Strategies for Managing Remote Employees
It may not be widely known that during this pandemic about a quarter of the workforce in every country already working from home. Managing employees in the office and remotely can be stressful for any supervisor. So, we can glean a few worthy tips from managers, who already managing remote employees with the best execution.
While it is always preferable to implement clear policies for training and managing remote employees in advance, in times of critical circumstances, this level of preparation may not be feasible. Therefore, there are specific, research-based steps that managers can take without great effort to improve and manage remote employees’ engagement and productivity, even when there is little time to prepare.
To begin, managers need to know the factors that can make remote work demanding. This results in high-performing teammates may experience declines in their performance and engagement when they started working from home, especially without training.
So, imagine how working remotely affects their level of engagement, performance, and connection to the mission?
- Challenges in remote work include:
- Lack of face-to-face supervision
- Lack of access to information
- Social isolation
- Distractions at home
How managers can better lead remote employees
Initially, you need to know how important remote employees are to your existing in-house team.
A few questions come into your mind: What do you expect from your in-house employees? Will your current employees spend more time working in an office or be comfortable with remote work? Can they relocate easily? How will you manage their current benefits or pay when in-house employees move?
Figure out how important a Remote Workforce is to Your Team:
For managing remote teams, questions arises are- where do you want them located? Are you looking to branch out and find talent all across the world or within a country or province? In which time zone do you want to keep your remote employees?
The best way is to communicate with your existing team. What are their thoughts on creating a remote workforce? Find answers to all the above questions before adding a remote team.
Make Sure Remote Workers Are Just As Invested As Office Workers:
Creating a remote workforce opens your company up to a world of possibilities. You’ll be able to utilize a pool of talent that cares about your company’s work and your mission.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to hire employees who are just as invested as your in-house staff. To hire the right remote talent you must ask the correct questions. You may take a virtual interview round before hiring.
So, make sure you use video to get the best feel for potential employees during interviews.
Here are some potential interview questions:
What compelled you to apply for this position?
These are our company’s values, which of those values do you resonate most with and Why?
What would you seek to accomplish during your first 60 days in this role?
What do you know about this company? How did you find out about us?
Build Relationships to Make Them Feel as a part of the Organisation:
A leader’s main objective is to make everyone feel like they are a part of the team. Otherwise, your remote team won’t feel well cared for. Treat every employee whether they are in-house or working remotely from home equally so that your employees can feel valued and appreciated.
Below are some ways to make your employees feel appreciated:
Build great relationships between your in-house staff and remote workers. Make them feel special by celebrating your remote employees’ work anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
Discuss with remote employees when it comes time to negotiate things like increments, bonuses, etc.
Treat remote persons as employees, not contractors or freelancers.
Maintain Balance Related to Benefits given to In-house and Remote Team:
Employees working In-house are enlightened to several benefits like catered lunches or free coffee. Unfortunately, your remote workforce will not have access to these benefits.
So, you need to find a way to balance the perks you offer to employees who are coming to the office and remote employees.
Here are some exciting perks for remotely working employees:
1. Onboarding Kit:
Remote employees need a relaxed space to work. Offer a stipend they can use to pay for things like a desktop or laptop, desk, comfortable chair, and more. To make them feel like an office.
2. Gym memberships:
Working and staying healthy is a must. Help your remote workers stay healthy by offering a gym membership or a subscription for online Zumba dance classes.
3. Special gifts:
If you often cater lunch in the office, consider getting your remote employees a gift card, and Order Pizza on special occasions for them.
4. Bill Payments:
Remote employees use way more electricity, internet, etc. Help your employees by compensating for some of these expenses.
5. Use the right medium for communication:
Choosing the correct software for communication is imperative. Below is the list of a few software that you can use for exchanging ideas or necessary files with one another through online media with the remote team.
Slack is a messaging tool, it is a great way to communicate because you can message the company (or different teams) in various channels or send direct messages to people you want to work with one-on-one. Slack is used for texting and easy conversations.
If you need to hold a team meeting, using a video conferencing tool like Zoom is the best way to communicate.
Sharing heavy files and secure information isn’t easy when you are working with a remote team. Using a tool like Google Drive can help you share information, important documents, presentation, etc.
You just need a project management tool to keep the remote team on the same platform. Trello will help you to showcase all the progress your remote team has made on each milestone of the project.
6. Find a Similar Schedule:
The time zone is different across the globe. Sometimes, your team in the office will have to wake up early to come to the office, sometimes remote workforce will need to stay a bit later in the evening.
You need to find the most similar times to come together. Define the best hours to have a meeting, and encourage everyone to consider time zones when planning meetings or working with remote employees.
7. Bring Employees Together on Regular bases:
Your goal should be to bring everyone together whenever possible. As your organization is expanding so that might be challenging to accomplish, though. Most companies, working with distributed workers try to get their employees together at least a few times a year.
These types of events: virtual happy hours, recognition sessions at the company’s annual party you can send an invite to the remote team.
8. Remove obstacles:
It is essential to note some issues related to physical and emotional isolation, distractions at home may face by remote employees. Then there are the potential new obstacles faced by the company is to undo pressure on remote teams to focus on current responsibilities. Remove hurdles as much as you can for managing remote employees easily.
How to manage a team successfully
Tekki Web Solutions also works with a remote team and manage the distributed employees in various ways. The company provides the benefits like paid electricity, internet bills, etc., and flexibility to work in different time zones, use the proper medium for communication, track clock–in, clock-out activity using clockify and Bitrix software, and invite remote employees to the company parties and many more to make them feel like a part of the company.
Each of the above points may seem simple but not easy. This requires time, attention, and consistency. But definitely, your organization will get the benefit of adding remote employees.