Amid the coronavirus outbreak and government guidelines to avoid non-essential travel, many businesses around the world are having to adapt to full-time remote working for the foreseeable future. While the transition to remote working is a smooth change for some, it is certainly creating problems for others, particularly those who do not already have a remote working policy established. For those businesses struggling to adapt to the change, we have put together five top tips on how to manage your remote employees effectively.
Unlike working in the office where face-to-face communication and daily meetings are inevitable, working remotely can sometimes leave employees feeling uncertain about their manager’s expectations. Therefore, it is imperative that managers are explicit about what is expected from their remote employees. Set out clear expectations and goals, whether this will involve a structured timetable or simply outlining what you expect from them and equally what they can expect from you.
Hold daily meetings
Working remotely can sometimes leave employees feeling isolated, so it is important to continue the communication that you would regularly have in the office, ideally through a video conferencing platform. It is also important that you are kept in the loop about which employees are working on what projects, to reduce the chances of decisions being made without the consultation of everyone who should be involved. Whether these meetings are held in the morning or the afternoon, it is important that every employee is given the opportunity to regularly discuss their action plan for the day or week ahead.
Focus on goals, not activity
Instead of managing your employees time and focusing on how or where someone works, focus on what is being accomplished. As you would do in an office environment, it is important to monitor your employees’ output rather than focusing too much on the time that they devote to their tasks. If your employees are meeting their goals, then great. If not, it is important to put some time aside in the diary to have a conversation with your employee and ask them if there is anything that they are struggling with and how you, as their employer, can help them to achieve their goals.
Trust your team
Primarily, the main reason for companies not wanting to embrace a remote workforce is uncertainty about employee productivity and whether the work will be completed to the same standard that it would have been in the office. Hopefully, there will be a level of trust when it comes to your employees working remotely. However, there are some things that you can do to combat any concerns such as open communication channels and establishing goals and expectations early on. Working remotely can be hugely beneficial to a business. It can increase productivity, reduce costs, improve employee retention and create a happier work-life balance. Use this time to assess how effectively your employees work remotely, and whether this could be something that you implement regularly in the future.
Create a strong culture
Positive relationships at work are a key ingredient for employee productivity, with recent studies showing that having close friendships at work can boost performance significantly. For remote workers, those connections and friendships take more effort to maintain and are vital to maintaining your company’s culture. It is essential that managers and team leaders put some time aside in the diary to organise a weekly catch-up on a video conferencing platform that will be non-work related. Whether this be a ‘TEA-mly’ meeting or a virtual Friday beer, it is important to keep the culture of the business at the forefront. This will reduce the chances of your employees feeling isolated and unengaged.
If you would like to know more about how to manage your remote employees effectively or if you’re planning on onboarding remotely but don’t have a plan, please get in touch with a member of the team to be sent a document with more information and guidelines on how to do so.