An update to the blog “Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce Effectively”
“Remote work is the future of work” – Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Reddit
Unlike onsite employment, many businesses are now encouraging remote work as talent matters. Flexible commuting policies of such companies also help employees achieve that elusive work-life balance, while businesses can meet the changing demands of the workforce along with increased productivity. According to the 2018 Global State of Remote Work by Owl Labs, 56% of companies allow remote work and employees who work remotely at least once per month were 24% more likely to feel happy and productive in their jobs than their desk-bound colleagues. Even digital transcription agencies are encouraging remote workers as part of improving timeliness and efficiency.
Remote work provides many benefits for employees as well as employers. Industries providing remote work include computer/IT, medical/health, sales, education / training and customer services. A recent Forbes article highlights top companies that offer the highest number of remote jobs and the list includes Amazon, Abbott, Cisco, UnitedHealth Group, Toyota, and American Express among others. Though offering remote opportunities is an attractive way to gain productive workers, managing a remote team working in different time zones is not that easy as managing your in-house team.
Here are some best practices you can consider to manage your remote team.
Improve culture of transparency
In a remote work atmosphere, transparency is critical for both employers and employees. Being an employer, you have the responsibility to clearly discuss the assigned task and your expectations on their work performance. At the same time, workers should be transparent about the work they can do and the time it takes to complete those tasks. Discuss your projects with them and consider their opinion too, which would make them involved.
Ensure remote employees connect their goals to yours
The first thing is to trust your team, but check. At the same time, consider their learning and life goals and try connecting those interests to the goals of the company. Engagement and performance stay much higher. Let them know that you are not only checking their work progress, but are also supportive of their success by helping them achieve their goals. For instance, if your employee is interested in web design other than the development tasks they are doing, why not give them a chance to show their skills and provide feedback on what was done. Phone calls, chat, as well as videos help to invest in a better relationship with your team.
Schedule regular meetings
Regular virtual team meetings are important to help such workers stay connected with their teams. Such meetings build strong relationships among team members and serve as a great platform for recognizing each worker’s accomplishments. If your employees are at a different time zone, choose a time convenient for each member at least once a week. General transcription services are available to document such meeting recordings in any digital format for future reference.
Maintain a proper work structure
Have a clear idea regarding what every employee, inside as well as outside the office is working on. To handle remote work better, create procedures and implement project management systems, set rules and share them with everyone on the team. Choose the right communication method based on requirements. Email can be chosen for work that is not that urgent, while a round-the-clock chat room helps to get urgent projects done.
Video conferencing helps
With video conferences, even employees in different countries can feel like they’re in the same room. Unlike reading messages or talking over the phone, seeing colleagues and employers via video can make them get close to the team and thus build a personal bond. This also helps remote workers stay engaged. Implementing certain video chat policies will help prevent employees from multitasking during conferences. Video transcription services can help retain the details discussed in such conferences for future reference.
Provide feedback at regular intervals
Managers must make sure to evaluate all work done and provide feedback during meetings or video calls. Genuine feedback helps remote employees grow, just like those employees in the office. Their growth and improved performance will lead to the company’s growth as well. When judging their work, don’t forget to give them recognition that is due. Positive recognition can help improve your team’s performance and they will try to learn from each other.
Use advanced technology to stay connected
Better communication is necessary to build a fully engaged remote workforce. Use innovative tools to create a community and develop a corporate culture. Employers can invest in training platforms, screen sharing tools, communication tools and project management systems to ease the workload of teams. Such tools can ensure better team connections and thus quality work.
By allowing employees to work remotely, businesses can get access to a wider pool of talents anywhere in the world. Following such key practices create excellent opportunities for engaging with remote employees.