Over the years, remote jobs have become more popular. It is due to advancements in technological innovations and the recent COVID 19 pandemic. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, there is a sharp increase in the number of companies working from home.
More organizations have chosen to explore working remotely. Some corporations operate one hundred per cent remotely. In this case, all of their staff are working remotely. Some other organizations practice a semi-remote technique where some team members work from home while others resume at a physical location. In some cases, the organization does not have a physical office while operating from a physical location.
Advancement in technology and other external factors has made working remotely more popular. Other factors that have positively impacted remote works are the Covid-19 pandemic, the ease of running a virtual business and the low running cost of an online office. These factors have contributed to the popularity of working from home.
After the Covid-19 lockdown, about one-third of the American population now work remotely. No wonder experts are now saying, working remotely is the future of work.
Challenges in Managing Remote Employees
Managing remote teams comes with its challenges. Remote jobs are like long-distance relationships. Good management practices must be put in place for it to work. Also, proper care and some qualities should be observed for it to work. These are some challenges you may face when working with your remote employees.
Lack of communication
One of the challenges remote employees and employers face is the lack of proper communication. It could be a result of using the wrong communication channel. Perhaps, not having a structured communication procedure.
Unlike structured office settings, the passing of information is easy. For remote employers, several channels should be used when passing information. It is one of the reasons why you should have more than one communication channel. Having multiple communication channels will always ensure workers do not miss any vital information. In addition, get in the habit of sending reminders and countdowns for upcoming events.
The problem of Time management
Another problem that is prevalent with remote employees is time management. The issue of time management happens when there are no clearly defined working hours. This could occur when members of the team are working from different time zones. In the other cases where work time is flexible, there should be a proper way to track and manage employees work time. Employees must also be accountable for work time.
Unstructured Work Process
Any organization without a defined structure is a recipe for failure. Experts should run their organization in a way where the business activities can run with or without the owner of the businesses. In addition, the organization work processes should be well documented such that newbies joining the organization can easily have access to the corporate work documentation.
Difficulty In Managing Time
Since the employees are working from home, it becomes difficult to measure and manage work time. In the long run, this can often lead to unproductiveness, missing deadlines and burnout. In some cases, the workers tend to spend more time working. While in other cases the staff are spending less time than is expected.
Another challenge that could hinder the progress of your organization is employing the best-qualified personnel to run your organization. Unqualified personnel can become a setback to the progress of your business. This will reduce the overall output of the team.
Lack of Collaboration
Since everyone is working remotely, there is a high chance that some people will be working in isolation. It is important to encourage collaboration among staff. The collaboration will foster a good working relationship between the staff and the employer. It’s been proven that collaboration fosters team bonding among staff. It can also significantly improve the productivity and efficiency of workers. Encouraging collaboration will go a long way in helping achieve your goals and objectives faster.
7 Proven Tips to Manage Your Remote Employees
Managing your employees is one thing and effectively managing your remote employees is another. There are several factors to consider when dealing with remote employees. These are seven tips to help you manage your remote employees as an expert.
Set clear goals and objectives
The first tip to effectively managing your remote employees as an expert is to set clear objectives. All employees must know in clear terms what’s expected of them. It starts by writing down your vision, mission, job descriptions and assigning responsibilities to member of the team. Job descriptions should be well defined. In addition, the supervisor should assign weekly tasks to each member of the team. The team should understand the goals and objectives of the department and the company as a whole.
Another factor to consider is getting your employees to understand the corporate mission and vision. Each employee should be able to align their role with the corporate goals of the organization. It can be achieved by sharing and documenting the organization’s corporate mission, vision, core values and code of conduct with newbies. The documents should also be made available to members of the team.
The failure to set clear goals and objectives will lead to the total breakdown of law and order. It will affect the overall conduct and efficiency of the workplace.
Provide a Structured Check-in System
It is crucial to have a structured check-in system that will allow you to track when employees are available. It is needed to know who is available at any particular time. It could either be a chat room, social media group or simply reporting to the supervisor. However, caution needs to be taken not to give the impression that you do not trust your employees. You should also avoid the temptation of trying to micromanage your staff.
A structured check-in system will provide employees with attendance of staff and will also help manage staff attendance. Having a check-in system will ensure strict compliance and accountability.
Hire The Right Candidates
Another factor to consider when setting up a remote workplace is to hire the right and qualified candidates. You must ensure the candidates are well qualified for the role. In addition, you should also ensure they have the necessary skills and facilities to work remotely. When hiring, you should hire the right people with the right experience, qualifications, work ethics and technical skills. Most importantly, hire people that their vision aligns with the overall corporate goals of your organization. Hiring the wrong candidate can negatively affect the overall output of the organization.
The traditional recruitment process is not very suitable for hiring remote employees. You must consider qualities like their background if they are self-motivated and can work with little or no supervision. In addition, employees must be great team players and possess good communication skills.
Train your Remote Employees
One of the best ways to maximize your team’s potential is to organize periodic training from time to time. Training could range from handling technical work tools to managing time effective etc. You can also offer online training and physical training related to their field. This training will go a long way in increasing the efficiency of the remote workers. Team leads can show newbies the work processes, how to use the tools, the company’s vision, goals and how to use the different work tools and resources. You can organize and schedule monthly, quarterly and yearly training.
Agree on Effective Communication Systems
One of the most important factors to consider when managing your remote employees is to provide an effective, efficient and easy-to-use communication system. Communication is the key to any successful business. Therefore, you need to ensure effective communication. One of the best ways to do this is by using the approved channels when communicating with your staff. Apart from official email messages, remote workers can also communicate via video conferencing, chat services, etc. An effective communication system will ensure a quick and easy-to-use communication system.
It may be tempting to stick to one communication channel for record-keeping. It should note that flexibility is key to choosing the most effective system. Come up with a list of communication channels for your organization. It will make the dissemination of information easy and fast. However, it is best to use a couple of communication tools rather than using so many tools which can sometimes be hard to track past discussions. It will prevent repetition and loss of information. The smaller the number of communication tools, the more effective the communication process.
A list of approved communication channels should be agreed on. The communication channel should allow collaboration. In addition, there should be approved communication guidelines that will guide members of the team. All communication must either be recorded or in written form. After every vocal communication, a follow-up summary of the conversation should follow.
Another factor to consider is to set up weekly or bi-monthly meetings with team members to catch up on the week-long processes.
One of the easiest ways to manage your remote employees is to provide automation tools that automate the work processes. Automation tools will provide effective and efficient task and time management. Automation tools can also be used for project management, task scheduling, communication, collaboration, time tracking, check-ins etc.
Provide your employees with the right tools and resources to make them better. Also, set up a reward system to reward team members that are excellent at their jobs. Automation is the gateway to ensuring tasks are completed on time.
Effective Project management System with A Reliable Tool
Managing remote employees is one thing and setting up a structure to manage projects is another. One of the best tips to consider to managing your remote employee as an expert is to ensure an efficient and effective project management system. It will provide efficiency but will also increase productivity.
When managing a team, you need a tool that allows easy collaboration, a comprehensive task planner, an efficient time tracker with an advanced reporting system. You may consider WP Project Manager Pro. It is a robust and comprehensive project management solution for WordPress and offers an easy-to-use yet advanced project management system that makes managing your remote team more efficient.
WP Project Manager offers a freemium plan. If your team/project is small in size, you can get its free version from WordPress.org. The Pro version is better for medium to large projects/teams.