How to Manage Remote Employees
The future of work, it seems, is remote. According to a study by Swiss office provider IWG, 53 percent of responders interviewed admitted to working remotely for at least half of the week. Companies like Automattic, the engine behind Wordpress are fully remote with distributed teams all over the world.
With businesses and workers enjoying the benefits of remote work, the challenge becomes how managers can get the best out of their distributed teams that span different countries, time zones, and cultures. When managing remote workers, it is crucial to set clear expectations about assigned tasks, methods of delivery, and deadlines. If the tasks are similar, managers should compile a set of instructions into briefs that can be used by new employees. Constant feedback is necessary to help remote workers evaluate their progress to make sure they’re living up to professional standards. Managers should make allowance for delays if their workers live in different time zones to avoid burnout.
Effective communication helps remote workers fight isolation, which is one of the biggest causes of stress associated with telecommuting. To fill the gap left by limited social interactions, managers should relate in a way that improves welfare and promotes inclusion. Remote workers need to feel they are an essential part of the team, sharing in their struggles, and enjoying its achievements. Employers should not shy away from learning about their employee’s goals and ambitions and helping them achieve them if they can. This effort from the employers doesn’t always involve huge investments. Just sharing knowledge and resources can help advance remote workers.
Another often neglected but essential part of remote management is the tools that permit any communication at all. There’s a need for solid hardware and software at both ends. Computers with up to date software, smartphones, and project management software cut down unnecessary emails and eases file sharing.
Remote work should be an inclusive project that builds trust, extends the culture of the business, and takes advantage of the merits of flexibility which responsible and conscious staff bring to the workplace.
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