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For some employees, remote work is the only option, while others find it difficult to get used to this format. However, about 50% of employees sometimes work from home, and about 80% of all employees say that they would like to work remotely at least part of the time. It seems to many that it is difficult to build a trusting relationship with a remote team and organize their workday.
It is important for managers to figure out how to manage remote employees and help them adapt.
9 Effective tips to manage your remote employees
1. Set rules
Everyone has different ideas about what it means to do something fast or good. Show what you expect and make sure that remote employees mean the same. Use common task management and performance measurement systems. This will help to better prepare remote employees and avoid misunderstandings. The better the employees are aware of the requirements of the company, the more effective their work will be.
2. Create a communication strategy
Remote management of a productive team begins with a communication strategy. First, organize the appropriate number of weekly reports. Secondly, establish guidelines for everyday tasks. Some people work better with a list of questions and thoughts, while others like a clear plan. Understanding what is urgent will maximize productivity.
3. Provide employees with the necessary working tools
If remote employees cannot download files, hear hard on the phone, and constantly receive letters at an inconvenient time, you have not been able to solve the main work problems. Invest in reliable working tools to make cooperation comfortable for both parties. Then develop clear processes for using these tools.
4. Focus on goals
When working with remote employees, it is important to manage expectations and focus on goals. Do not worry about what is being done, concentrate on what is being achieved. If you achieve the goals you set, then this is excellent. If not, then you should improve it further. One of the effective ways to achieve your goals is strategic planning.
5. Treat remote employees as local
Do not treat remote employees as if they did not exist. Remember that people who work with you in the office can quickly get answers from managers. The employee on the other side of the laptop is deprived of this opportunity. Try to answer questions or clarifications as quickly as possible. This will help remote employees be aware of the project better and also to establish personal contacts.
6. Use video
Consider video call options if there are remote employees in your company. It is important for a remote employee to understand that he\she is part of the team and to see the faces of colleagues with their own eyes. Make video calls during important discussions and meetings. With so many free and low-cost video chat solutions (like Skype) there is no reason to refuse video calls when it’s possible.
7. Track employees performance
Many companies are not ready to work with remote employees because of fear that they cannot work at home as efficiently as in the office and deadlines will certainly be broken. Do not use time tracking software to monitor remote colleagues. It is much more effective to evaluate the result, rather than the time your employees spent on the task.
8. Avoid incorrect task setting
Teach people to stay in working mode and be distracted only when necessary. Endless assignment and recommendation letters can stifle productivity. Try to send emails with tasks at the beginning of the day. Thus an employee will not distract during a work process.
9. Possibility of career growth
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that remote team members are hired as workers who help solve business problems. But, like the team in the office, they have their own goals and aspirations. Take the time to discuss career opportunities and expectations with a remote employee.