Remote working is becoming increasingly common and, in some businesses, the entire workforce work remotely. This can have its advantages, including cutting the costs of leasing premises, but it does come with its share of challenges.
When you manage a remote workforce, you need to be aware of the difficulties which may arise and make sure you have a plan in place to ensure your business is not adversely affected. These are some tips to help manage your remote workforce effectively.
One of the main difficulties which arise from managing a remote workforce is that you can’t communicate with employees face to face. Communication is vital as it helps to build a strong relationship and ensures workers stay motivated. It also gives workers the opportunity to feel like part of a team and, if you keep in regular contact with them, they will be more likely to communicate about any issues they are having.
Remote working can be lonely and many people who work in this way feel like they are not really part of the business. This can be rectified by setting up regular video conferencing for team meetings and by dropping them an email every so often to make sure they are happy with everything. You may even want to schedule some informal coffee breaks, so you can get to know your remote workers.
Unlike working together in an office, you can’t actually see what your remote workforce are doing on a day to day basis. There is always the fear that they could be out shopping, when they are supposed to be working! It is therefore important to ensure you set clear deadlines for your remote workers.
If it is imperative for your workers to be available at certain times, you need to make this clear and ensure the work is completed by setting deadlines. In many cases, it doesn’t really matter what hours the remote worker does, as long as they complete the work required for them.
It is important to make your expectations clear and follow up if there are any issues.
It is just as important to set performance reviews for remote workers as it is for employees you work with in an office. In fact, in many ways, it is even more important. In doing this, you can develop your remote workers and find out if there are any areas in which your workers are having issues.
You should try and offer the same incentives to remote workers as you would with those you work alongside, as this can help ensure you retain them.
It is also a good idea to encourage your remote team members to communicate regularly with each other and get to know their coworkers. This can be hugely beneficial in making sure your business runs as efficiently as possible. It is also worthwhile considering getting your remote workers together for a Christmas night out or another event, as this is a great way to help build a successful and happy remote team.