do You Work Remote?
If you’re searching for a better caliber of remote worker, contact us. The Custom Group of Companies specializes in providing top talent to employers just like you.
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