Employees like the option to work remotely because it affords them significant flexibility when it comes to work-life balance, and employers are finding that offering remote work as an option means being better positioned to attract top talent.
While it is an ideal working situation for many people, remote work can be hard for many supervisors to wrap their heads around. A manager may feel like they don’t have enough oversight or have difficulty getting an adequate level of trust with remote workers. However, remote work is here to stay, and supervisors that can adapt to this new reality quickly will be in the best position to succeed moving forward.
Consider the following strategies on how to successfully manage remote employees.
Lay Out Your Expectations
Everybody has a different concept of what it means to perform well at a job, and it can be harder to lay out your expectations with workers not sitting in the same room as you. Therefore, you need to be as clear as possible when explaining your expectations to remote employees. Visual aids, PowerPoint presentations, calendar sharing, and collaboration apps like Trello, are also very useful tools when it comes to setting clear expectations for remote staff members.
Maintain Regular Communication
Your remote employees should communicate with you or another member of your on-site team every day. While it’s okay to use several channels to communicate, be sure you aren’t using so many tools that communication becomes confusing or difficult. If possible, plan a regular on-site, face-to-face meeting and have them come in for training initiatives. Regular interaction will help your remote staff feel more like a part of your organization, which is essential to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.
Trust Your Telecommuters
In some cases, businesses are reluctant to adopt a remote workforce due to the skepticism regarding the work being completed at the same level of productivity as with a traditional workforce. However, if telecommuters feel there’s a lack of trust, it will make them feel micromanaged and resentful.
It is important to establish strong expectations as well as good communication, but also allow your remote workers the chance to manage themselves.
Use Reliable Collaboration and Communication Tools
If remote employees can’t connect to video conferencing or access key files, they won’t be able to do their jobs effectively. Be sure to invest in dependable tools and create best practices for using them.
In a remote work situation, you do not have the ability to “see” each other’s intentions, “hear” the tone of voice over email and “read” body language. Therefore, on-site employees need to be deliberate in their communications and collaboration.
By being deliberate and thoughtful, you can cultivate a working atmosphere for your remote employees that makes them feel genuinely connected to your company. Also, engage remote workers by having them contribute in meaningful ways.
We Can Help Your Company Develop Its Remote Workforce
At Thompson Technologies, we often help our clients expand their highly productive remote workforce. Please contact us today to find out how we can do the same for your organization.