Working With Remote Employees: How To Do It Right
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to adopt the work from home culture, much of the world is left confused. Suddenly managers and employees alike are brainstorming ways to make the remote work experience productive and engaging.
While this may be the ideal work scenario for many employees, working with remote employees is quite challenging for managers who are accustomed to the traditional in-person management system. Although a lot of companies provide training in advance, it may not be possible to implement clear remote work policies due to the rapidly changing circumstances.
Fortunately, there are ways to ensure employees get the necessary support to be productive in this crisis even with little prep time. We have listed below ways to do it right when it comes to working with remote employees:
- Set standards in advance:
The most important aspect of successfully working with remote employees is setting clear work productivity standards in advance. Remote work becomes easy and rewarding when managers set expectations for everything – work timings, current work priorities, ideal way of communication, project deadlines, performance goals, etc. This helps employees be aware of their responsibilities and schedule their day better. This will eventually help employees and managers both maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Provide tools for communication and collaboration:
It is crucial to equip employees with all the necessary digital tools to ensure successful execution of tasks and communication of work progress. At the same time, they need an effective way to collaborate virtually with other team members for work discussions. This could be via video-conferencing, online messaging or discussion forums. Presentations are a crucial part of most virtual communications and video conferences today. Using tools like visually engaging PowerPoint templates, you can create highly impactful virtual presentations thereby increasing communication effectiveness and reducing presentation making time.
The Learning Management Systems (LMS) most companies use to execute online training for employees support all sorts of collaborative tools to promote social interactions. For example, if you look at the iSpring Learn pricing model, it provides users with all the essential tools for collaboration along with many other beneficial features at a very affordable price.
- Track their progress:
Managing multiple teams and assigning tasks to employees working remotely needs a high level of management. This can get difficult without proper allocation of time and resources. Keeping a track of your employees’ work progress with the help of a time tracking software helps in ensuring work is being completed on time. It also helps managers in spotting any delays and making the necessary changes once they understand how close an employee is to finishing their part in a particular project.
- Don’t micro-manage:
A critical part of successful management is having one-on-one conversations with your employees. But doing this to ensure employees are constantly busy with work can be counter-productive. Managers need to avoid micromanaging behaviors like continuously being on their employee’s trail and asking for frequent progress reports. These can actually do more harm than good as they make employees feel like they’re not being trusted to do their work.
- Keep checking up on them:
For remote teams, it is highly important for managers to foster social interactions as employees are bound to suffer from isolation. This is even more relevant in the current scenario as social-distancing norms are making everyone feel trapped indoors. Keep checking up on your employees and offer encouragement to develop better connections. Being intentional in celebrating special days over video calls helps establish a community feeling and increases engagement.
- Remember team bonding and corporate retreats and conferences
Even though people are working remotely and at a distance doesn’t mean managers should forget the importance of team bonding. Although in person bonding sessions and work dinners may be out of the question for a remote team, there are various options for companies to take advantage of remote bonding experience. Take Escapely for example. They offer virtual escape games for groups ranging as big as you’d like! Perfect for bonding as well as conference ice breakers.
- Recognize and Reward:
Being appreciated for an achievement can do wonders for an employee’s self-confidence. It is important to reward employees for their achievements to encourage them to keep delivering productive results. Recognition not only motivates the achiever, but also sends out a subtle message for others to perform better, breeding healthy competition.
Build your remote working policies with the help of the above mentioned ideas to assist your employees in getting accustomed to being efficient in this changed scenario. Are you currently managing remote employees? Let us know your remote employee management ideas in the comments below.
For more articles, visit OD Blog.