How to Manage Your Remote Team Members
Remote work remains a fundamental approach to workplace operations right now. While this has led to great opportunities, remote work adds a new level of complexity to managing your employees. Let’s go over a few practices that can help make this management simpler and more effective.
What are Some Best Practices for Managing Remote Workers?
There are plenty of ways that you can do a better job of managing your remote workers, including:
Establishing Communication Standards
Without maintaining clear and open communications, your remote workers are going to become islands—separated from the rest of your team and isolated. Setting an expectation for how and how often your team members are to communicate and collaborate helps to encourage them to reach out and interact more.
Delegate Responsibilities and Hold Them to It
Remote workers are just the same as your in-house ones… the only real difference is where they are doing the work. Therefore, it is important that you treat them just the same and hold them to the responsibilities you give them. Now, if these tasks are too much of a challenge in a remote environment, there are many ways to delegate these tasks, from breaking them down into smaller jobs to discussing the process in detail with your team members to incentivizing their work processes.
Provide the Necessary Tools for Success
Fortunately, many businesses are already using tools that are well-suited for remote work, like cloud-based software and storage and mobile-friendly devices. One particular tool that we strongly recommend—whether or not remote work is in play, to be honest—is a unified communications and collaboration platform. A UCC platform gives you a single tool that provides numerous options for communication amongst your entire team.
Acknowledge the Impacts of Overwork and Isolation
While many people might assume that those working remotely are kicking back and accomplishing less over the course of the workday, these people would be (for the most part) very wrong. In many, many cases, remote workers are subject to pressure to accomplish more simply because of that assumption. Pairing this kind of overwork with the isolation of working remotely over a long period of time can develop some seriously negative feelings and detrimental impacts to their productivity. Acknowledging this and making efforts to reduce both will help bring you a more successful remote team.
Give All the Support You Can
As we’ve suggested thus far, your remote team members will need the same things your in-house team members will, including support in numerous forms—not just the IT support required to keep them productive, but also the emotional support that enables them to maintain that productivity over extended periods of time. Listen to them, check in on them, and try to develop support networks for your team members to utilize.
Here’s the long and the short of it—remote work only works if it works for your remote workers.
One of your most valuable sources of data is the people you have working remotely. While things might seem hunky dory on the surface and work is being done, your team members may be experiencing some challenges coping with things on their end. Don’t be afraid to ask your team for an account of their experience, possibly using anonymous polling or one-on-one check-ins with your team members. You might be surprised what you learn, or how good some of the ideas that come from your team members are.
We Can Help You Embrace the Benefits of Remote Operations
In terms of actually enabling remote operations, that’s where we come in. We’ll help you implement and manage the technologies that allow you to make the absolute most of your business processes, whether they’re remote or in-house.
Learn more by giving us a call at 607.433.2200.