Amidst the fast-paced globalisation and growing economy, remote workers are turning out to be more and more common for businesses these days. Yes, a remote workforce has several benefits that many businesses are fast realising.
With a remote working policy, a business gets to attract more number of qualified candidates, which is a huge win in today’s competitive business ecosystem. Secondly, a business with remote workers enjoys unmatched flexibility in its operations.
Though there are some outstanding advantages of having a remote team, it has its own share of demerits most of which orbit around poor communication. Here are six ways you can successfully manage a remote workforce:
1. Fix a set schedule
It is imperative to organise your remote team. Though most of your remote workers may be good enough when it comes to performance, they won’t be able to read your brains.
Thus, to make sure that everyone stays on the same page that calls for clear communication, HR managers and entrepreneurs ought to organise a set work plan for their remote workers. Ensure that the tasks are measurable and understandable.
2. Promote informal communication
Lack of informal communication is one of the key reasons for a remote workforce to fail. For a traditional workplace, this comes naturally, as employees walk up to each other be it over coffee, in hallways, etc.
A remote team misses those impromptu informal conversations that employees enjoy at a traditional office setting. For most of the remote teams, chat tools such as Skype and others are the only source to communicate, which often includes business talks minus casual sessions. This is the reason managers ought to promote informal communication in their remote teams to satiate the basic human need of interaction and socialization.
3. Be stringent in certain areas
Several remote workers fail to turn upper the expectations because they lack a good grip on their organisation or its processes. Such remote workers can turn comfortable with each other and may end up hampering the organisational workflow.
Therefore, it is advisable to not to be too tight or too loose when allowing your remote teams to communicate.
4. Keep a track of everything
For business owners or managers, it is important to be aware of how much work their teams do. It can be fatal to believe that a particular remote employee is making good progress only to realise after a few months that the individual has been quite dormant in his or her responsibilities.
Most of the businesses pay their remote teams on hourly basis, which makes it easy to determine how long each employee has worked. You can consider using a time tracking software to keep a tab on the number of hours worked, leaves taken, overtime, etc.
5. Offer flexible work hours
One of the greatest joys of working remotely is that the person gets to set his/her own work schedule. This facilitates employees to work at their own pace and be more productive rather than a traditional 9 to 5 set-up.
Though this can be immensely beneficial for both employees as well as businesses, it might lead to total chaos if taken too far. For instance, employees with different work timings might find it difficult to interact with each other. This might slow down productivity causing projects to fail. This is the reason you ought to promote flexible work hours, but make sure that you have overlapping hours in between your team members.
6. Dedicate enough one-on-one time with your teams
There are times when you ought to think beyond digital chats, as there comes a time when you will have to do some one-on-one communication with your remote workers.
Though this might appear as a time-consuming affair, it has many benefits. Employees over time do tend to develop misconceptions or misunderstandings pertaining to the management and company. To clear such air, you need to set aside time to check up with each of them personally. One-on-one conversations are excellent for motivation, since they show that you care about your people.
Whilst remote workforce may appear difficult to some organisations depending on their industry vertical, there are businesses and entrepreneurs that are reaping great profits from this concept. To make it work for your organisation, you ought to follow certain steps to improve communication and cohesion as well as ensure that your remote teams don’t feel left out and alienated.
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