With an increasing number of staff now working remotely, managers are finding that they need to make changes in some aspects of their management style. Adapting to the challenges that managing a remote workforce pose could be essential to the future of your business, so here are a few ideas that may help.
Trust your workers
You may find it hard to have complete trust in remote workers; however, if you set them clear guidelines that they must adhere to, you will soon be able to judge whether they are as productive as they would be in the office.
Make your expectations clear
If they know what you expect of them in terms of time and productivity, your workers will be well prepared to complete tasks as you require them to.
Keeping in touch with your remote workforce will help them to feel a valued part of the organisation. You can use different methods of communication, from emails or instant messaging to video calls or face to face meetings, depending on what works for you. Communication can be daily or weekly but should be at regular intervals in addition to the times you may need to issue particular instructions.
Respond promptly to problems
Remote workers do not have the same opportunities of access to you as local workers, so ensure that you respond to emails or phone calls as quickly as you can. In this way, you can prevent a minor issue from becoming a major problem.
Invest in technology
Remote employees need a reliable infrastructure to help them carry out their work. Ensure that everything is working effectively and your workforce can download and upload files as necessary, take part in online seminars, meetings or conferences, and generally have access to the tools they need for their role.
Technology can also be used to create a community amongst your remote workers and provide a space where they can connect and celebrate achievements.
Build relationships with remote workers
Getting to know your remote employees and finding out about their family situations and general day to day life gives you a base on which to establish a close bond. If your workers feel you are supportive and interested in them, they will feel a greater loyalty and more able to raise any problems they may be experiencing rather than struggling with an aspect of the work that they do not understand.
Offer regular feedback
Making remote workers feel included in all aspects of the company and sharing goals and expectations keeps them motivated and likely to enjoy the work they do. Feedback is important so that your employees know how well they are performing and whether there are areas that could be improved. If they are doing well, praise will motivate them to continue to work effectively.
There are differences between managing a remote workforce and managing locally; therefore, it is important to adapt to newer values for your business to grow and maintain profitability.
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