Best Practices in Managing Remote Staff

Even before the pandemic, businesses have started to implement remote working setups for their employees. Especially given the numerous benefits that it provides to both parties. They have even hired more remote staff throughout the years compared to in-house workers, giving people from all over the world the chance to work for a firm that is located on the other side of the country. Businesses take advantage of this setup, embracing the benefits of forming a team of remote workers. Additionally, as new technology developments came into use, such as specific online platforms, they made it simpler to conduct business online. After all, communication between individuals from many cultures has never been simpler.

Business leaders who are accustomed to gauging employee productivity based on their “desk time” and outward signs of activity could initially find the change to remote work confusing and difficult. It is also understandable that employees may experience initial confusion as they get used to significant changes in their daily schedules. However, even though everyone appears to understand what “work from home” means, not everyone has actually done it. And working remotely does have its advantages and disadvantages.

Managers who want to lead remote staff effectively might find that they need to let a little bit of control go. All while still finding ways to hold the employees accountable. They might succeed by concentrating more on what gets done. Also, whether it adheres to established quality standards when working in a shared office environment without the ability to regularly monitor them. Being open to making little technological and meeting-related experiments is also beneficial. In other words, managers need to be willing to reevaluate their approach to managing their teams. They have to get away from the idea of micromanagement if they want to successfully pivot to virtual work. Whether it is planned months in advance or in response to a natural disaster or a worldwide pandemic.

It can be important to understand what is required for success. Also, as to how the role differs from managing teams in a more traditional office environment. A rising number of team leaders are faced with the difficulty of managing remote teams. Frequently with little in the way of prior experience. This being said, take time to grasp and apply the best practices in managing remote staff listed below.

Understand Challenges

As your employees transition from working onsite to working remotely, there will be times that they will go through different challenges in terms of adjustment. One of these would be the lack of face time with coworkers and supervisors. Face-to-face communication is essential to workplace interactions and company culture. Virtual teams may feel the lack of face-to-face interaction most keenly. To boost employee engagement and boost social contact among distant team members, take into account collaboration tools.

On the other hand, continuously utilizing platforms for meetings as a means of facilitating connections can lead to worse outcomes. Give workers the authority to decide whether or not they wish to appear on camera during internal meetings. Unless client-facing, requiring all cameras at all times can lower morale. It is also just another pointless attempt to supervise and control what staff do.

There are actually many other challenges that employees face. And as a business leader, understanding these will help you come up with solutions for managing remote staff successfully.

Establish and Clarify Rules

Apart from understanding the challenges that your remote staff is going through, it is also important to establish and set the ground rules early. This is while making sure that they are enforced. The specific guidelines will differ from team to team. But then, employees must be aware of what is expected of them overall.

For instance, you could decide early on that the team will meet every day to discuss progress and any problems. You might also need to specify the ideal times and methods for team members to get in touch with you. Establishing norms and expectations early on will help to guarantee that the team follows them. It can also provide a measure of consistency.

Furthermore, while discussing productivity standards with your remote staff, it is crucial to create clear expectations as well. Some productivity requirements will change depending on the position; others might be uniform throughout the business. Individual standards must be evaluated and recorded, even haphazardly.

Communicate on a Daily Basis

It is simple for an employee to come into the manager’s office and ask a question any time when team members share a workspace with the management. However, when working remotely, it is possible that your teammates will not always know where you are at any given moment. As a result, you should be explicit about how you intend to maintain open lines of communication and eliminate any barriers.

One approach to guarantee that communication occurs frequently is by blocking specific hours of the day. You can also let your staff know that they can schedule quick meetings with you during those times. A calendar might then be used to let distant workers know which blocks are being taken.

Moreover, consider developing a communication strategy so that everyone is aware of how communication will occur within the remote team. The number of meetings you have with your team will depend on this. Consider concerns like restricting background sounds, protocol regarding what team members can have in their backgrounds during video conferences, and the use of meeting templates when developing your plan.

Set Goals and Objectives

Productivity is always a worry with remote working arrangements because there is no in-person supervision. Although studies have shown that production is generally unaffected, individual productivity may be affected.

There are methods for keeping track of activity levels. However, they can seem intrusive and may not always give a true picture of all types of exercise. Setting individual goals or targets, together with more general team objectives that can help direct individual decision-making, may be a better strategy to maintain high productivity.

Provide the Right Tools and Software

Along with the procedures mentioned above, you must ensure that your team has access to the software necessary for them to fulfill their duties and complete the necessary tasks. What your team decides will determine the specific alternatives. The best tools must be available to both employers and employees for remote work situations. An essential necessity is a laptop or desktop that can support video calling services like Skype or Google Hangouts. And also, a dependable internet connection with enough bandwidth.

The appropriate software tools are also required. This includes time tracking, mood boards, and asset libraries, which enable staff to find the images and other graphics they need for presentations, designs, or infographics, and project management software. This is excellent for keeping track of what needs to be done, who is doing it, and how much time is left to complete it.

Key Takeaway

Although managing remote staff can take some time to get used to, there are answers to the new problems that remote work brings up, making the arrangement entirely workable. You may lead a productive team remotely, reach high levels of productivity, and prevent issues with morale, wellbeing, and social isolation by employing the recommended best practices.

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