According to a recent study done by Global Workplace Analytics, between 80% and 90% of all employees want to work remotely at least part-time and 50% of the workforce is already in a telecommuting position. It’s evident that offering remote positions is an effective way to attract skilled workers.
However, it’s arguable that for every good, there’s a price to pay. Gaining trust with your team members at a remote level can be challenging and employers often feel like they don’t have control over the situation. If this is the future of the workplace, we need to adapt and ensure that the situation works for everyone.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of seven helpful tips that will enable you to effectively manage employees remotely, allowing you to reap the many benefits that come with it.
Hold Meetings Regularly
There’s a great deal of importance in organizing meetings where team members can create an honest and friendly environment to discuss work matters and point out where improvements can be made. This helps everyone connect with each other and build better relationships. Try to organize weekly meetings in order to make this happen.
Track Their Productivity
In a normal office environment, you can see who is coming in each day and for how long. When your employees are working remotely, it can become difficult to keep track of what everyone is working on and for how long. Whether or not you’re paying by the hour, it’s still important to be able to measure the productivity of your team.
Traditionally, most managers would use a physical board with notes to keep track of what’s going on. Today, more innovative solutions exist, such as a digital version of the Kanban board. This is ideal for remote teams, as it allows you to keep track of your team’s productivity over an internet connection.
Using a Kanban online solution allows you to not only measure productivity but also gain useful insights on performance data in addition to integration with other tools and automation processes. Be sure to check out this overview of a Kanban online solution from Kanbanize for more info on how this tool can help with the management of remote teams.
While there are many benefits to working from home, some people are prone to feeling lonely and isolated. It’s important to check in with your team members and ensure that they’re getting the best out of their work that they can. This will help you build better bonds with them and keep everyone on the right track.
Organize a Chat Room
While email is still the primary form of communication for most businesses, it can be slow. Having a live chat room for employees to discuss work matters is much more efficient and creates a better sense of connection between everyone. Consider software such as Slack, Skype or HipChat to create a business-oriented chat room for your team.
Use Reliable Right Tools
Investing in reliable software to communicate with employees effectively should be one of the first steps in creating a remote workforce. If team members can’t hear properly during a conference call, struggle to share files and receive notifications while they’re asleep in their time zone, your productivity will dwindle.
These days, there’s a suitable software solution for just about every process that a business needs to carry out. This includes accounting, marketing, communication, file sharing, spreadsheets, documents, and so much more. Take a moment to look at the best-suited tools for remote collaboration and productivity, as it can take you much further faster.
Engage with Team Members
In recent times, we’ve seen a significant shift towards learning and skills advancement instead of stability in the workforce. It’s therefore imperative that you take an interest in your team’s goals and ambitions for their careers. Engaging with your team in a genuine and open manner provides them with the mental boost they need to continue performing.
In the same light, there’s a lot of value in taking interest in the lives that your team members have outside of work. While it’s important to crunch numbers and check in on productivity, it’s equally important to show support for your team members and inquire about their goals and ambitions.
Test new Members With Short-Term Work Before Hiring
One of the many benefits of hiring employees in remote positions is that there doesn’t have to be a full-time obligation. You can get a taste for their skills and what they can provide to your company by offering contractual or part-time work before hiring them for the long run.
Most people who only work for a company part-time will eventually stop working altogether. Those who stick are people who are relying on your company for their livelihood or are passionate about the work that they’re doing for you.
While working with a remote team doesn’t come without its challenges, many of them can be overcome through careful planning and a strategic approach. Get it right and your company will flourish.
This article is written by Zoe Price
An aspiring, young writer who spends as much of her free time as possible on the web. When she's not writing, she's reading. She's always trying to learn and digest new information so that she can stay on top of the topics she wishes to write about.