There’s no getting around the fact that the workplace is changing. People have gone from accepting that they need to head into the office every day to expecting the flexibility to work from home. Believe it or not, 25% of Americans are expected to work at least part-time remotely in 2021.
The question is, are there guidelines for managing remote workers that will make managing a team easier?
Managing remote workers is a challenging task, even for companies that prioritize remote work. Follow the guide below to learn how to manage remote workers.
Set Clear Expectations
Many employees thrive with structure. They know exactly what their employer expects of them, and they have all the tools necessary to get their jobs done. Unfortunately, much of this structure gets removed when your team works remotely.
One of the best ways to keep your structured employees on task is to make sure you set clear expectations of what they need to do every day. Tell them every job they need to handle and set clear deadlines to make sure they stay on task.
When you create a deadline structure for remote workers, it means they need to come up with a way to get things done on their own. Eventually, your employees will come up with their own systems at home instead of relying on an office to provide structure to them.
Create Good Communication Systems
Communication is one of the most challenging parts of dealing with remote employees. You can’t just walk across the office to have a face-to-face conversation with people anymore. That means you need to do everything you can to create systems that make getting in touch with people easier.
The most important part of this process is to find the best tool to handle the job. You have a few options when it comes to this:
- Company chat channels
- Video meetings
- Project management chats
- Text messaging
Each employee will have their unique preferences. It’s your job as the manager to come up with a solution that works best for everyone. In most cases, you’ll use a combination of tools to ensure everyone has a way to communicate that works best for them.
Create Collaboration Systems
One of the other tasks you need to do when managing remote workers is to create a system to help your employees collaborate on projects. Your team can’t gather in a meeting room to work on projects anymore. They’ll need to make use of online tools to get the job done.
The first necessary tool for this is project management software. Your project management program will provide you with a way to track all your projects and assign tasks to your team. From there, you can create a system for your team that helps them use your project management software every day.
You’ll need other types of collaboration once you have the proper systems in place. These tools will include things like chat rooms to help people brainstorm, polls for team voting, and document collaboration tools.
Provide Chances for Socializing
While some people will thrive in an at-home environment, others won’t be so lucky. Many people need social interaction to feel fulfilled. When you’re working from home, you don’t get that chance as often.
That’s why creating times for your team to interact with each other is essential. Don’t just give your employees tasks to do all day and leave them be. Let people work together with their colleagues during the day.
Many workplaces accomplish this by using video chat. This software to manage remote workers is one of the best ones you can invest in. When people talk with their colleagues and can visibly see them, it does a lot to contribute to the need for social interaction.
When some managers can’t walk over to their employees to see how they’re doing during the day, it causes stress for them. When you can’t get instant updates from your team, it causes some managers to overcompensate and try to control everything their employees do from home.
However, micromanaging your remote team is a mistake. You hired your employees to perform a job, so you should trust them to do so. When trying to watch every action your team makes, the only thing you’ll do is signal to people that you don’t trust them.
It’s okay to look for updates about project statuses. Just be aware that your team knows what they’re doing. Focus on the end result and trust your team to get there.
Nail the Onboarding Experience
Having a great system to manage your remote team isn’t enough if your employees don’t know how to navigate working remotely. People need to know your remote processes and what you expect of them during the day. If you don’t have onboarding training available that trains people on your processes, you’re going to have problems keeping people on the same page.
Every person that enters your organization needs to go through the onboarding process. From the verify I9 remote process to accessing company resources, you need to lay out everything you expect of your hires in text or video format.
Of course, laying everything out in an easy-to-digest manner isn’t the easiest thing to do. It’s worth considering working with an experienced HR firm to get help with your onboarding process.
Managing Remote Workers Is Becoming More Important Than Ever
It’s hard to get around the fact that many employees are starting to seek out companies that let them work from whatever they want. Because of that, it’s harder to compete for talent when you don’t offer remote work capabilities. Make sure that managing remote workers becomes part of your company culture so that you can attract the best talent for your organization.
If you want to learn more tips that will help build your company culture, head back to the blog to learn more information that will help you manage your team.