Asking the Right Questions When You Have a Remote Team

We know that remote work is the new normal. Employees love it, and it seems their productivity has actually increased as a result. This is all well and good; however, your office culture may suffer when your team is dispersed. Are there things that managers can do to better communicate with remote workers? What questions should they ask that will keep their workforce motivated and their culture intact?

5 Questions for Remote Employees to Bridge the Miles

1. How are you doing?
When you’re in an office, this seems like an obvious question. It’s simple on the surface. But how often do you ask it when the worker is remote? Find out about the employee’s energy level and whether they’re overwhelmed. We recommend doing this on Zoom simply because Slack doesn’t really lend itself to a candidate conversation about feelings. It’s easy to pick up on someone’s mood when we are face-to-face but much harder to know if they’re burning out when your interactions are virtual.

2. What are you looking forward to next week/month?
Your goal, with this question, is to start a candid conversation around what motivates the employee, what they’re interested in, or even what type of skill they’d like to develop. Having a manager that cares enough to ask what you’d like to learn or what area you’d like to grow in can be incredibly motivating. Most of your employees want to grow both personally and professionally in their careers. Your job is to help them do it by reaching across the miles, creating some space, and empowering the employee to develop within the company.

3. Are you clear about what you’re working on?

You want to offer the employee a safe space to admit they’re lost and need help if that’s the case. Creating an environment where your remote employee isn’t floundering is critical because many people won’t ask for help until it’s too late for them to recover. If you ask the employee about their work and then ask what aspects aren’t clear or about what area they need help in, it lets them know you’re trying to help them succeed. It’s easy for a remote employee to feel isolated. This question is the psychological equivalent of putting out your hand to help.

4. Are you happy with your level of autonomy, or would you like more group interaction?

Some people thrive when working on their own. Others like collaboration. Or maybe even a little of both. However, your job is to figure out how your remote employee likes to solve problems and get the job done. Introverted employees may like space to solve things. But how will you know if you don’t even ask?

At the Custom Group of Companies, we understand how challenging it can be to manage.

That’s why we partner with top companies to bring them the best employees that can collaborate effectively within today’s new remote job settings. Talk with our team and find out how we can help your business. 

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