How to effectively manage staff remotely
Managing a team away from the office can be hard. Employers need to become flexible and put structure in place so that their employees know exactly what is expected of them daily.
1. Setting clear expectations for remote working employees
Employers need to set clear expectations and those expectations need to be defined properly. Having a formal process in place can help with setting clear expectations and in this way, management could also track the progress of work being completed on time. One could set up a schedule and/or calendar which employees need to follow. The more the employees are prepared the more efficient they will be at the end of the day. Manager need to be clear on the work that needs to be produced. Deadlines and tasks need to be made clear and ensure employees understand them clearly.
2. Regular Communication
Regular engagement with your team is essential. This can be done on a weekly or monthly basis via Zoom, Skype, or Video conference call. This will ensure the team is clear on what needs to be done and the progress on the work done. Regular engagement with the team will help employees feel included and not isolated. Communication must be clear and response to emails must be prompt. Employers must hold employees accountable for any lack of communication and deadlines not being met. Managers need to be contactable and provide relevant support to employees when needed.
3. One-on-One meetings with remote employees
Having one on one sessions with your employees that are working remotely will also help remote employees feel heard and understood. Working from home can create a feeling of isolation and one on one sessions with your employees can give employers/managers a good idea on the progress of their employees and their role. Having weekly or monthly one on ones can also provide the employee with the opportunity to address certain issues that they do not feel comfortable within discussing in a team meeting and prefer not to address in an email.
Everyone performs differently when it comes to working remotely. Some employees prefer sticking to strict working hours while others perform better in the evening. Providing employees with options that suit them best can help in the work being produced and provide more efficiency. Some employees perform better alone and others may feel isolated. To individualize your employees will give them a sense of belonging and make them feel like they are cared for and important to the organisation.
5. Trust your team working remotely
Trust must be earned amongst your employees. Employers/managers also need to learn to trust their employees and allow their remote employees the freedom to do their work and trust that they will complete and meet deadlines. When that trust is broken, and deadlines are not being met the employer/manager needs to take the appropriate measures and discipline accordingly. Managers also need to delegate appropriately and then trust that those tasks are being addressed to and met. Not all managers are keen on the idea of remote working so they need to be clear and guidelines can be implemented to keep these managers assured that their employees can be trusted. They can enforce rules where emails need to be responded to within 24hours and if the employee has an urgent matter that needs to be addressed, they have dedicated times to call to speak to management.